The price tag for summer camps can cause sticker shock to many families. There are, however, options for getting financial assistance for families who qualify. A good place to start would be your local YMCA or a similar organization such as your church or synagogue. Many times these organizations run summer camps and have financial assistance programs for families in need. Additionally, the organizers of the camp are typically very accommodating to individuals with special needs and work very hard to make sure everyone one is included. They are also usually open to having a trained aid attend (or have one of their volunteers be trained) to help your child be successful.
Another option is to contact your local service organizations because they often offer scholarships for individuals to attend camp. These organizations include Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary Clubs, etc.
Finally, if you find a camp you like don’t be afraid to ask if they have financial assistance available. Autism Speaks listed 4 key questions to help guide you in finding ways to make summer camp affordable:
- What sources of funding do they have for camper financial aid?
- What financial information do they require?
- Are there partial scholarships available?
- How many campers are served by a scholarship funds?
The thing to remember is that starting early (i.e. after this season’s summer camps end) is likely to get you the help you need to send you child to camp. If you qualify for assistance, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to find funding for them to go. Keep asking and you’ll find the help you’re seeking.
Best of Luck and Happy Camping!