In a perfect world, every child who attends camp would absolutely love it and every camper would be a "happy camper." But every summer, parents everywhere may hear their child say the words no parent wants to hear: "I don't like camp and I don't want to go back".
Unfortunately camp is not a one-size-fits-all experience. Every child has different tastes, and a particular camp experience just might not be a good fit for YOUR individual camper. Even campers who are returning to a program they loved in previous summers may find they just aren't enjoying camp as much as they used to.
For this reason, we always suggest parents have a clear understanding every camp's refund policy before signing up. With so many great summer camp programs in Los Angeles, odds are good you'll find a program your child will enjoy very much.
However, as you well know, camp can be expensive.
And, on the-off chance your camper isn't enjoying the experience, you don't want to be stuck in a situation where you'll be out your tuition money if you decide to withdraw.
Every camp you are considering for your child should have a written refund policy, either on their website, in their promotional materials or on the actual camp application. We highly advise familiarizing yourself with the camp's refund policy prior to registering your child to avoid any misunderstandings or financial pain later. A quick conversation with the camp director and a careful review of the camp's registration and refund policies in advance will go a long way later.
Summer Camp Refund Policies Vary Widely
You might be surprised how widely various L.A. summer camps vary in their refund policies. Some are very strict, offering absolutely no refunds whatsoever .
For instance, Fitness by the Sea, a local beach day camp, indicates on its website there are no refunds given once camp starts for any reason. Star Summer Camp seems to have a similar refund policy.
Cali Camp has a unique refund policy for first-time campers. If your child is a first time camper and doesn't enjoy camp after the first day, they will refund your tuition for the unused days less a $50 fee.
Aloha Beach Camp offers a complete refund for campers who may not enjoy camp. If your child doesn't love camp after their first two days, you are eligible for a complete refund.
As you can see, the various refund policies for L.A. summer camps run the gamut. You don't want to simply pay your money and take your chances. Instead, we advise spending a few minutes researching each refund policy for all the different camps you might be considering. This will help you make a wise financial decision just in case the program you choose ends up not being a good match for your child.
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Blog posts by Cora Carter of L.A. Summer Camps.com