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Expense & Homesicknessby Maya Cohen
Thinking about sending your kids to overnight summer camp, but unsure of what to expect? We dispel common myths about camp, so you can confidently send your children packing this summer. For many children, summer camp activities are the most fun they'll have all year!
1. Camp is for the children of wealthy parents; I can't afford it.
Actually, there are a number of financial options for kids who wish to attend overnight summer camp. Scholarships and discounts for families that qualify are typically offered by private camps, and numerous nonprofit organizations exist to provide all children with an opportunity to spend some time at summer camp. The U.S. government also cushions the cost with certain financial and tax benefits for day-camp attendees. Also, tuition varies drastically from camp to camp. Don't assume that expensive camps are better! Keep in mind that you are searching for a place that will suit your child and provide him with a fantastic camp experience. You don't need to have deep pockets to make your kid's summer.
2. My child gets homesick easily, so he should attend a sleepaway camp that is close to home.
It is important to find the right camp for your child, but location should not factor in. Camp is a microcosm; your child enters an entirely new world – jam-packed with exciting summer activities – that seems to exist independent of the external world. A camper should be immersed in the camp environment, not thinking constantly of home and the distance between the two. Also, proximity is essentially irrelevant, because camps do not typically allow parents to visit except on designated days – parents are not allowed to drop by when they choose. Make sure you choose a camp with the right priorities in mind, and leave concerns about distance at home.