Stuff Kids Want: Summer Camp

This is the final installment in our Stuff Kids Want series. So far we’ve discussed kids wanting cell phones, clothes, sports equipment, and platitude-dispensing-parents. This week we are going to talk about one of the most sought-after experiences of childhood: Summer Camp. A quick Google search on the benefits of Summer Camp delivers an impressive number of results. Thanks in part to the variety of camps available today, there seem to be endless ways in which a week or more away from home can broaden a child’s perspective on themselves, the world and their families. Even local camps, that don’t offer sleeping-away but more engagement in a particular activity, can give kids a fresh view on their strengths, the merits of their peers, or what they might like to do next. So what’s the big reason kids don’t attend summer camp? You guessed it, cost.

Sleep-away camps on average cost $500 a week or more, and that’s before you’ve bought any necessary equipment, or made travel arrangements. Even day-camp can be pricey and often comes with the added complication of getting kids to and from a somewhat distant daily destination. Multiply those factors by two or more children for two or more weeks and it gets easy to see how Summer Camp can be a burden for families, despite the compelling benefits, as outlined in this Psychology Today article.

Sheepish about forwarding completed Gift Surveys to your extended family members requesting something as expensive as Summer Camp? Don’t be. You are respecting their time and money. Remember, it can take as much or more time and money to buy an unwanted gift, as one that will be cherished.

We have seen kids use Gift Surveys to graciously ask extended family members to help collectively fund the cost of Summer Camp to great effect. Every grandparent, aunt and uncle we spoke to when we piloted Gifting Sense said they would far rather put their hard-earned gift-dollars towards something they knew their grandchild, niece or nephew would really (use and) appreciate versus books that are never read, gloves that are never worn, tickets that are never used… The trick for so many people is to know exactly what the kids in their life really want. If you live far away from your adult siblings and parents, it is particularly difficult for them to know that their nieces, nephews or grandkids would just love to go to coding, horseback-riding, music, rock-climbing, waterskiing, art or volleyball camp.

Ask your kids to complete Gift Surveys when their birthday or a holiday is approaching. Remind them that they can ask for experiences when they are completing our free safe mobile surveys, not just things. And be armed with well-thought-out answers to the question “What would Kelly like this year?” when your Mother asks.

Gift Surveys help you teach your children how to plan forward, research if a request makes sense and graciously ask for the right gift. They help kids understand the true value of their requests; that some things are just too expensive to receive from one person. Our process was also designed to help people stop contributing to the massive pile of unwanted gifts that enter landfills every year.

But more than anything, Gifting Sense was created to deliver quick but meaningful lessons on how to spend wisely at exactly the moments kids are the most open to receiving them: When they are asking for something. So if you know your kids would love to go to camp this summer but aren’t sure how to pay for it , click on the green button below and learn how we might be able to help.

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