Readers’ Scoop: Cut The Trips, Cut The Costs

Dear camp owners. I have not applied to your day camps this year, being that the prices are out of my budget. I understand the expenses involved in running a camp, as I have worked in a professional camp for several years.

My knowledge therefore allows me to factually say that day-camps would be significantly cheaper if not for the weekly trips they have come to include in their programs. In my opinion, these trips are totally unnecessary and a complete waste of money. Why is it acceptable and desirable to bus our children 2 hours each way in 90 degree heat- to yet another theme park- to sweat outdoors, and spin around on yet another roller coaster? Is this what we have to do to gain a reputation as a ‘popular’ day-camp? I understand if twice a summer, a trip is scheduled as a highlight, but these outings have spoiled our children, raised their expectations and standards, and created a pathetic peer-pressure among our camps. Why would camps want to undertake this responsibility each week- to safely return all their campers back home? Why can’t we encourage a creative outlet on camp grounds- as was always done in the past? Our girls never demanded this- we shoved it down their throats, and now we’re stuck with these standards.

I’ve spoken to many mothers who don’t appreciate these trips- they’re worried for their girls’ safety, they don’t find them productive, and they can barely afford the expenses involved.

I am still hoping that perhaps one camp will break this trend and lower their prices, so that my girls will have a day-camp to attend this summer.

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  1. If you don’t want trips or its too expensive then don’t go.
    Kids who sit in classrooms the whole year need these trips to air out.
    Even if you cut these trips out you will still pay a lot of money for camps. So either you have the money or not. If you don’t please don’t blame it on trips…..

  2. The camps feel the pressure from YOU the parents. Do you really think the camps would offer these extras if they knew YOU (the parents) didn’t want these extras????

    Here’s my advice: You won’t change the world. The fact is that most of Lakewood has come to expect these extravaganzas, just as most of Lakewood needs a buga-boo and a five bedroom house with granite countertops, and $150 outfits for newborns. You and I won’t change that.

    What you COULD do, is get a few like-minded parents together, and start your own daycamp, without all the extravaganzas.

  3. agree and also don’t say we are full and leave kids and parents hanging without a daycamp. The daycamp my kids were supposed to go to is not opening and now everyone is saying sorry we are full. That’s not fair at all.

  4. I know someone who takes turns with another mother , 1/2 the summer each mother does the camp. Their own kids go for free, and they have a few paying a minimal fee. It is no frills, but they do an overnight in a tent and the kids have a great time with a very low budget. I know it won’t work for mothers who have to go to work, but, for those who don’t – it’s a great idea.

  5. Schools should not give a tuition discount until the camp the children attend is discussed. If people have extra money and want to spend on this, then by all means. If full tuition is not being paid, one has no right to send to an expensive camp. It’s time for the schools to start cracking down, I suspect if the schools crack down on this , many camps will be forced to lower costs.

  6. Every single camp that listened to you in the past years…….. closed do to lack of interest
    Camps are very competitive and a very cyclical business that trends on the whims of the “crowd”
    The customers are demanding it in the way that if their tzadikal is not given his moneys worth they take the business elsewhere (cause that where his freinds are going too!!)

  7. #4

    What a stupid thing to say – What’s not fair? That the daycamps are full? They happen to be full – what did they do wrong to you?

    You are a symptom of today’s decaying culture – “I deserve everything”.

    You don’t deserve anything. Nobody owes you anything. Life is what it is.

  8. instead of going on these trips to the amusement parks why not go bowling, roller skating, a movie that is allowed, there are other things to do and are not that expensive. seek and you shall find

  9. camps are out of controll….. all we need is happy fun activites with cheering and swimming….6th 7th 8 th graders might need more but not 1st-5th – but of course i just send my kids becuse i have no choice all camps are in the same price range pleae let me know where u can find a camp thats decently priced…

  10. To CPA: your words make you sound out of touch with reality. When both parents are working to make ends meet, having the kids stay home all summer is just not an option. So then there are day camps. Find me a camp that’s NOT expensive! It’s not that parents are “choosing” to send to expensive camps; it’s that they need to send to camp and THEY’RE ALL EXPENSIVE!

  11. #13- some are more expensive then others, shop around and you will find that as fact- that is if its important to you.
    I never mentioned not going, rather which camp you choose to send to. Prioritize.

  12. I agree. The trips are unnecessary and camp prices are too high. The little kids especially don’t even always enjoy the trips – the bus ride makes them feel queasy and standing in crowds and lines in the hot sun or stuffy indoor fun-place is not as much fun as it’s made out to be.

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