Price Watch: Summer Camp

“Choosing a camp is kind of like pricing a car,” says Gordie Kaplan, executive director of the American Camp Association, Illinois. “There are a lot of factors to consider.” No kidding. With 12,000 day and sleepover camps in the U.S., there are plenty of choices to suit just about every kid’s particular interests, whether they include aviation, skateboarding, or lefty politics. Here is a sampling of some specialty day camps around Chicago.


FOR
CAMP
WHERE
COST
ACTIVITIES
THE ACROBAT

Evanston

$780/four-week session

Acrobatics, trapeze flying, tightrope and stilt walking, juggling
THE COMPUTER GEEK

Cybercamps

Chicago, River Forest, or Lisle

$599/week

Computer programming, robotics, Web and game design
THE SPORTS FAN

Skokie

$450/day camp five-day session

Write and produce sports news and learn play-by-play broadcasting skills

THE ACTOR

Emerald City Theatre Summer Camp

Chicago

$375/two-week session

Theatre games, improvisation, vocal work, performance
THE LINGUIST

Chicago

$345/week

Spanish language instruction through crafts, games, and activities
THE COMEDIAN
Chicago
$335–$365/two-week session
Improvisation and sketch comedy writing
THE ROCK STAR
Des Plaines

$540/week; $2,010/four-week session

Write lyrics, learn guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, or vocals, and perform

THE ARTIST
Chicago

$722.50/four-week session (half day); $1,445/four-week session (all day)

Drawing, painting, dance, and performance projects

  

HOW WE COMPARE

While summer camp fees vary, the average weekly fee nationwide for overnight camps ranges from $325 to $780, and the average day camp fee runs $100 to $275 per week, but can be as low as $75. Full-season camps of seven to nine weeks cost around $3,000 to $9,000.

Average weekly fee for all ACA-accredited overnight camps, by U.S. region:

New England
$620
Middle Atlantic
$420
Midwest
$420
South
$400
West
$370


Average weekly fee for an ACA-accredited overnight camp offering nonreligious, traditional camp programs (nature activities, swimming, arts and crafts, etc.), by state:

Wisconsin
$504
Illinois
$447
Michigan
$443
Indiana
$438


Sources: American Camp Association and National Camp Association

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