Can a Summer Camp for Kids Really Be Worth the $16,000 Price Tag?

Can a Summer Camp for Kids Really Be Worth the $16,000 Price Tag?

Summer-Camp_Featured-715x330Every year, 11 million American children and adults head to one of the many camps in the United States. Typically, summer camps are broken down into different disciplines. For instance, if you’re interested in outdoor survival schools and camaraderie, you might head to one of the camps put on by the Boy Scouts of America. If computers are more your thing, you’d likely head to a less traditional summer camp, where you can learn to code, build websites, and the like. At most, these camps generally come with a price tag in the hundreds to the low thousands.

Over the last few years, a new white collar class of summer camp has started to grow. Take the Tyler Hill Camp in rural Pennsylvania, for example. According to a report from CNN Money, parents can expect to pay up to $12,000 for tuition, $2,500 for uniforms, and $1,550 to attend the camp’s visitors’ day. When all is said and done, that equals a price tag of more than $16,000 — to attend a summer camp.

Not Your Grandpa’s Summer Camp
It’s worth noting that in many ways these summer camps are no different from those our grandparents went to as children. Kids are still getting outside, learning to swim, fish, and drive the occasional Ski-Doo. However, you’d be hard pressed to find a grandparent who remembers their camp offering martial arts classes, tutoring in art and design, yoga, and cooking lessons — that’s to say nothing about the branded apparel stores built onsite using tuition funds. Taken together, these additions are worth many thousands more per student.

Summer Camps Extremely Beneficial to Socialization, Education
Summer camps, whether you’re talking about the traditional versions or the new bourgeois iterations, are undoubtedly beneficial to the development of children, mostly because they push them to try new things and expand their horizons. According to the American Camp Association, 74% of campers report getting out of their comfort zones and trying something new at their summer camp.

Even so, a seven week program that comes in at the same cost as a year of college isn’t exactly accessible to most parents. Even those with the means may shirk off the idea of these camps as a matter of principle. Regardless, the demand for stratified summer camps, like Tyler Hill, speaks for itself.

What about you? Do you think these summer camps are worth the staggering price? Tell us why or why not in the comment section below.

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