Friday, July 3, 2009

Paying for Camp

Jenny Wolkowitz recently wrote a story for Tips on Trips and Camps on paying for summer camp. You can read the entire piece here-

We'd like to take a look at some of the points she raised in her story and how Camp Anokijig fits into the picture she paints. First, she points out that for parents, who went to a camp as children, the idea of sending their own kids to camp makes a lot of sense. It is an amazing experience and one that many former Anokijig campers will claim is well worth it. However, as Wolkowitz points out, finding the "right fit" is very important.

As much as we'd like to say Camp Anokijig is the best summer camp for every child, that probably isn't the case. While we have a broad range of offerings, there are many camps that offer activities that we do not. As a general rule of thumb, we like to say that anything you can do at home, you probably can't do at Anokijig and anything you do at Anokijig, you probably can't do at home. That means kids who want to play a lot of traditional sports at camp, like soccer, baseball, football or basketball would probably have more fun at a sports-specific camp that offers those activities. However, if a child would like to try windsurfing, horseback riding or archery, Anokijig is probably a good choice.

Wolkowitz also points out that there are two types of camps- agency camps and private camps. She also claims there is a pretty big price differential between the two, with camps subsidized by organizations like the YMCA or JCC being far more affordable than private camps. Anokijig may be unique in this regard. Although we were once a YMCA-affiliated camp, we are now what Wolkowitz would consider a "private camp."

Wolkowitz claims that campers at private camps must pay for all the costs of running a camp. That means most campers can expect to pay between $750-$1,000 per week for a a private camp in the Midwest, while agency camps in this part of the country typically charge between $500-$650 per week. Fortunately for our campers, Anokijig is at the low end of Wolkowitz's cost scale for subsidized camps at just $510 per week.

She also points out that camps in Missouri and Southern Illinois might be a little cheaper than those in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, because they don't offer extensive water sports, like sailing and waterskiing. While we no longer offer waterskiing at Anokijig, we offer just about everything else on the water, from fishing, kayaking and canoeing to sailing and windsurfing. She also points out that camps in the Midwest are traditionally less-expensive, than East or West Coast camps. Based on her description of these camps, it sounds like Anokijig offers the best of both worlds- the ammenities and offerings of a typical private camp, for the price of a subsidized, agency camp.

Extra/hidden costs were another point of emphasis in this article that is worth mentioning. The only fee-based activities for Anokijig campers are horseback rides and some arts & crafts projects. None of our waterfront activities carry any additional fees, nor do our pellet gun or archery range or any other program areas. We do offer day trips and adventure trips for an additional fee, but if a child just wants to hang out at Anokijig all week (and most do), they can take a horseback ride or two, make some cool arts & crafts projects, grab a few snacks at the trading post and mom and dad will still not spend more than $550 for the entire experience.

Finally, Wolkowitz talks about scholarships (we call them camperships) and other ways to make a camping experience more affordable. Like many other camps, Anokijig offers a variety of options for families looking to make the Anokijig camping experience even more affordable. You can read more about those opportunities by following this link-

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