Are There Penalties for Cancelling Your Child’s Summer Camp Registration? 

In the News

The end of the school year is near, and kids are eager for vacation to begin! Many parents have already registered their children for day and overnight camps to keep them busy over the summer. But if parents change their mind, will they face any consequences for cancelling a summer camp registration? 

Days camps run by private businesses offer services to the public. This means that when you register for summer camp, you enter into a contract for services. These contracts are subject to the Consumer Protection Act, whether they were concluded in person, online or by phone.  

These rules don’t apply to day camps offered by cities, towns or public school boards.   

Paying a penalty? Not always! 

Cancelling before camp starts 

Non-refundable deposits are forbidden by law. If you need to cancel your child’s summer camp registration before it begins, don’t panic! You can do so without having to pay penalties or additional fees.   

Cancelling while camp is underway 

If you cancel registration once summer camp activities have begun, you will have to pay for the camp services that have already been provided. Additionally, you may have to pay a penalty: the lesser of $50 or 10% of the cost of the remaining camp services.  

For example, let’s say your child is registered for a 12-day camp, and you agreed to pay $40 per day. If you cancel registration after two days of camp, you will have to pay $80 for the services already received and a $40 penalty, which is 10% of the cost of the 10 remaining days.  

Cancelation process and getting a refund  

To cancel your child’s camp registration, you must complete the cancellation form attached to your contract for services. If the camp didn’t provide such a form, you can simply send a written notice asking to cancel the contract. Your contract is cancelled as of the day you send the form or written notice. 

The business operating the camp then has 10 days to issue a refund. The refund will be equal to the cost you’ve paid, minus the penalties and fees described above.   

Getting a refund for materials purchased from the summer camp

You could also receive a refund for materials you purchased from the day camp, such as books and sports gear, if you meet certain conditions:  

  • You purchased materials for camp activities from the summer camp.  
  • You spent over $100 on the materials. 
  • You had the materials for less than two months, or for less than 1/3 of the total length of the camp, whichever is shortest.  
  • The materials are not damaged. If they are, it’s not due to your fault.  

If you meet all the conditions above, you may cancel the purchase within 10 days of the materials being delivered or on the day summer camp begins, whichever occurs last.  

You can cancel this purchase by returning the materials to the day camp. You can also send the cancellation form provided by the camp or simply send a written notice to ask that the purchase be cancelled. Once you send the cancellation form or the written notice, you have 10 days to return the materials to the camp.   

From the moment the purchase is cancelled, the camp has 10 days to issue a refund. They also have to cover all fees that the return may cause.  

Further information  

Your child comes home from camp one day with a leg or an arm injury – they tell you an accident occurred. What do you do? Who’s responsible? Find out if or when summer camp counsellors can be held responsible.