Summer Camp on the Rocks in Tough Economy

Tradition shaken as families' plans up in the air
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 12, 2009 11:53 AM CDT
The tradition of summer camp hangs in the balance this year.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – As recession hits parents’ wallets, it’s forcing many to debate whether they can afford to send kids to summer camp, the Wall Street Journal reports. Camps are expecting more financial-aid requests, while parents look to day camps and cheaper nonprofit alternatives. “A number of camps say families are enrolling, but they are enrolling a little later this year,” says a camp association head.

An online database notes a 10-15% decline in registrations for private camps but a parallel rise for nonprofit ones. “People still want to give their children the opportunity to go,” says the site’s head, but the economy makes it a challenge. And camps—some strapped themselves—are doing their part to fill cabins—giving discounts, allowing shorter visits, and offering “campership” financial aid.