It’s Time for the End of School Year Camp Scramble

Every year as the school year closes, many parents – myself included – begin scrambling to figure out what their kids will do once school’s out for summer. Some kids will head to daycare, others get to hang out with parents and friends, but many parents also find themselves looking at summer camps.

Our Summer Camps Guide lists many camps that would provide an AMAZING experience for our kids. However, many parents may not find these camps affordable and are just doing their very best to provide the basic needs for their families.

The good news for those of us in that boat? There are several area camps that are free, low cost, or even offer scholarships for those who can demonstrate financial need. Below are some of the our favorite affordable camps that kids love!

Summer Camp Scholarships & Low-Cost Camps for Kids – Greater Grand Rapids

NO COST CAMP EXPERIENCES

  • Onbase with GRPD – Ages 9-12. GRPD teaches kids baseball! Search onbase at the link to register.
  • Artworks – Ages 14-18. Students participating in the Artworks program will receive on-site job training and mentorship, and engage in art, design, and installation projects.
  • SHAPE – For boys and girls currently in 7th and 8th grade. A one-week day camp introduction to the health professions for boys and girls currently in 7th and 8th grades.

LOW-COST SUMMER CAMPS

  • DC2 Student Day Camp (Design. Develop. Collaborate. Create) – for students entering 5th or 6th grade. A two day camp experience where students will solve real world problems by developing empathy, working in teams, building solutions, and reflecting. They will learn how to give their ideas shape, voice, and wings. $25
  • Girls Rock! Grand Rapids – For girls ages 8 -16. A week long summer camp that exists to empower girls and women through music. Each year, girls at camp get to participate in instrument lessons, workshops, band forming, song writing, and logo and album art creation. Priority acceptance is given to girls living in the Roosevelt Park Neighborhood.
  • Summer Art Camps at WMCAT – For all teens who have finished 6th – 11th grade. GRPS students receive discounted tuition, BUT camps are open to all current middle and high school students in the area. GRPS tuition is $20, some restrictions apply.
  • Camp Blodgett – Ages 8 – 13 years old for kids who live in Kent or Ottawa Counties. These week-long themed camp sessions aim to empower youth in West Michigan. Camp Blodgett offers a sliding fee scale.

CAMPS WITH SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE

Where to Float Your Boat with Kids, Including Rental Places and Boat Launches Around West Michigan

West Michigan has Lake Fun for Every Adventure Wondering where to kayak or find a boat launch around Grand Rapids? Paddling or floating down a river is the perfect way to spend a summer day in West Michigan with your family, so we've put together a list of popular places for water sports. **Please, always wear a life jacket when enjoying water sports. Whether adult or child!** If you are new to these water activities, here's a rundown of what's available in our area: Tubing - Float on an inner tube [...]

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