Expensive Summer Camp Epidemic Hits NYC!

Fancy summer camps, it turns out, are expensive. On NYTimes.com, women’s issues blogger Judith Warner decries the “affluenza” afflicting those who send their children to $10,000-a-summer overnight camps. Of course, in the universe of wealthy Manhattan parents, $10,000 to send the little ones away for eight weeks is practically pocket change. But which camps can get away with charging that much?

In the summer of 2007, Gawker compiled a list of some of the most expensive summer camps; we can only assume that tuition has gone up since then. Some examples: Camp Laurel, in Readfield, ME, which last summer charged $10,000 for the season; the girls-only Camp Matoka, in Smithfield, ME, at $8,700; and the boys-only Camp Cedar, in Casco, ME, which was asking parents to cough up $8,900 last summer. The girls-only Tripp Lake Camp, in Poland, ME, long a favorite of Manhattan private schoolers, declined to disclose this information, but we can safely assume that it’s in that range.

That being said, it’s not like day camps in this area are much cheaper. Several camps in the New York suburbs offer transportation from various pick-up locations in Manhattan, including Pierce Country Day Camp in Roslyn, NY, which costs $6,950 for eight weeks (that includes transportation from Manhattan; it’s only $6,575 if you bring your kids on your own). For that kind of money, your child will frolic on a 27-acre campus, in “a meticulously groomed estate-like setting offering our campers the finest in recreational and athletic facilities,” according to Pierce’s website. That includes a 5100 square foot facility with three 50-inch flat-screen TVs, an 8-foot projection screen, and a professional karaoke unit.

What ever happened to the days when kids were happy with a campfire and a ropes course?