P.E.I. summer camp offers 'pay-what-you-can' option for families in need
Camp Seggie hopes to help families under pandemic financial pressure
A popular P.E.I. summer camp is helping out families facing financial strain with a "pay-what-you-can" option this year.
Camp Seggie is using donations to cover the difference for those who can't afford the full $199 per week.
Board member Simon Reid said the decision was made to help families who lost income during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We really don't want the children of P.E.I. to suffer because their family is either going through a hard time, they've lost their jobs, different financial struggles," he said. "We don't want that to be a reason why a camper can't come to camp."
Churches and private donors are contributing to allow the camp to offer the lower-cost model.
The option can be used for a one-week session this summer, per child.
Reid said about half of the campers registered so far are under the pay-what-you-can model. It opened up about a week ago.
The fees are the main source of operating revenue for camp, which is located in Rice Point, P.E.I.
Reid said there was initially concern the option would heavily hurt profits. But a few families have decided to pay more than the suggested cost to help out.
"We're very surprised. Fifty per cent of people who are applying are still paying the full price of camp," he said.
The camp normally offers overnight sessions but switched to a day camp only in response to public health guidelines.
Sessions will be offered for ages Kindergarten to Grade 6. There will also be a teen camp for Grades 6 to 9. There will be 50 campers for each of the eight weeks.
Reid said he hopes the numbers can grow larger if pandemic restrictions allow.
"We're taking it slow, listening to Public Health and trying to figure out what we're actually allowed to do," he said.