Affordable summer camps and activities for Marion County kids

INDIANAPOLIS Ind. -- Summer camp is fun, but it can also be expensive.

While many are several hundred dollars per week, you can find several camps in Marion County that are very affordable.

"So because of the public support we get, we are able to offer our camp for $70 a week. We know it's a great deal, but it can still be a stretch for many parents, so we're always looking for more support to keep those rates even lower," said Dana Harrison, interim director at Forrest Manor Multi Service Center.

About 150 kids go to camp at Forrest Manor. Campers and parents say, it's fun, educational and includes breakfast and lunch. It's just one of many programs you'll find in a booklet put out by the Marion County Commission on Youth, or MCCOY.

"We know families have tight budgets. That's why there's a sliding fee scale to decide how much it will cost for a young person to participate. It even takes into account the families' income and the number of children a family has who want to participate in a program," said John Brandon, president of MCCOY.

If a particular summer camp is full, there are many other options detailed in the 2017 Youth Activity Directory. The directory also comes in a convenient APP. There are more than 700 things listed to do. The app is free and also has a community calendar with a variety of events throughout the community--many of which are free.

"Keeping kids engaged in activities and doing things that are challenging and fun keeps their brains thinking and that helps them really be ready for school in the fall," said Brandon.

At the Forrest Manor Multi Service Center, they also strive to give families more than just a camp--a place to get very useful information.

"So we tell people about opportunities they have for free healthcare, free learning opportunities or even free job training and many ways to stretch their dollars," said Harrison.