PLYMOUTH, VT. – November 15, 2022 – Farm & Wilderness, a day and overnight adventure summer camp on 8,000 acres of New England countryside, announces a new Affordable for All initiative that includes a transparent financial aid estimator to allow families instant access to the cost of camp for their family. In addition, Farm & Wilderness will support families beyond tuition assistance to address the full cost of camp. Camp registration for Farm & Wilderness is now open.
The new financial aid estimator will give families information on what they can expect to pay based on their annual income at the time they register. Especially for families who might assume summer camp is beyond their financial reach, transparent information on the cost of camp will encourage them to learn more about Farm & Wilderness’ diverse programs. As an example, the cost of a 3-week session of overnight camp (including transportation) for a family with an annual income of $50,000 will be under $1000.
“Summer camp financial aid known as ‘camperships’ opens opportunities for all kids to have an experience of a lifetime,” said Frances McLaughlin, Executive Director of Farm & Wilderness. “We’re committed to demystifying our campership program for new and returning families. We hope folks won’t assume they are ineligible for financial aid. The new estimator will help families determine if our programs fall within their budget.”
There is more to the cost of camp than just tuition. There is also transportation to camp, clothing and gear, and potential loss of income from parents attending a visiting day. These additional expenses also keep camps out of reach for families. Farm & Wilderness Affordable for All initiative goes beyond tuition assistance to address the other costs of camp.. The expanded campership program will cost $1,050,000 per year. This includes $800,000 in tuition assistance and $250,000 for supplementary support and outreach and engagement activities. Farm & Wilderness hopes to support 200 - 220 families through the Affordable For All initiative.
Farm & Wilderness was able to launch the Affordable For All initiative with a transformative gift of $500,000 by Helen Garrison. For three generations, members of the Gardiner family have attended Farm & Wilderness, beginning in the 1940s and continuing through to today.
“The camp and its values have shaped the lives of so many Gardiners,” said Arthur Gardiner, Helen’s younger brother, a camp alumnus and a member of Farm & Wilderness Board of Trustees. “We know what it takes to run a camp and make it truly accessible and affordable for all families. We want to see children from all backgrounds have access and spend a summer living in community with each other.”
Farm & Wilderness has offered financial aid since opening in 1939 and the campership program has a long history of helping to make camp accessible and affordable. Over the last few decades, the price of overnight camp has become out of reach for most families and we recognized that we needed to update our campership program. Guided by our values, feedback from parents, and research on innovative payment models, we crafted the Affordable For All initiative to provide an authentic and holistic access to camp.
For more information about donating to Farm & Wilderness’ Affordable For All campaign, please visit: farmandwilderness.org/affordable-for-all