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Summer camp vacancies

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The end of the school year is fast approaching, and it’s around this time that parents start to wonder what to do with kids during the summer months. There is hope, since many camps that would be full by this point still have openings.

Tighter family budgets are putting summer camps in a tough position; finding the kids to fill empty spots.

Camps, like the one at YMCA in Wilmington, have seen a decline in summer enrollment.

“Summer camp, we are losing numbers. We’ve kind of contributed that to the fact that if a parent is not working, then they are taking the time to spend with their children,” said Andrea Mohammad, the youth and family services director at the Y.

The YMCA is doing things a bit differently to lure parents. Certified teachers will be on-staff to make sure learning is a priority over the summer. Plus, many camps have now modified schedules to a week-by-week basis to give parents more options when it comes to cost.

“We like the idea of just doing a week by week camp because we are not exactly what our summer schedule is going to be like yet because of changes in jobs, we are looking at affordability so one week at a time is easier to digest,” said Richard Gehron who looking at summer camps.

To keep programs going, some camps are even offering income-based payment plans or scholarships, and these days everything can be up for negotiation.

“When you pick up a brochure or something and you see the price and think ‘I don’t think I can do that’, but if they can work out a plan for you then that would be the way to go,” said Sherida Worthy.

The challenge will be finding the best fit for your child and your wallet.

It may take a little digging, but there are free or cheap resources out there this summer. Possibly, you can arrange a child-care exchange with parents in your neighborhood or consider ways your child can volunteer with area organizations.

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Story summary

videoThe end of the school year is fast approaching, and it’s around this time that parents start to wonder what to do with kids during the summer months. There is hope, since many camps that would be full by this point still have openings.

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