Nantucket Summer Camps 2012
Every summer, working women search for a place to keep their kids while they work. We want it to be convenient, affordable, and safe. For the kids, we want it to be fun, educational, inspiring, and memorable. Finding one that offers everything you need and all they want is difficult.
Camp for all summer, 11 weeks, for one child, is going to run you on the average about $3,300 in Nantucket; that’s $60 a day, per kid. Unfortunately, most of the camps end in the middle of the afternoon. It’s a bit of a catch-22: without the childcare, you can’t work enough to pay for the camp, but if you don’t work, you don’t need the camp at all. Basically, most camps are aimed at families where there is person who doesn’t need to work a 40-hour week. If you need coverage until 5 PM, and you can’t afford a nanny to pick up your kid from camp, you’re in trouble; there aren’t any.
Also, most of the camps do not cover the entire summer. Few camps are open the weeks of June 18th, August 20th, or August 27th. This is a problem for Nantucket families, who often have an intensive amount of work in the summer and have a less hectic schedule off-season. My husband works for a boat marina; August is not the time we can take off for vacation!
The good news is, if your child is in pre-school or younger, you’re probably set for the summer. Your childcare arrangement will probably continue as is.
If you can get away with picking the darling up at 4 PM, your choices are, in decreasing order of cost:
- Strong Wings (ages 5 -15, $450 for one week, $350 a week if you sign up for 9 weeks, www.strongwings.org),
- ACKadventure at the Nantucket Community School (ages 5-10; $250 a week plus $35 per camper charge, http://www.nantucketcommunityschool.com), or the
- Boys and Girls Club (ages 7-14; $100 a week; http://www.nantucketboysandgirlsclub.org)
All these camps do a lot with the children, going all over the Island on field trips. The Boys and Girls Club opens early, too, which helps a lot of people.
If you can get away with pickup at 3 PM, your options are:
- Maria Mitchell (for ages 7 and up; $450 a week, half price for locals, www.mmo.org),
- Murray Camp (ages 4-13; $475 a week plus a $100 per camper charge, http://www.murraycampnantucket.com),
- Great Explorations (ages 4-8, $285 a week, www.greatexplorationscamp.com), and
- Seafari Girls (girls 6-12, $300 for a 4 day week, http://www.seafarigirlsnantucket.com)
There are many great camps that meet only until 1 PM or earlier:
- Maria Mitchell ($350 a week, half price for locals, www.mmo.org),
- Nantucket Artist Association (ages 6-9, $230 a week, http://www.nantucketarts.org/young-artists-program.html),
- Nantucket Island School of Design and the Arts ($285 a week, with scholarships available; http://www.nisda.org),
- Theatre Workshop of Nantucket (ages 6-12, $600 for two weeks, http://www.theatreworkshop.com),
- Nantucket Community School (with a variety of sport and music camps camp, http://nantucketcommunityschool.org),
- Dreamland Theatre’s Young Actors Theatre Company ($375 a week, $50 discount for locals; www.nantucketdreamland.org),
- Nantucket Community Sailing ($365 a week, first two weeks free for locals, http://www.nantucketcommunitysailing.org)
- Building Up Sports Academy for fishing or baseball (ages 6-13, 3 days, 3 hours a day, $360 a week, http://www.buildingupsportsacademy.com)
There are also one-day classes everywhere, camps at the country clubs, mom co-ops, summer camps with individual school teachers, etc. Lots of camps are only known by word of mouth or a few flyers on bulletin boards. Let us know if there are other options. Until we all win the lottery and can afford to stay home with our kids and go to the beach all summer, we’ll have to make some tough choices.