Invest in Your Child's Future

You can afford summer camp, and you should


As a single mother raising two kids, Judy Hillmer’s friends used to ask her why she made personal sacrifices to set aside the $6,300 to send her children to The Hollows Camp for six weeks each summer.

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"I knew I was making a lifelong investment in them becoming their best selves. They bonded with a whole community at camp. They got to experience the wilderness and looked forward to going every year," says Hillmer. "Once they started going, I would have gone without eating all summer, rather than not send them to camp."

Their many summers at the small horseback riding camp north of Toronto—first as campers and then as counsellors— was a defining experience that shaped the adults her daughter Lindsay, 23, and her son Zachary, 21, have become. Lindsay, who used to plan nightly events at camp, ended up studying to become an event planner.

Hillmer believes her children sailed through their teenage years with ease due to their strong camp connections. They also made deep and lasting friendships with people from around the world.

"Camp is not a one-year investment. It is a long-term investment you make in your children,” she says. “Now I have two great kids."

A camp for every budget

Costs vary greatly. While a community day experience can run a few hundred dollars, the price of a residential or specialty camp can be closer to $1,000. Here are some points to consider when crunching the numbers:

  • Save money to put into a camp fund on a monthly basis.
  • Some camps allow you to make installment payments.
  • Fees may qualify for the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit. Visit the Canada Revenue Agency’s website for details.
  • Check if fees are comparable to daycare costs. In many cases, they are less.
  • Tailor the cost to your budget by changing the length of your stay at a summer camp. You may not be able to afford three weeks at your preferred camp, but the same experience may be within your means for one week.
  • We offer the Our Kids Children's Fund to help families in need.

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