The experience of enrollment in European and American summer camps

We’ve recently enrolled our children in two camps, for this upcoming summer — one in Europe (here in Spain), and one in the United States. What a cultural difference!

Summer camp in Europe.

Here in Spain, we signed up online, and subsequently received an email that said, “Great! See you in June! You can pay when you get here.”

Summer camp in the USA.

Here’s what the American — land of the free and home of the brave — experience was like:

  • We had to pay a non-refundable $15 application fee, just to apply.

  • We had to sign a set of terms and conditions, agreeing to things like, “Any child that brings a live firearm to the camp will be expelled.” (We’re talking about 10 year-olds here.)

  • We had to sign an agreement, that for every 15 minutes we might be late picking our child up every afternoon, a $50 fee will be levied, payable the next morning.

  • We had to sign a legal liability release, removing any and all liabilities from the university, for anything that might happen to our child while there. We acknowledge that although the camp focuses on computer programming, there’s always the potential for danger.

  • Finally, we received a special announcement that the cafeteria building on campus has been considerably enhanced, now offering dining options from Pizza Hut, Burger King and Wendy’s! If a tobacco machine were installed, parents would be up in arms — but Pizza Hut, Burger King and Wendy’s represent considerably enhanced dining options for our children.

Agree? Disagree? What do you think?