CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – Strapped for cash, more parents are asking New Hampshire summer camps for financial help.

Robert Bengston, director for Camp Mowglis in Hebron, says the requests are coming from families that haven’t asked before.

“People that have paid the full freight before are asking for some level of assistance this year,” he said.

Bengston said some are embarrassed, but ask anyway because they want their kids to go to camp.

He said his camp charges $5,450 for a seven-week program, up $250 from last year.

Bob Wipfler, director at Kingswood Camp in Piermont, also has received more requests for aid. The camp also raised it prices $200 to $7,400 for an eight-week stay.

“There have been, ‘Gee, Bob, is there any way we can work out a slight reduction because things aren’t as rosy?”‘ he said.

He said some who have paid the full amount for years are asking for a discount.

Parents also are taking longer to pay.

“A lot of people are asking if they could delay their payments until right before camp starts, which is not typical,” said Hal Jordan of the YMCA. “There’s just a lot more (aid) requests coming in.”

Families aren’t the only ones facing tough financial choices. Some camp directors say they may cut back on field trips to cope with high gas prices. Camp directors say they won’t skimp on the food they serve despite rising costs – though they may be substitutions, such as store syrups for the more expensive maple syrup.

Information from: New Hampshire Union Leader,

AP-ES-04-13-08 1314EDT

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