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American Camp Association

There is a camp for every child and every budget

How to afford camp, no matter your income.

The American Camp Association (ACA) believes that the benefits of the camp experience are priceless, but we also realize that parents' pockets aren't bottomless. However, there is a camp for every child and every budget, and we want to show you the opportunities available.

Finding out how to afford camp is easy — and there's plenty of help. The bottom line about camp costs is that there's a camp for just about every budget. Fees range from $75 to more than $650 per week for ACA-accredited resident and day camps. For example, did you know that these options are available:

Assistance offered from camps:

  • Camps offer special discounts — for everything from early registration, full-season, or multiple enrollments from one family.
  • Many camps offer "camperships" — partial or total scholarships and financial assistance. Parents shouldn't assume their income doesn't qualify.

Assistance offered from the U.S. government:

  • Parents should inquire into whether the camp participates in income-eligible subsidy programs, for instance through Title XX.
  • A Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account allows parents to be reimbursed on a pre-tax basis for child care or adult dependent care expenses for qualified dependents that are necessary to allow parents to work, look for work, or to attend school full time. Visit the FSA Feds Web site for more information.
  • In certain circumstances, day care expenses, including transportation by a care provider, may be considered dependent care services and paid with pre-tax dollars. Visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for more information.
  • Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit: The IRS allows an income tax credit of up to $6,000 of dependent care expenses if you have two or more dependents (up to $3,000 for one dependent). The amount of the credit is based on your adjusted gross income and applies only to your federal taxes. This applies to qualifying day camp expenses as well. Visit the FSA Feds Web site for more information.

© 2005 American Camp Association Inc. Founded in 1910, the American Camp Association is a national community of camp professionals and is dedicated to enriching the lives of children and adults through the camp experience.


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