Sunday, June 28, 2009
What Makes Anokijig So Affordable?
We realize parents consider many factors when selecting summer activities and summer camps for their children. Given the current state of our economy, cost is at the top of the list for many parents who choose Anokijig. As a result, Anokijig has not only built a reputation as one of the most affordable summer camps in Wisconsin, but in the entire Midwest and beyond! That might be part of the reason why campers from 23 different states and seven foreign countries chose Anokijig last year.
There are many reasons why we have been able to keep our costs down, but the biggest is the tremendous support we receive from our volunteers. Last year, volunteers at Anokijig spent more than 52,000 hours helping us keep things runnning smoothly. That's the equivalent of approximately 25 full-time employees! These volunteers range from teenaged- junior staff members, to service organizations and adult volunteers and alumni.
Anokijig has been around since 1926, but we also draw on the extensive camping experience of our current staff. Our Executive Director, Program Director & Waterfront Director have more than 100 combined years of experience in camping! That vast experience helps us avoid costly mistakes and focus on what's really important in camping. These are not seasonal jobs either. Anokijig has nine full-time employees, whose only jobs are to create the best possible camping experience.
ABC news recently ran a story about summer camps being a recession-proof industry. We're not sure if that's entirely accurate, but we do know many camps that once required minimum stays of four weeks or longer are now offering shorter sessions. We've known for years that the summer months can be a challenging time of year for families to schedule activities. As a result, we've been offering flexible, three-day Mini Camp options for our campers for several years now and at just $320, that price is tough to beat.
One of the best bargains at Anokijig might be our Ranch Program. At just $565, this program is just $55 more than our regular Resident Camp program. The reason we're able to offer this program at such a reasonable price, is because the entire program is on-site. Our herd numbers between 50-60 horses and we farm approximately 80 acres of hay, producing about 7,750 bales per year. We're blessed to have the land and facilties that allow us to keep our ranch costs low, but having an on-site ranch program means more than just a short walk from Western Lodge for our campers. It means campers can spend more time on and around our horses.
Even though Anokijig feels like it is a world away from our everyday life, it is actually a very convenient drive for most of our campers. We're just 2.5 hours from Chicago, 1.5 hours from Madison and one hour from Milwaukee and Green Bay. That means many families taking their children to Anokijig aren't spending a full day's drive and a couple of tanks of gas just to get to Anokijig and back. We also offer a very reasonably-priced bus service to ten different locations around Wisconsin and Illinois.
We've done our best to provide an outstanding camping experience at a very affordable price, but we know many families need additional help and we have several different programs available to help those families. You can read more about them by following this link- http://anokijig.com/scholar.htm#finanacial
While Anokijig is physically larger than many other camps in terms of the size of our facility and our enrollment, we match that size with our full-time and seasonal staff, which keeps our camper to staff ratio at less than 4:1. Anokijig may seem like the perfect combination of a quality camping experience at an affordable price, but this hasn't all happened overnight. We've been working at perfecting the summer camp experience for more than 80 years and we're not done yet!