CertifiKID, the first deal website geared specifically towards families, announced a Camp Scholarship Program last year and when I heard about it I had to get the word out. Summer camp is such an amazing experience that all children should be able to participate in. CertifiKID’s Camp Scholarship Program launched in 2018 and provided 24, $250 camp scholarships to local children in need for the summer of 2018. This year through the program they will provide a minimum of 34, $250 scholarships for 2019! Additional scholarships may be funded through community contributions. I had the chance to do a q+a with CertifiKID Founder and CEO, Jamie Ratner, which I hope will allow you to understand the concept of CertifiKID more as well as be inspired to pass along the information to a family you think could benefit from applying to the camp scholarship program!
How did CertifiKID begin?
CertifiKID began in 2010 when my kids were just babies. I had a blog where I wrote about foods and finds in the D.C. area and first discovered this new site called Groupon. I thought it was a super cool concept but did not have anything for me as a new mom. I decided to take the concept and spin it so there would be opportunities for moms to try new things with their kids and find family-friendly businesses and activities in the D.C. area. From day one it just exploded and the rest is history. We now work with thousands of businesses throughout the country and run offers in cities nationwide. However, the D.C. area is still the heart of the business, and at this point, we believe we are a household name in the area for families.
What are some insider tips for readers to get the most from CertifiKID?
1) CertifiKID has a super responsive customer service/sales team and we actually jump on requests from customers. If there is something you are looking for a deal on, email us or send us a message via our Facebook page and we will go after it right away for you!
2) We are on top of the NEW businesses launching, so always be sure to check the website to be the first to find out about them and get great discounts when they first open.
3) We would never rerun an offer that had bad reviews from our customers. If you see a business featured over and over again, this means they are a valued partner with great customer service and glowing reviews from our customers.
4) We do have a limit on some of our offers, so if it is something SUPER exciting you should buy it quickly so you aren’t disappointed.
What services or programs exist now that didn’t when CertifiKID began?
So much has changed over these past 8 years. When we started not everyone even had a smartphone! Also, in the kids’ world, I would say at least 25% of the vendors have gone out of business. When I first started, bounce places would sell amazing, now it has shifted to trampoline places. Also, I remember the first time we ran a LEGO camp it sold INSANE…now everyone does a LEGO camp and it’s not unique anymore.
What was the motivation on creating this summer camp scholarship program?
My husband and I are HUGE camp people. We spent every summer of our childhoods at camp – even coming back over the summers during college to work as counselors. Now our kids attend camp and we see the HUGE impact and benefits it has for them – increasing their confidence, resilience, and independence. We want all kids to have this opportunity, especially children from low income or financially vulnerable families who don’t have the resources to provide them with enriching summer experiences. Camp is most important for these families in order to make sure their kids stay engaged and physically active over the summer months.
For more information on the summer camp scholarship program click here. You can scroll to the bottom of the page to apply to the program or make a contribution.
If selected, children will be able to choose from this great list of summer camps.