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March 29, 2021

Are sports camps and clinics for kids worthwhile?

Minor hockey is over and, although summer and soccer are still a few months away, weary parents have to decide soon which sports camps their kids are going to sign up for -- and for how long.

The cost of sending your son or daughter away for a week or more can be daunting. Some parents simply need a babysitter but, for many, it’s all about helping talented kids realize their potential. And the sky is the limit in that case.

"Camps have cost me my retirement," one worried parent told the Deseret News. "It's cost me not only financially, as an investment, but emotionally, physically, and a lot of time." But he's not talking about pulling junior out, of course.

That "we're on our way to the show" attitude may seem a bit extreme to some but young teenagers looking to play AAA hockey or making the travelling soccer team for their area often don't see it that way. And things are even crazier across the border when it comes to football.

But are these specialty camps worthwhile for all student-athletes, or just the elite performers who hope to compete at the university and even the professional levels? And who draws the line?

How much are you willing to spend to help your kids realize their (or perhaps your) dreams?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...