Happy Camping: Scout How Your Kids Will Spend Their Summer

After more than nine highly structured months with kids in school, summer can seem long and unwieldy. Camp is the answer for many parents.

Traditional sleep-away camps can give urban children a chance to relax and play in idyllic environments. Specialty camps can hone skills in sports, music, drama, religion, or other activities. Others just offer a variety of experiences day to day to allow kids to follow and cultivate their curiosity and imagination.

Here’s how to find the right camp for your child and ensure that he or she will have the best possible experience:
* Visit campparents.org. The American Camp Association’s parent-focused site offers a find-a-camp search tool, allowing parents to narrow choices by cost, camper age, location, length of stay, activities, and more. All of the camps in the database are accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA), Martinsville, Ind., which ensures that they meet minimum standards for health, safety, and program quality.

* Call camp directors. “As a parent, be prepared to articulate what you hope your children will gain from the camp experience,” says Dayna Hardin, owner of Lake of the Woods camp for girls and Greenwoods camp for boys in Decatur, Mich. “When we as camp directors know what parent expectations are, we do a good job of meeting or exceeding them.”

* Don’t offer to rescue. Hardin discourages parents from having some kind of pick-up deal. “Kids are going to feel a little homesick,” she says. “They’re supposed to miss their families, not forget about them. But one of the things about camp is that kids learn coping skills.”

* Visit if you can. Hardin notes that many camps—both overnight and day—welcome parents for visits while camp is in session. It requires planning; parents would have to tour camp the year before they want to enroll their children, but nothing beats that first-hand impression.

* Ask about financial assistance. Many camps offer early enrollment or sibling discounts, and some will arrange payment plans with parents. Every year, 90% of ACA camps offer some kind of financial assistance, often called “camperships,” totaling more than $39 million.

Hopewell Federal can help you save for camp and other family activities by helping create a spending plan. Call us today at 740.522.8311 or stop by for assistance in creating a plan.

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Barbecue Tips for Independence Day

Try some great barbecue recipes this holiday  by learning about what the Top 500 restaurants are doing.

via Barbecue Tips for Independence Day.

Seven Tips to Avoid Auto Breakdowns

Nothing can spoil a vacation—or even a quick errand—like having your car break down. Here are seven of the most common reasons for being stranded by the side of the road and preventive measures you can take.

* Battery trouble. Have your battery checked during any safety inspection or other visit to a dealer or mechanic’s shop, especially if your battery is three years old or older.

* Lockouts. Get additional sets of keys for your home and office. If you’re going on a road trip, give a set of keys to another member of your party.

* Engine trouble. Inspect belts and hoses by looking for cracks and peeling on the belts and softening on the hoses. Check the levels of transmission and other fluids with a dipstick.

* Transmission problems. If you feel slipping or a jerk when you put the automatic transmission into gear, get the transmission checked. Be sure your dealer or mechanic checks all fluids, including transmission fluid.

* Brake trouble. Get your brake pads and rotors checked at least twice a year. The brake fluid needs to be changed every two to three years.

* Flat tires. Insert a quarter into several grooves across each tire. If part of Washington’s head is always covered, you still have 4/32-inch of tread left and probably can drive safely. If you have less tread, think about replacing the tires.

* Running out of gas. Don’t take chances on reaching that next gas station beyond this one. If the warning light comes on, stop for gas as soon as you can.

If you need help funding car repairs, come to Hopewell Federal Credit Union. We have affordable loan options to get your vehicle fixed up again.

Shopping for a Car? Skip the Legwork.

Save time and shoe leather when you use the Web to compare the vehicles you’re considering.

* Check your choices–edmunds.com and kbb.com get you started with side-by-side comparisons of cars on your list.

* Inspect safety records–nhtsa.gov (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) gives crash test results; find more detail at carsafety.org (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety).

* Find the real price–edmunds.com and kbb.com let you know the price and any manufacturer price incentive for the cars on your list.

* Find the best financing–Use your credit union’s Web site to check auto loan rates and apply for a loan; when you shop with the equivalent of cash you’ll be in a better bargaining position.

Thinking of Refinancing? 

Hopewell Federal Credit Union Promotes Car Show to support Licking County Humane Society

Second Annual Car Show Proceeds to Be Donated to Worthy Cause

Hopewell Federal Credit Union announced it will, once again, host its Car Show in Newark, Ohio.  The second annual Hopewell Federal Credit Union Car Show will be held on July 21st, 2012 from 10am-3pm at 1690 North 21st.  All proceeds for this event will benefit the Licking County Humane Society.   The Licking County Humane Society is a non-profit volunteer organization devoted to the humane treatment of animals. It operates a non-profit, no-kill shelter located at 548 Dog Leg Road in Heath, next to the Licking County Animal Shelter.  Presently, they are in the middle of a capital campaign with the purpose of constructing a new building on 825 Thornwood Drive in Heath.

The event invites participants to register a car for only $10 from 10:00AM to 1:00PM on the day of the event.  The awards will take place at 2:45PM and registrants must be present to win.  A collection of awards will be presented including dash plaques, CEO award, DJ award and Top 30 awards.  All years are welcome.

Attendees of the event will enjoy free admission, DJ music, 50/50 raffle and door prize drawings.  Food will be available to purchase from Big Daddy’s Dogs during the event.  Hopewell Federal Credit Union encourages the public to attend this event to support this worthy cause.

Click here to view our event flyer.

ADVISE FOR TEENS: Summer Sun, Fun … And Money!

Summer is around the corner.  So how can you earn some cash?

Begin by asking yourself: What do I most enjoy doing? What am I good at? What special gifts or skills do I have? Here are a few ideas to start:

Love animals? If you have experience caring for pets of your own, you could provide a dog-walking service, or a pet-bathing service. Or you could be a pet-sitter for people on vacation.

Enjoy kids? Babysitters are always in demand. Get special babysitter training at your local Red Cross (www.redcross.org) or YMCA (www.ymca.net).

Are you a good learner? Maybe you’d be an excellent teacher, too. Start a tutoring service to help younger kids improve their reading, math, or science skills over the summer.

Do you love working outdoors? Think of jobs that will keep you outside. Mow lawns. Wash cars. Weed gardens. Or if you have a plot of ground big enough, grow vegetables, berries, or flowers to sell at an outdoor stand.

Have a knack for arts and crafts? Maybe the beautiful things you like to make are items others would like to buy, whether it’s jewelry, stuffed animals, greeting cards, t-shirts…

Like to be on the move? Become a go-fer. Run errands for people who are too busy or physically unable to get to the pharmacy, the grocery store, the library, or the video store.

That’s just a starter list. You take it from here! The key to success is to get the word out about your services or products. Develop a good-looking flyer and post it–with permission–on bulletin boards in neighborhood grocery stores and libraries. You also could pass out flyers door to door, but not in people’s mailboxes. (By law, only U.S. mail can go in mailboxes.)

As you pursue your projects, be sure to let your parents know what you’re doing and where you are at all times. That will spare them worry. And you’ll have a fun, safe, money-making summer.

It’s Never Too Late to Spring Clean Your Financial House

It’s Never Too Late to “Spring Clean” Your Financial House
— Straighten up credit–order your credit report at annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228.
— Dust-bust your bills–do you really need those premium movie channels?
— Shred documents you no longer need.
— Buff up beneficiary forms if you’ve experienced a marriage, birth, divorce, or death in your family.
— Tidy up insurance policies–ask your agent if you’re eligible for lower rates or discounts.