Holding off on signing up for camp? Think twice before waiting too long or the day camp of your choice could be sold out
Many parents are taking a "wait and see" approach to signing up for summer camp due to the Covid-19 public health situation.
Even though it's only March and summer is still several months away, some families are wondering if camps will even be operating. Other parents are feeling uncomfortable at the very thought of sending their kids to camp since most camps take place in close community settings. Moreover, kids attending sleepaway camps often need to fly or otherwise travel some distance from home, and the prospect of traveling right now is not a very comforting one (if it isn't outright banned).
We understand and sympathize with these feelings. However, we also caution parents to think twice before casting the idea of summer camp aside. Doing so could cost you the opportunity of finding space for your child at camp in the long run. Here's why.
Most families we know have already cancelled their summer vacation and travel plans deciding to stay close to home instead. Add to that the number of families foregoing overnight camp this summer, and the ripple effect of all this could be that most local day camps will be sold out. There just won't be enough space to accommodate all the kids who want to attend.
The self-quarantine and school cancellations are giving everyone a taste of how difficult it is when active kids are stuck at home with nothing to do. By the time summer gets here they'll be climbing the walls needing activity and stimulation. But you still want them close to home just in case, right? Plus, many parents will need to increase their work hours to compensate for missed days. This adds up to an increased demand for day camp programs.
We anticipate all these families will turn try to sign up for day camps all at once, probably in May or June when Covid-19 has hopefully leveled and begun to decrease. At that point, parents will be faced with the prospect of incredible competition to find available space in camps already filled to the brim.
No one wants to find themselves on a wait list or, perhaps worse, have to send their kids to a camp that may be their second or third choice. That means it's best to reserve your space now at your favorite day camp now to cover your bets later. Most camps have very reasonable refund policies given today's unfortunate coronavirus environment, so if you sign up for camp now but change your mind later, you'll likely get your money back.
By signing up for day camp now, you can wait out the coronvirus situation with confidence knowing you're child is safely signed up for the program of your choice. Let everyone else fight over the few remaining spots at camp when all of this blows over.
Blog posts by Cora Carter of L.A. Summer Camps.com