Give Your Camper Some Credit

Chances are you’ve seen commercials for a service that pressures you to constantly check your credit score or warns against the dangers of credit cards. They typically go something like this:

  • Caring Parent sends College Student off to school.
  • Caring Parent gives College Student a Just-For-Emergencies credit card.
  • Caring Parent leaves.
  • Credit card chaos ensues.

Sounds familiar, right?

What if we didn’t have to worry about our kids managing money irresponsibly? What if we knew they had been practicing these skills since the age of 7?

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As part of your pre-camp preparations, make sure you’re discussing good money management with your camper. Your camper will be in charge of his/her camp store account, and while our store staff will remind campers of their balance and make sure they don’t come home with six of the same stuffed animal, it’s important to start the conversation now.

There are a few things for your camper to consider while budgeting his/her camp store allowance. First, all campers must send their clothes to the laundry and that cost comes from their account. Second, a handful of activities include a small fee because they provide a take home project or require personal supplies. Your camper can plan for these by reading over class descriptions and noting which preferences have a cost. Third, talk with your camper about keeping track of personal belongings. Purchasing replacement name tags, pens, and other items can add up! And finally, remind your camper that he/she doesn’t have to spend all of his/her money on the first trip to the camp store. Their cabin will have another opportunity to visit during the second week of camp!

Practicing these skills over the summer gets campers in a mindset to track their finances and weigh benefits vs. consequences for their purchases. Skills built over the summer are skills that will stick for life!

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