June 16, 2010 / 8:01 PM / 9 years ago

Expensive summer camps for kids still going strong

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - The recession may have forced families to tighten their budgets but many are still willing to send their children to expensive summer camps.

Nearly half of the priciest camps in the country are in Maine, which boasts beautiful beaches and lakes, or scattered throughout New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Connecticut, according to Forbes.com.

A typical seven-week stay can cost more than $10,000.

Takajo boys camp, Tripp Lake Camp for girls, coed Camp Laurel, all-girls Camp Vega and boys camp Wildwood, which are all in Maine, have five-figure tuition fees, as does Raquette Lake for girls in New York,

“The steep price tags reflect the constant updating and refurbishing these elite camps do,” according to Forbes.

Last year Laurel South, a camp near Portland, Maine, spent $1 million updating its kitchen and dinning hall. The amenities at the camps are also top of the line, said Forbes.

Camp Laurel has more than 30 sail boats and sail boards and an outdoor roller hockey facility. Tyler Hill camp in Pennsylvania features a nine-hole professional golf course and Camp Vega has an equestrian center, a tennis ranking program for elite junior players and ski jumps on the lake.

At Raquette Lake in the Adirondacks, tennis enthusiasts are coached by Davis Cup team players.

“We are sensitive to the needs of our clients,” Keith Klein, a co-owner of the Laurel camps, told Forbes.com.

With worries over digital devices becoming too entwined in children’s lives, many of the camps prohibit the use of cell phones and laptops to encourage kids to get to know each other and to develop some independence from their parents.

Several camps named by Forbes.com have been run by the same family for generations which makes it easier for camps to stay traditional.

Although many of the camps are single-sex, several are split into one branch for boys and one for girls. One camp in Kent, Connecticut, is separated into KenWood camp for girls and KenMont for boys, with the two groups getting together for special events like July 4th fireworks and other social occasions.

The full list of camps can be found at www.forbes.com.

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