Ask a Camp Director

Is Summer Camp Worth the Investment?

Mountain biking.

ave you ever been hit with the classic lines from your kids during summer break? “Mom, can I have $20 for dinner?” or “Dad, can you drive me and my friends to the movies?” Ah, the joys of keeping the kids entertained during the summer months. Let’s face it: between childcare costs, entertainment expenses, and the endless hours spent coordinating activities, the financial and emotional toll can add up fast.

The Price of Staying Home

According to a CNBC study, families spend an average of over $3,000 on childcare alone during the summer months. When you factor in entertainment, where families shell out around $2,695; eating out, which averages about $1,100; special outings, which can cost around $770; and vacations, with expenses totaling approximately $2,232, that summer budget can quickly add up. In fact, 52% of families end up spending more than they’re expecting to during the summer, with families in Colorado, on average, allocating 25% of their income to summer activities and care for their kids. And let’s not overlook the time and energy invested in ensuring they have daily plans while you are still at work – from checking their location to coordinating with other parents.

But as we gear up for another exciting summer at Cheley, let’s delve into something often on parents’ minds: the financial aspect of camp. Admittedly, camps like Cheley have a price tag – our 27-day program costs over $7,000. It’s a significant investment, and we understand the weight of that decision. That’s why we want to explore what makes it worthwhile.

Why Summer Camp is Worth Every Penny

At Cheley, our 27-day session is packed with enriching activities that foster personal growth, leadership skills, and lifelong friendships. From horseback riding to hiking, backpacking to climbing, archery to crafts, we offer many experiences you won’t find anywhere else. But it’s not just about the activities – it’s about the intangible benefits that a summer at Cheley provides. Studies have shown that summer camp can profoundly impact children’s social and emotional development, helping them build confidence, resilience, and independence. In fact, according to the American Camp Association, campers who attend overnight camp are more likely to demonstrate positive leadership skills and have higher self-esteem levels than their peers.

And let’s not forget about the priceless peace of mind that comes with knowing your camper is in good hands. Our dedicated counselors and support staff are trained to provide a secure and supportive environment where campers can thrive, allowing parents to relax and enjoy some well-deserved downtime, knowing that their children are having the time of their lives.

Yes, sending your child to camp is a significant financial commitment, but when you consider the lifelong memories, friendships, and skills that they’ll gain along the way, the benefits far outweigh the cost.

Our campers often say, ‘Cheley helped make me who I am today.’ It starkly contrasts the narratives surrounding aimless summers spent indoors—You rarely hear anyone say, ‘Hanging out at the mall or playing Fortnite all day helped make me who I am today.’ At Cheley, we understand that the camp experience is more than just a summer pastime; it’s a strategic investment in your child’s development. It might seem small compared to the allure of modern distractions, but the impact is anything but trivial. It shapes their character, resilience, and interpersonal skills for years to come. We’re proud to be a part of that journey and believe wholeheartedly in the transformative power of the camp experience.