Parents are facing difficult decisions in terms of whether to send their kids off to camp this summer as the cost has caught up with the general price advance. Organizers fear attendance may fall this year as a result.
Children's summer sports and hobby camps have seen considerable price advance over the last few years. While sporting camps for basic school children cost €30-33 per day just two years ago, this has now risen to €47 in some cases for a hike of 55 percent.
"Compared to last summer, prices have gone up around 20 percent, which is more or less in line with general inflation. Labor and food are definitely up there in terms of expenses," said Marko Valker who organizes popular nature camps in Lääne-Nigula Municipality.
Taigur Tooming, owner of NGO Taimout and a camp organizer with 23 years experience, said that food products price advance has played the biggest role.
"We decided to raise our prices this year because of more expensive catering; around €20-25 for a week. Accommodation prices also went up last year, which reflects in the camp price. If it was €170 four years ago, a camp place now costs €225," he said.
Camp organizers can also apply for state support. In the last three years, around €1.44 million has been allocated for the purpose. Summer camps draw around 30,000 young people annually.
The support instruments goes toward lowering the price of camp attendance by €6.20 per day for ordinary tickets to a permanent camp and €12.40 for special tickets. The support is half that for temporary or so-called project camps.
Tooming said that the instrument has allowed him to keep prices to a more or less reasonable level so far. "Were the instrument to be abolished, it would make things very difficult for us and attendance would plummet," he remarked.
Marko Valker said that his camp has small groups, which will be filled despite price advance, but added that parents are facing touch choices when it comes to camps this summer.
"Expenses are up in all family budgets, and I'm afraid more than a few of our regulars will have to miss camp this time."
Editor: Marcus Turovski