Some children’s summer camps hike prices – but still sell out

Photo: František Tichý, Czech Radio

The end of school for the summer has paved the way for the start of summer camps, with children the first holiday weekend set to enjoy a heatwave no doubt at many of the country’s swimming holes. According to Czech Radio, many camps this year hiked prices by several hundred crowns but have not had problems meeting capacity. And some have already sold out.

Illustrative photo: František Tichý,  Czech Radio
A week-long children’s summer camp costs parents, on average between two and three thousand crowns but the price comes down markedly if kids who attend are part of local chapters of local organisations, which can slash the price in half. One week with the Scouts, Czech Radio reported, costs just 1,000 crowns – the equivalent of around 40 US dollars. One reason, the cost is less, Junák spokeswoman Jitka Taussiková told the public broadcaster, was that camps were run by volunteers.

According to the representative, some 27,000 scouts this year will attend summer camp – up by 4,000 from the previous year. By contrast, the staff at commercial summer camps are paid: a camp councillor can make up to 5,000 crowns per week, while a cook preparing meals for the staff and children can make up to 12,000 over 12 days.

Illustrative photo: Ľubomír Smatana,  Czech Radio
The price of so-called “příměstské tábory”, summer camps located in the suburbs or just outside of towns, varies from city to town: in Prague, Czech Radio learned, such camps cost 300 crowns per day, while in Plzeň, West Bohemia, the cost would be roughly half. In some cases, parents are eligible for a subsidy, for example, of one hundred crowns from the municipality. Other benefits, of up to 500 crowns, can be paid out by some insurance companies, while some unions or employers may also provide minor support.

In the Czech Republic, Czech Radio notes, more than 500 summer camps will be held over the summer season, with the highest number located in northern Bohemia. And even though the holidays have only begun and some organisations have bumped up prices, some have already had no trouble selling out. On offer are not only summer camps focusing on the outdoors, physical activity and skills such as the Scouts or the Pionýrs but also summer camps focusing on math, stage magic, or modelling. There is also reportedly an increased interest in summer camps for children abroad, although there the prices are considerably higher. A nine-day stay by the sea in Italy, for example, might come to around 10 thousand crowns.