Most Expensive Summer Camps

What are your kids doing this summer? You want them to do something productive with their time, rather than just watching tv and surfing the internet all day. And if you have to work, it’s probably a good idea to have some kind of supervision for them. There are tons of summer camps available, but what about the price tag? If you have two or three children attending summer camp, it could easily wipe out your whole paycheck.While some camps seem pretty reasonable for child care all day long, others, particularly some specialty camps, can cost a pretty penny. Horseback riding camp always seems to be pretty high on the cost scale. Many horse camps cost $350 or more for one week! That’s Monday through Friday 9 am to 3 pm or even 10 am to 2 pm. You can’t even work and full day between dropping the kids off and picking them up. The location can also pose a challenge for parents. Horse camps, by necessity are located in places which are zoned for horses, which likely isn’t in your neighborhood. There’s a good chance that it will take you some time to drive from home to camp, then from camp to work. Then you’ll have to repeat the process each afternoon. There don’t seem to be any cheap horseback riding camps, though. They have to pay for the care of the horses year round, so the camp prices reflect that.Surfing and junior lifeguard programs carry similar price tags. They also tend to have hours that are shorter than your eight hour work day. And if you don’t live by the beach, you’re going to have a commute – twice a day. The beach location is part of the reason for the cost. Any company that runs a camp has to reserve its location and pay the state or county that owns that stretch of beach. The ration of adults to kids needs to be pretty high, just because of the inherent dangers of the ocean. Likewise, they need responsible CPR trained adults. Most of these camps maintain equipment, like surfboards, kayaks, and paddleboards.Specialty camps such as acting, science or a sport can set you back quite a bit. Acting camps are often run at a local community theater. A science camp might meet at a science museum. Some sports camps like swimming or golf require a special location. And the staff isn’t high school or college kids working at their first summer job. They need people who can teach a particular skill well.There is a much less expensive option. Many of these are extensions of after school or child care programs that your child might attend year round. Camps like this usually run long enough each day for you to get in eight hours of work. Since no specialized location is required, you’re likely to find these types of camps and the local school or city recreation department. Even field trip camps, where the kids go to the movies, theme parks and other fun places every week, are surprisingly affordable.So are the specialty camps really worth the price? It depends. If your son or daughter really loves art or football or science, summer may be an ideal time for them to spend a little extra time at that activity. Of course you could always compromise. Most summer camps allow you to sign up for one session, which is typically one to three weeks long. You could sign your child up for one or two sessions of the camp of their dreams, and let them spend the rest of the summer at a more relaxing camp where they just hang out with their friends.