This is my first summer as a full-time working mom. I thought it would be emotional, but it was mostly expensive! Fellow DC moms warned me that summer camp was pricier here and not ideal hours for working parents.
And so when my friend, Maria, proposed summer camp with her family in Colombia for 2-weeks, we jumped on it! The kids would be in a Spanish-immersion day camp in her hometown of Cartagena. The parents would be free to work, tour, or lounge. Enrolling AND transporting 3 kids to a South American summer camp would cost less money than enrolling them in DC camps – and so we did!
Here is a breakdown of the weekly Summer Camp costs for my 3 kids. My non-DC friends may have a heart attack when seeing this cost breakdown. Here is a link to the summer camp prices we were used to in Dallas, TX.
While there are certainly less expensive DC Parks & Rec camps, it’s a battle to get spots for multiple children. So, as you begin stressing over next year’s summer camps, consider a destination camp where you can combine vacation, work, camp, and family time. Here are the reasons it worked for us:
Affordable Airfare to Summer Camp
Flights on JetBlue were about $500/person for roundtrip airfare to an international destination. Not bad!
Affordable Lodging at Summer Camp
$100/night at The Orange included a hot breakfast, housekeeping, and a 2-bedroom apartment with full kitchen.
Summer Camp with Other Spanish Speaking Kids
Having a local friend who knew the camp’s management gave us peace of mind. Maria’s boys have been going to Camp Summerland for years. And the facilities, programing, and counselors were lovely.
Seeing a New Culture at Summer Camp
The kids ate up the new foods (and sodas), sights, street performers, and 16th century architecture. Their bilingualism, all of a sudden, didn’t feel like school work – but the beginnings of global citizenship. They were my translators everywhere we went – taxi, restaurants, beach, and shops. They even negotiated better prices for me in the local shops!
Learning History at Summer Camp
Who doesn’t love a fortress with cannons and secret passageways! And it’s even more fun to explore with friends who meet-up with you ALL the way from Texas.
Beach Time & Family Time at Summer Camp
Is there anything more fun than heading to a private island or playing in the sand for hours and hours?!
Down-time at Summer Camp
While the kids were in camp playing and learning from 9am-4pm, I had time to read, relax, and rejuvenate. I’ll be saying YES to more destination summer camps! Here are links to Camp Summerland details incase you’re interested in joining next summer. Maria will likely coordinate the camp to be the last two weeks of June.
Best to the rest of your summer. I’ll start saving up my pennies and pesos for next year’s summer camp!