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Eagle007

Expensive Summer Camp

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Something has really been bothering me since our meeting this Monday night and I wanted some opinions. A couple of meetings ago I thought I misunderstood that our summer camp expense to be around $225 per scout and dismissed it to bad hearing. This Monday night it was brought to our attention that the total number of scouts for this year's summer camp, all five weeks, will be 300 scouts vs. 300 per week as in years past. When I asked what in the world has happened I was just given a blank stare and told that the council has doubled the price of summer camp this year and that must be the problem. Scouts just cannot afford to go to camp and that just burns me up, not to mention this messed up economy. It was suggested in fun that it looks like all the scouts will need to bow up on the popcorn sales this year in order to get the price of summer and winter camps down in our council. You don't even want to know what I think about that. We don't need to turn our scouts in to little salesmen. I had to take a deep breath and walk out side.

 

I also posed the question of the economy and National Jambo. I had planned on attending as medical staff but with the economy the way it is I will not be able to afford to go. And that burns me up also.

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Is $225 really out of line for a week of all expenses paid camping?

YMCA camp runs about $600/week here. Philmont will run you $600 for 10 days of backpacking. Ntiers is $450 for one week.

Our summer camp is around $180/week. I think its a bargain.

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What were you paying before? We've been above $200 a week for several years. This year we are also at $225 and registration is higher than it's been in a number of years.

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$225 a week is dirt cheap. No way a camp can pay for the full cost of the program on that price. I have a hard time imagining that "the council has doubled the price of summer camp this year" because this would mean that a week of scout camp cost $112.50 last year. Are you sure about that?

 

If it is really correct that last year the camp was charging 110-120/boy then maybe this helps explain the dramatic drop-off in enrollment. You get what you pay for and there is no way to run a decent program on that amount of money. Maybe people are voting with their feet this year because the camp ran a horrible program to try to cut costs last year.

 

Let's put things in perspective. We don't have a home council boy scout summer camp so our guys attend a different BSA camp every year. In recent memory they've been to BSA camps in MI, OH, IN, GA, NC, and (this year) NY. Not a single one of those was under $200. This year's camp in NY charges $325/boy. That doesn't even include the cost of travel to/from the camps that are further away.

 

Music camps, sports camps, Y camps, and church camps in our area cost $400-$700/week. Horse camps are even more expensive. Welcome to reality.

 

(This message has been edited by lisabob)

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We paid 280 for a camp in Northern California last year, and most in our troop thought it was a bargain. We're shelling out 340 for camp in the Southern Sierras this year. Emerald Bay (Catalina Island) is in our future, I'm told....which runs into the high 400's. 225 for a weeklong camp is just a dream for us.

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In Council price for our camp is $185 for regular programs and $210 for high adventure, $95 for leaders. A bargain for a full week of fun and adventure in the beautiful blue ridge mountains. The fee is higher for out of council troops: $210 for regular program, $240 for high adventure. I do know that we get a lot of out of council troops every summer, most from Florida. The Florida guys say they love it up in the mountains. It is always funny to watch their reaction when it rains. You can count the seconds before one of them says - wow, this rain is COLD!

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Ours are $225-295 this year depending on the activity focus. Higher for equestrian and high adventure. Four years ago they were $195-225 so there's been an upward trend.

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Ours is $210 regular program, $250 for COPE, and $285 for our high adventure program, and leaders are $75. Boys get a $25 and adults a $10 discount by paying in full by May 1.

 

I am not sure what the fee was last year, but the camp lost over $40,000. Council came around asking for donations to help make it up, I think I heard they got about $10,000

(This message has been edited by click23)

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The program at summer camp is awesome, but I seriously doubt that it takes doubling this years fees for what is being provided or not provided. All scouts provide their own tents, latrines for sanitation, cold water only for showers, and no electricity except in the mess hall and commissary. I guess since the fees for summer camp have not increased since I was a scout I just find it hard to believe that they could or would increase. The camp appears to have no overhead. And maybe other camps just blow this one out of the water as was suggested. Our troop has just never explored going to another one as an option. By the way this camp is definitely NOT high adventure.

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"The camp appears to have no overhead."

 

Salaries (Ranger, Camp Dir, Prog Dir, Staff)

Food and kitchen supplies

Supplies and equipment for program areas

Maintenance

Gas and maintenance for vehicles

Etc...

 

$225 is not out of line...

 

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add insurance to scoutldr's list. If they haven't increased fees since you were a scout (how long are we talking here?) then there is also a good chance that they've been coasting for a number of years with substantial operating deficits being picked up by other parts of the council budget. In a tough economic year, there might not be enough cushion in other parts of the budget to sustain this.

 

I'm curious, what camp is this?

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Does the camp have a swimming pool? Waterfront with canoes, rowboats, sailboats, kayaks and motorboats? A rifle range? Archery range? COPE course or climbing wall? Nature lodge? Do they send staffers to National Camping School? All that is overhead.

 

I'll grant you that not having heavy canvas wall tents - more than $500 a pop last time I checked - or hot water for showers would save some money. But when compared to the actual costs of camp (see related thread here http://www.scouter.com/forums/viewThread.asp?threadID=236924&p=1), $225 is fairly cheap.

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Our camp fees are also in the $225 range if you hit the early-bird registration date. They went up about 20% last year because the legislature in IL decided camp staff should make minimum wage. Not sure how the calculate that but regardless, there could be outside influences on the price. But $225, not bad. As others have mentioned, in our area it's a bargain compared to Y Camp, Church Camp, etc.

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We do the patrol method in camps. We bring our own food and prep in site. By doing this our local council knocked 25% off the cost of camp. This year we have selected an out-of-council that specializes in patrol method and offers the option of buying camp food or bringing your own for a substantial discount.

 

Just ask, it might be less expensive to go the patrol method. My boys voted unanimously this spring to go to a patrol method specialized camp (our council camp is not) and to plan their own menus and cook in-site. And it wasn't just to save a few bucks.

 

A few years back the boys decided to "summer camp" in BWCA. The cost of the trip with food and gas (500 miles away) was less than going to summer camp in council. We did not use an outfitter, we did patrol method there as well with the boys planning out the whole trip.

 

Stosh(This message has been edited by jblake47)

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Woodruff, where we are going this year, charges $250, which is only a few $$$ more than we have paid at other nearby camps in the Southern Appalachians in recent years.

This fee INCLUDES any high adventure program (except for the 5-rivers in 5-days whitewater program which is an additional $50); it also includes a river trip or horseback riding excersion for every scout attending. No extra fees for MBs, including Rifle, Shotgun and Motorboating. The only extra fees are for Leatherwork, Basketry and Woodcarving kits purchased at the store.

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