by Adam Delezenne
We put a lot of consideration into the cost of summer camp this year. We want camp to be as affordable as possible for our camper families while providing us with the resources to make camp happen. Camp fees are going up again this year. The increase is based both on the reality of what it costs to run camp and the generosity of our camp community.
If you want to cut to the chase, you can see our 2023 fees here. But come back to learn why we set them.
Full Cost Analysis
I felt it was important to get a clear picture of the actual cost of summer camp before changing fees for 2023. A full cost analysis lets us break down all of the expenses that it takes to be Camp Westminster (annual staff salaries, fuel for vehicles, printer paper, etc., as well as direct program costs), distributing them into our four program activity areas: summer camp, rentals, mission work groups, and retreats. If you are as excited as I am about spreadsheets and numbers, you can check it out here.
Here is the summary of what we found for summer 2022:
Summer camp cost $299,203.39 this year.
The full cost for each of our 338 campers was $885.22 per person.
Each of our seven program weeks costs $42,743.34.
Summer camp is not only expensive for families, but it’s also expensive to run. If you’re interested in what went into those costs, I encourage you to check out the spreadsheet.
Our Donors Help us Keep Fees Down
Thanks be to God for our camp community’s generosity because that’s not the end of the story! We have a fantastic community in the generations of those who have been a part of Camp Westminster and who give to support it. When donors give to the annual fund, we need to receive less revenue from camper families to make Camp Westminster possible. Every dollar we get means we can lower the cost of our summer fees a bit.
In 2021, we received $101,515.25 in unrestricted gifts. Using those funds to reduce the cost of camp means that the subsidized cost per camper was $584.88! Our donors make this possible.
Great, So What Does That Mean for This Summer?
Summer 2023’s fees are based on our work to uncover camp’s actual, experienced costs. We are also shifting to two payment tiers rather than three, basing both on the full cost analysis. Tier A, at $810, is our best educated guess as to the actual cost of camp, assuming 5% inflation and a slight increase in campers. Tier B, at $550, is the subsidized rate for camp and is based on the generosity of our donors this year, planning in the hope that the generosity of our community will grow a bit over last year.
Campers receive the same camp experience regardless of which tier their families choose at registration. Those who can afford the full cost of camp are invited to pick Tier A. Those who need the help of our community to afford camp are welcome to choose Tier B. The tier your family chooses does show up on any report or roster and does not in any way affect your experience at camp.
If you can opt for Tier A, you make it possible for us to use more of that revenue to take care of our almost century-old camp, which continues to need and receive a lot of love! Your fees are a way you can express that love, helping us to keep things operating well.