Parents Send Kids To Camp Grandparents For Savings

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Thursday, July 23, 2009

Parents Send Kids To Camp Grandparents For Savings

Despite the financial motivation behind parents sending their kids to visit grandparents this summer instead of sending them to camp, there are other benefits. Chief among these are kids having opportunity to spend time with their grandparents! Our society has changed much over the years and the days of kids having easy access to interaction with grandparents is no longer normative. So, recession aside, I'm all for parents taking up this inter-generational opportunity for grandparents to spend more time with their grandchildren.

Over the river and through the recession to grandmother's house they go. The lingering recession is forcing cash-strapped parents to cancel camp for the kids. Instead, they're being packed off to their grandparents'.

The hundreds of dollars a week that would have paid for camp are being diverted to more essential needs -- groceries, electricity and house payments.

The arrangement shifts the child-care burden to grandparents, many of whom enjoy the extra time with their grandchildren. The kids' parents save money and get some time to themselves. And the grandkids get more love and attention, and better food.

"If this economic trouble is bringing people together, that's a positive," said Georgia Hope Witkin, associate professor of psychology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York and a contributing editor of the Web site

The American Camp Association reports registration numbers are down at some of the nation's 12,000 camps, but it's too early to estimate overall attendance this year. Reports from around the country point to lower turnout from Maine to Florida to Texas and elsewhere.

"Grandparents are the new summer camp," Witkin said.

Source: Baltimore Sun / Associated Press,0,3566561.story