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Posted on: May 3, 2021

Summer camp financial assistance program Kids Need to Play! announced

image of Kids Need to Play logo

Pierce County Parks has created a program named Kids Need to Play! (KNP!) funded through American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) federal funding allocations to provide discounts for kids’ summer camps and programs. Several public and private recreation providers are collaborating on the initiative to bring kids accessible opportunities to learn, create, explore and compete.

While remaining safety-conscious, many camps and programs for preschool (ages 3-4) and school-age (ages 5-18) kids will be deeply discounted at 60-90% off for all youth this summer across Pierce County. The discount will be automatically applied at time of registration. Participating camps will include the Kids Need to Play! symbol.

Lakewood Parks, Metro Parks Tacoma, Pen Met Parks, Puyallup Parks and the Town of Steilacoom have partnered with Pierce County Parks to offer this opportunity. Participant discounts will not affect the quality, allotted time or format of programming offerings. Camp providers will still receive the revenue they require to produce safe, high-quality camps through ARPA resources.    

The goal of this program is to ensure that kids can return to camp this summer and benefit from the enrichment of camp activities and safe social interactions. For this reason, discounts are going directly to the families at the time of registration with no wait, coupon or reimbursement needed. If a family has already registered for a camp that is participating in the KNP! program, they can request a refund and re-enrollment by June 28 to take advantage of the discounted price.  

Over 15,000 youth are expected to benefit from $1.5 million in funding available this summer. There is no limit to the number of KNP! camps or experiences a family can sign up for from June 28–Sept. 3 in Pierce County. However, each camp is subject to the capacity specified by the camp provider.   

For more information on the Kids Need to Play! promotion, visit

Families inquiring about participation may contact Pierce County Parks and Recreation representative Emily Smith at 253-798-4199.

# # #

Emmi Buck, Public Information Specialist
[email protected]

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