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How does one afford to go to Summer Camp, especially when its gonna be the family?

Troop has picked a summer camp in Colorado that is gonna be $400 per Scout, plus getting there and back.  (To and from Texas).

$400 for camp.  Whatever MB cost once there.  Travel - Food - Lodging to get there and home.  I am seeing $600 per Scout.

I have my son and daughter.  Boy is 11 and just crossing over.  Daughter is 2nd Class.  So, they are both going.

Need female leadership, so she has to go.  I might as well go as well because you know because I am a Leader.  Camp fee for adult is less than Scouts, but still not free.

So....  looking at $2,000 to go to Scout camp.  They have some fundraising money to pay for part, but not near enough to clear $600 each.

 

I looked at a local council camp at the maverick program and its still almost $400 for the week,

 

Geez....

Edit....

$395 per Scout - $325 per Adult

Edited by 5thGenTexan
added accurate prices
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I know this has been debated before, but our Troop does not charge adult leaders to attend summer camp.  We bump up the charge for all scouts to cover the extra costs (such as adult fees).  Note that many summer camps allow a few free leaders as well. 
 

Otherwise, does your troop use scout accounts?  That is one way many scouts help cover their cost of camp.  They fundraise and some percent goes to their account.

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2 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

I know this has been debated before, but our Troop does not charge adult leaders to attend summer camp.  We bump up the charge for all scouts to cover the extra costs (such as adult fees).  Note that many summer camps allow a few free leaders as well. 
 

Otherwise, does your troop use scout accounts?  That is one way many scouts help cover their cost of camp.  They fundraise and some percent goes to their account.

My two Scouts are not going to raise that much in the next few months.  Just not enough time or opportunity.   And no, the Troop isnt going to pay for our fee to go to camp.  That's out of my pocket.

 

 

 

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Our troop pays for its leaders to attend.  We get three free for participating in things like FOS, having a certain number of scouts attend, etc.  The $400 sounds steep but maybe OK, tacking on $200 for extra travel really puts it into expensive territory.  if your troop isn't doing some serious --- and lucrative --- fundraising to defray costs for the scouts and subsidize leaders I don't know what they're thinking.

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4 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

Our troop pays for its leaders to attend.  We get three free for participating in things like FOS, having a certain number of scouts attend, etc.  The $400 sounds steep but maybe OK, tacking on $200 for extra travel really puts it into expensive territory.  if your troop isn't doing some serious --- and lucrative --- fundraising to defray costs for the scouts and subsidize leaders I don't know what they're thinking.

The planned camp is not a Council camp, so I dont think there is anything free for FOS.  

Our Council camp is $345 per Scout.  

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Our summer camp with early sign up discount was about $450. We were required to send three adults for the week. Since no one can take off that much time from work, every parent of every scout attending had to volunteer for at least a 24 hour shift, which we could do as the camp was less than 2 hours away. Our unit actively fundraised all year long but the only part of those funds that went towards summer camp was to pay for swim tests.  It is pricey. We did get a multiple sibling discount though. Ask if your camp offers that. 

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This is 757 miles away.  :)  

Sending my kids to Scout camp and see ya next week won't work.  I don't trust anyone well enough to not go.  That's where it really gets pricey and hits hard.  

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5 minutes ago, 5thGenTexan said:

This is 757 miles away.  :)  

Sending my kids to Scout camp and see ya next week won't work.  I don't trust anyone well enough to not go.  That's where it really gets pricey and hits hard.  

I agree. I wouldn't send my kids to scout camp without a parent also attending. Why did your unit pick such a distant location?  Was there no discussion about cost and convenience? 

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Sympathy.  For years, our family spent a lot on camps; exactly as you described.  Sometimes four active scouts over three scouting units.  

Long term ... Those most motivated often can make the biggest difference. ... Volunteer to step up as a fundraising volunteer.  ...  I've seen scouts earn thousands each year to afford scouting.  

  • If this was August, I'd suggest Christmas wreaths and garlands.  You can often earn 50% profit and they sell really well.  
  • Other times of the year, popcorn.  

Sadly, "staffed" scouting isn't cheap.  I was always thankful when we camped on private property or group camp sites.  Those were affordable.  Even then, $15 each for food plus gas plus spending money.    A cheap weekend of scout camping was easily $100 for our family.

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21 minutes ago, yknot said:

I agree. I wouldn't send my kids to scout camp without a parent also attending. Why did your unit pick such a distant location?  Was there no discussion about cost and convenience? 

The choices were this camp. (Camp Alexander) or camp in Minnesota.  I think it's a matter of adults who have no trouble affording "whatever" and don't ever think it might be hard for some people.

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Those prices sound fairly standard...

Some suggestions:

1.  Check that camp's Adult Leaders Guide.  There is often a free adult per xx Scouts provision.   If they have that, lobby hard with the Troop to use that to reduce your expenses.  If they push back, then,

2.  Go to camp locally with your kids as part of a Provisional Troop (is that the Maverick program you were talking about??), with you "volunteering" as the Provisional Troop Leadership.  If both you and your spouse go the same week, then the camp can offer that week for girls provisional, so it's an advantage for the camp.  Camps should give the Provisional Adults the week for free.  If they don't, I'd talk with the Camp Director and see what they can do.  If there is a sibling discount locally, that'd be even better.  I know you'd rather be with your Troop, but finances may drive you to this...

3.  Consider a family Scout camp.  You and your family find your own place to camp, and you and your spouse act as merit badge counselors.  You are a patrol of four.  Have your kids make the menus, and do the cooking, and both could earn most of Cooking Merit Badge in the week.  Not even near the ideal, but they'll get a whole lot out of it.  And you will learn a ton!!

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27 minutes ago, 5thGenTexan said:

This is 757 miles away.  :)  

Sending my kids to Scout camp and see ya next week won't work.  I don't trust anyone well enough to not go.  That's where it really gets pricey and hits hard.  

It's a hard balance:  protecting your kids, but encouraging independence and adventure. ... It's one reason I volunteered as a leader.  I could be in the background for my kids and at the same time encouraging their own adventures.  

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Yep, every year we see sticker shock discussed and screamed about relating to the cost of summer camp.  Compare it to most other group type camps and it is a bargain.  If you took the family to an amusement park for one day you would pay close to half that amount.  Still, these things are planning issues and should be on the calendar a year out for approximate costs.  And scouts are better off actually earning part, or all of their camp cost.  It is part of a good program, learning to pay your way.  My experience is that scouts that have contributed to their camp cost directly generally enjoy more for some reason.  Still, some families can be priced out of high end camps.  Here in So Cal, going to Catalina is truly expensive; yet two camps are there and always full.  It is always a challenge to prioritize things, and find ways to meet challenges.  Most parents know already in our area that summer camp is always going to be at least around $500 with spending money and incidentals.  On the other hand, how much will you not spend to feed the youth while home, or to allow them local entertainments like movies or museums, not even considering the  high cost parks?  Pick and choose, and decide what is best or the most bang for the buck.    Just an opinion of course.  We struggle every year to fund our low income members to camp, but we get them there if possible, and they grow from the experience.

 

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Wow, just looked through Camp Alexanders Guide for last year....no leader discounts...

Compare to Ten Mile River in New York...see page 14 of the pdf...(numbered page 6 in the footer)...we took 32 Scouts to camp last year...all 7 adults were free.  (Additional adults $230 for the week)

https://tenmileriver.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2021/04/2021-TMR-Complete-Leaders-Guide.pdf 

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