Local News

Parents reconsider summer camps costs

Posted March 31, 2009 6:00 p.m. EDT
Updated March 31, 2009 7:00 p.m. EDT

— With the down economy, some parents say summer camps are an expense they can’t afford.

Registration is down this year at Wake County’s 4-H Sleep Away Summer Camp, organizers say. The camp is held June 21 – 26.

“Parents are hurting and don’t have the money to do that,” Wake County 4-H and Youth Development Project Management Consultant Andrew Meyer said.

The 4-H camp costs $355 per child and is open to children ages 8 to 12. The fee includes transportation, all meals, lodging, a camp T-shirt and a $15 camp store credit.

Sharon Williams said she and her husband are being forced to decide whether to send their two sons to camp this year, despite the cost.

“You really need to start somewhere and it would end up being the campus probably being cut,” Williams said.

Registration for the YMCA’s summer program has remained steady, but directors say they are offering an incentive plan to keep parents interested. People registering their children before April 30 will be entered for a chance to win a $500 prepaid credit card.

“We’re finding that people want to make this a priority,” said Allison Crumpler, senior associate director of youth programs at the Kerr Family YMCA.

The YMCA also offers financial assistance, Crumpler said.

Gary Itenson spent $150 to send his two boys to the YMCA camp.

“That’s not bad at all. I know a lot of parents that spent that on a weekend going out drinking and cigarettes and such,” Itenson said.