Camp financial aid available on Martha’s Vineyard


Unless parents have the summer off along with their children, keeping kids occupied and having fun in July and August can get expensive, especially here on Martha’s Vineyard. Some programs offer financial aid in the form of scholarships, discounts for Islanders, Island Club Card holders, and more. The following are examples of camps that give financial aid. Contact the camp you’re interested in for more details.

What can be better than free? Vineyard Tennis offers free tennis sessions for Island children. Fees apply for summer residents, which range $160 to $480/session, with a 50% discount for each additional child.

At Sassafras Earth Education, a nature camp in Aquinnah, Wampanoag, and Brazilian campers get 50% off admission “in light of promoting cultural diversity,” says camp owner Saskia Vanderhoop. The camp has a limited amount of other scholarships available for up to 50% of camp costs.

The YMCA of M.V.’s Camp Blue gives financial aid to those who cannot afford camp, and assistance is given based on the need demonstrated by household income or extenuating circumstances.

The Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club, for kids in grades kindergarten through eighth, strives to be the most affordable camp option on the Island. Regular tuition is $160; reduced school lunch tuition is $120; free school lunch tuition is $100, and siblings get a 25% discount.

The skateboarding-themed Martha’s Vineyard Skate Camp offers discounts for year-round residents, for multi-children family who enroll, and for those who sign up for multiple sessions.

Martha’s Vineyard Adventure Camp, which gives campers the opportunity to do everything from fishing to zip-lining, offers full-week sessions, weekend sessions, a 10% off multi-camper or multi-session; and an Island resident discount.

The new Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, for high school-aged writers, encourages interested campers to apply for scholarships. The deadline is this Sunday, June 12. Visit for more information.

IMP, a theater and performance organization, gives camp scholarships based on an application process, and they give preference to Island families who attend multiple sessions.

Pond View Farm strives to provide affordable horseback riding fun for Island children. They are planning on discounting pony camp for Island children and have Islander lesson rates.

Red Pony Farm’s Pony Club goers, a new program at the barn, get a discount if they are Islanders.

At The FARM Institute, Island residents get a 25% discount for camp programs and scholarships are available on a first come, first serve basis. Those interested in applying should email Sidney Morris at or call 508-627-7007. Discounts are also offered if campers sign up for multiple weeks or if families have multiple children signing up.

Sail Martha’s Vineyard is passionate about teaching children to sail, and its Learn to Sail program is available to Island children for a onetime membership fee of $50. As children get more advanced, Island children pay a “substantially discounted program fee,” according to Hope Callen of Sail M.V., and if they cannot pay, scholarships are available.

A camp for preschool aged kids, ages two to five, is Garden Arts Summer Camp with Garden Gate Child Development Center. They offer a discount for year-round Islanders.

The Yard, a dance colony in Chilmark, offers a $50 discount for Islanders on weekly children’s programs.

Fern and Feather Natural History Day Camp at Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary offers scholarships and discounts to year-round Vineyard residents, made possible through the Dooley-Rosenwald, Ellen Eberhardt Memorial, and Martha’s Vineyard Harley Riders scholarship funds, and individual donors.

Pam Benjamin’s Sense of Wonder Creations gives financial aid and scholarships for both winter and summer programs.

Beth Goodell’s Island Gymnastics camp gives out scholarships to those who would be unable to attend without. They are divided between boys and girls of varying ages and towns.