July 4, 2014 5:22 pm

High costs, low availability are two common misconceptions about summer camp

TORONTO – Summer camps are often seen as too expensive or too crowded for many parents who try and find a space for their kid.

But officials say the price and availability is an all too common misconception.

Gillian Weintraub’s home is unusually quiet this summer -both boys are at camp.

“It’s the independence. They learn so much about how to take care of themselves,” Gillian Weintraub said. “There’s some freedom at camp too.”

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Camp comes with a cost: Weintraub says camp for her two kids is costing her about $1,000 a week for the overnight camp.

But the cost is well worth it, she said.

“I think I’d have a hard time filling every single day with an activity for the kids and you want to do something, it’s summer,” she said.

Day and overnight camp sessions are already in full swing across the province. Camp Ki-Wa-Y, near Kitchener runs both a day and overnight camp and costs about $200 a week and the overnight camp is just over $500.

Camp director Caitie Wright says no matter what type of camp a person is looking, all children attending leave with the same feeling – that camp is where they belong.

“They get to challenge themselves in new activities such as high ropes and archery and learn new skills,” Wright said. “It’s such a fun place to grow and spend your summer.”

The Ontario Camps Association (OCA) says high costs and lack of spaces are the biggest misconceptions around summer camps.

Heather Heagle, the executive director of the OCA says there is a camp for everyone regardless of income or the child’s needs.

“Our camp rates right now are $300 a week to $1,500 or more a week and we will help you find that camp of your choice and help fit your budget,” Heagle said.

The OCA website has a tool to make choosing a camp easier for parents. You pick your needs and your budget and the tool will find all of the available spots.

Heagle says a lot of camps also offer subsidies but she said the parents are responsible for researching those options.

“There is a camp out there for everybody, you just have to give us a call or talk to people in your neighbourhood find out what camp they have gone too,” she says.

The Ontario Camps Association says July is the busiest time for camps.

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