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Summer camps being hit by inflation

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

The school year is coming to an end with children hanging up their backpacks and parents looking for summer programs to keep their children busy during the break.

About 26 million children nation wide are expected to be enrolled in camps this year, according to CNN.

And inflation is driving up prices of summer camp programs.

According to the American Camp Association, camp fees are estimated to jump 10% to 15% this summer over 2021. The organization says the average cost of day camp has more than doubled to $178 per day this year camped to $76 last year. It also says that sleepaway camp has nearly tripled to $449 per day.

Parent, Caroline Dohack says she is already prepared with a summer care plan for her children but she says one of her kids is going to summer camp for one week that cost about $250.

"The plan is that my two will go to summer school in June, in July my son has one week of Camp Advention and beyond that my plan is to work from home." Dohack says.

Before the pandemic, there were more than 15,000 summer camps that were operating at fully capacity. During the first summer of the pandemic in 2020, 82% of overnight camps and 60% of day camps weren't operating. That led to the loss of business and camps completely shutting down. But now, demand is outweighing supply and inflation is playing a role too.

Households are paying more for everyday essentials and camps are having to pay more for supplies such as transportation, food and insurance.

The City of Columbia is offering financial help for its city run summer camps. To qualify children must be between the ages of 2 and 17 years old, you must be a resident of Columbia and provide documentation of all forms of income.

Classes end later this month at most schools. The last day of school will be May 26 in Columbia Public Schools and the Jefferson City School District.

Erika McGuire

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