I paid almost $5,000 on supplies for summer camp for 2 kids. They needed so much stuff for a 2-week stay.
My two kids went to a two-week sleepaway camp in the summer of 2022.
On top of the cost of the camp, we had to spend almost $5,000 on supplies.
The camp cost $6,000, so we spent almost as much on clothes and shoes.
In summer 2022, I sent my kids to a two-week sleepaway camp. That sounds privileged (because it is) and cool, but what was not cool was the large expenditure I was about to face getting two preteens ready for camp.
My kids had been desiring a camp experience for the past two years during COVID-19 lockdowns. Some of their favorite shows are about summer camps, such as "Bunk'd" and "A Week Away."
We found a camp in Texas that seemed reasonable. The tuition was $2,900 a kid for a two-week experience. After comparing other camps that were upward of $5,000 for similar experiences, I thought, "I'm getting a deal!" We saved our money and made payments through an installment plan. Before I knew it, it was time to get the kids packed.
There was a packing list
The camp emailed me a packing list, and I quickly realized we did not have two weeks' worth of clothes for these kids. The packing list included tips like not sending nice clothes to camp. Instead, choose everyday shorts, T-shirts, and tennis shoes.
We had to send our kids with:
Fifteen pairs of shorts, 15 shirts, 16 pairs of socks, and 16 pairs of underwear.
Two pairs of athletic shoes, one pair of water shoes (Tevas, Chacos), and one pair of shower shoes.
Four bath towels and one beach towel.
Three pajama outfits, three swimsuits, one raincoat, and one jacket.
Two twin-sheet sets, including a pillow and pillowcases, and a blanket or sleeping bag.
And don't forget about all the shower stuff, bug spray, sunscreen, clip fans, extension chords, hats, sunglasses, sun shirts, goggles, etc.
There was not only a two-week packing list but also a special-events packing list. That's right — 12 special nights of themed parties. One theme night is "game day," where the kids are supposed to wear their favorite sports-team gear.
I realized I needed to buy a lot of stuff
So I started gathering clothes from the house and making notes of things we needed to buy for camp. We raided my closet for options for themed-night outfits they could borrow. In the end, I realized we had to buy so many clothes — and not only regular clothes but also themed outfits and accessories, extra swimsuits, trunks and luggage for their clothing, extra socks, extra undies, extra everything.
I spent over $2,000 at Old Navy in one day — something I never wanted to do.
This expense probably isn't extravagant for families who send their kids to summer camp regularly, but it was a lot of extras for us. Altogether, we spent nearly $5,000 on top of the nearly $6,000 we paid for tuition. This is something I did not take into account when I signed them up for summer camp.
But it was worth it.
At the end of the two weeks, the kids were happy and had a blast. Their joy is my credit card's pleasure. We decided to send them back again this year, but only for a week. I feel like with all the luggage, random-themed props, and clothes that mostly still fit; it's best to parlay it into another camp experience.
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