Making Camp Costs Work For Your Family

The benefits of camp for a youngster, particularly for many of the campers that we work with at Camp Kodiak, are numerous and clear. However we know that the cost of camp can be an obstacle for some families, and so we wanted to share some strategies that have worked for some families in the past.
A helpful tip from these families is to not just rely on one source for funding. Often a combination of the strategies below creates the most success!

Community Events

We have a few families that host events in the community to help raise some funds to cover the cost of camp. Quite often groups like the locals Lion’s Club or Rotary Club are happy to help by providing a facility for an event like this. It could be a spaghetti night, a rummage sale, a car wash – communities have shown that they are very willing to help out a family who is looking to send a child to camp.

School Connections

If you aren’t sure where to start when looking for some funding resources, your child’s school is likely a great place to start. Often school administrators or social workers are connected with sources for funding.

Camping Associations

There are many organizations that work specifically with families to help them afford summer camp. In Canada, the OCA (Ontario Camps Association) and the CCA (Canadian Camping Association), and in the United States the ACA (American Camps Association) are more than happy to provide some resources for families looking for funding assistance. Give them a call today!

Charitable Organizations

There are resources that are related to particular diagnoses – those with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) or LD (Learning Disabilities) for example. The best advice that I can share regarding these organizations is to try to connect with them over the phone. Their staff are often very friendly and able to guide families towards how to best secure funding from their organization. I would also suggest contacting them in the fall or early winter, as they often allocate their funding early in the new year.

Experiential Gifts

Have family and friends give the gift of camp! Many campers have had birthday or holiday gifts be contributions to a camp experience instead of material items.

Social Fundraising

Over the last several years several websites have become very popular for social fundraising. Some of these websites are:

  • GoFundMe
  • Fundly
  • Indiegogo

There are also alternatives to these sites that can be found online. The principle here is that a family can start a page for their camper, and then share the link with family and friends on social media. The platforms will then facilitate the donation process.

Sourcing funding for a camp experience can be a lengthy and often arduous process, but the investment in your camper will be so rewarding!

About the Author

Ilana Stoch

Ilana has worked at Camp Kodiak since it began in 1991, and is now the year-round Camp Director. Before working as a Director full-time, Ilana worked with the Peel District School Board for 14 years as a classroom teacher, a special education and ESL resource teacher, and guidance counsellor.