Stretching Your Dollar... Need help paying for summer camp?

Charlotte, NC - By Maureen O'Boyle - bio | email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – Now that March is here, summer camp registration for 2010 is in full swing.  For many families, the expense of camp is too much this year, but there is hope.

"We are an extension of the family," said Dave Bell with the YMCA of Greater Charlotte.  "We are teaching values, self confidence and skill development."

He says all of these traits will impact youth for the rest of their lives.

"We don't look at this as something that can be put aside," and Bell added, "It's a key part of a child's development."

The YMCA of Greater Charlotte is once again offering financial help to families struggling to pay for camp this year.

Maggie Holm's two daughters always attended Camp Thunderbird.

When her husband's income was drastically cut, camp was no longer affordable.

"It was difficult because I wanted to pay my way, but we just couldn't afford it," said Holm.

That is when Maggie found out about financial assistance from the YMCA.

"They never ever made us feel badly," she said.  "They reached out and said 'Is there anything else we can do to help you?'"

In 2009, the YMCA of Great Charlotte gave out a million dollars in financial help to families for camp.

The need is expected to be just as great this year.  This is why Bell encourages families to get their financial requests in to the YMCA as soon as possible.

Keep in mind, most camps will offer some financial assistance.  The most important thing is to ask.

WBTV has partnered with Charlotte Parent Magazine.  The magazine has compiled a complete list of camps in our region and has an entire section of its web site dedicated to Summer Camp 2010.  Click here for more information.

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