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.
- 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. (Virtual for 2021)
Low-Cost Summer Camps
- 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
- Grand Rapids Art Museum Camps – Ages 4 -17. Choose from themes to experience a unique and creative summer. (Virtual for 2021)
- Blandford Nature Center – Ages 4 -12. Learn hands on in nature. (Wait list only for 2021)
- Grand Rapids Civic Theatre – Ages 4 – high school. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Scholarship applications must be submitted two weeks before the start of camp. Follow link to PDF application on website.
- Grace Adventures – Ages 7 – 17. In order to qualify, you will need to fill out a scholarship application and submit a copy of your most recent tax returns. Scholarships are limited and every application is prayerfully considered. Decisions are based on need.
- Hope Summer Repertory Theatre – Ages 3 – 17. Financial assistance and scholarships are available to students. Complete the application to apply.
- Aquinas College – Grades 5 – 12. Scholarships available for each of the three summer camps.
- GVSU Summer Writing Camp – Grades 3 – 12. Reduced cost-tuition option is available on the camp registration form.
- Explore Hope – Grades K – 12. ExploreHope aims to include a diverse population of participants that reflect the community at large regardless of financial or logistical barriers to participation. All students are invited to apply and participate in any ExploreHope program. Contact us if you or someone you know needs financial assistance to participate.
- CranHill – Ages 7 – 17. Scholarships available for applicants who meet requirements. Scholarships do not apply to Day Camp or Friendship Camp. Other discounts available including sibling, refer-a-friend, and ministry.