Summer rental costs will increase in 2022

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CNN Business

Prices are rising for everything from food and cars to petrol and clothes. Now families can add summer camps to the growing list.

About 26 million children nationwide are expected to be enrolled in camps this year after schools close in just a few weeks.

“Demand is extremely high for camps, as parents are desperate for their children to be out in nature with their peers and away from technological entities after two years of social distancing,” said Tom Rosenberg, president and CEO of the American Camp Association, a non-profit representing the summer camp industry.

As demand increases, parents should prepare to pay more to secure a campground for their child. Rosenberg said camp taxes are estimated to jump 10% to 15% this summer over 2021.

Some of this is demand-driven, he added. The summer camp industry, which consists of over 15,000 camps, was already running at full capacity on its way into the pandemic. By 2020, 82% of overnight camps and 60% of day camps did not work at all. The loss of business forced some camps to close down completely. Demand exceeds supply even more now, he said.

The second factor is rising inflation.

Just as households pay more for daily goods and services, camp operators said they incur more costs by having to pay more for camp supplies such as food, bus transport staff and insurance.

The pandemic has also added another expense category: On-premise Covid security and testing protocols.

Camp Creek Run is a 50-acre non-profit camp and nature reserve in Marlton, New Jersey that hosts summer day camps for children ages 4 to 12. The camp typically gets 200 campers a week.

“We are a small camp, so the demand is always great. But this year has certainly been different,” said Keara Giannotti, the camp’s CEO and director of Eco Studies. “Our seats were quickly filled. “Some of our age groups were filled up within two weeks of opening the registration, and that has never happened before.”

Camp operators say demand has risen this year and they are also paying more for supplies, transport and staff costs.

The camp currently has a waiting list for each week and each age group this year. “We had to close the registration a few weeks ago, which we have never done before, [and] we have canceled a couple of open houses, ”she said.

Although campers are not getting food, Giannotti said costs have risen in other areas, such as supplies, insurance and wages. Advisors demand higher wages in a tight labor market.

Camp Creek Run fees are $ 330 per week this summer compared to $ 300 in 2019.

Camp Tawonga, a non-profit 97-year-old Jewish summer camp set on 160 acres in the Stanislaus National Forest outside Yosemite National Park, offers year-round summer camps and programs.

Its most popular summer camp programs, which run from five days to three weeks, are full, said Casey Cohen, the camp’s senior communications director.

“These programs were filled up as early as the end of November last year for the summer of 2022, and the camp opened waiting lists,” she said.

Fees for its programs are also higher: In 2019, a two-week session at the camp cost $ 4,065. By 2022, the same program will cost $ 4,850, Cohen said.

Camp Tawonga CEO Jamie Simon said virtually all expenses are higher, increasing the cost of running the overall operation.

“As our fees increase, we try to balance this increase with expanded opportunities for financial assistance,” Simon said. “We want to ensure that people can participate in Tawonga programs regardless of their financial situation. To that end, we are giving away over $ 750,000 a year in financial assistance.”

Not all families can afford to pay for summer camp. The Salvation Army is one of several organizations offering free camps.

The organization runs 43 dormitories and hundreds of day camps nationwide for 6- to 17-year-olds, according to the Salvation Army Commissioner Kenneth Hodder.

Parents are expected to pay 10% to 15% more this summer for camps, according to the American Camp Association.  Pictured here is Camp Tawonga in the Stanislaus National Forest outside Yosemite National Park.

“These camps are crucial for families. Parents right now are stressed at every step. As schools are closing, many do not have the opportunity to do their work remotely and have to be at their daily jobs,” he said.

Hodder said demand has risen this year.

“80% of our campers do not pay for the experience we provide, such as learning a new skill such as swimming or archery or a craft. We also give our campers three meals a day. Many of them do not get it at home,” he said. .

The Salvation Army relies on public donations to fund its week-long summer camps, which Hodder estimates cost about $ 400 a week. “With inflation, it will cost significantly more this year, but those costs vary from place to place,” he said.

Hodder hopes public donations will continue to help offset the higher costs of running the camps.

“I worked at summer camps for eight summers. I was a dishwasher and camp counselor. And I even met my wife at camp, ”Hodder said. “These camps are essential for children, and families need to know they have an opportunity for their child.”

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