With the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, many camps are taking the steps necessary to open back up again. This is good news. Summer camp is one of the most important parts of a child’s life; not only providing them with a great way to enjoy their summer vacation but to teach them valuable skills. 

But how can you be sure that your camp is streamlined? 

Running a summer camp is no easy task. You have to deal with children, parents, counselors, premises, several schedules, and whatever the specifics of your camp is.

However, in 2021, it’s crucial that you streamline your summer camp experience. The presence of the internet, smartphones, uber, and delivery apps has turned the people’s new chant into give me convenience or give me death. Are you prepared to provide a quick, convenient experience?

If you’re not sure, you’ve come to the right place. This article will walk you through a couple of tips you can implement to streamline your summer camp. 

  1. Promote Your Camp Online 

By the tone of the intro, you probably could have guessed this one was coming. An online presence is the single most important presence that a business can develop to market itself.

To put it simply, “real life” and “the internet” are no longer two different things. All the money you spend on a billboard will go to waste when someone walks past it looking on their phone. The attention is on the phone, so that’s where you have to go.

Promoting your camp online is an easy way to consolidate your resources, and save yourself time on advertising. Using tactics such as SEO, targeted ads, and direct messaging will gain you far more traction than traditional or television advertising.

In addition to this, online promotion can save you a lot of headaches. If you build yourself up a large following, you can use your online platform to let parents and children know any updates/information they need to know about your camp. This will reduce the number of phone calls/emails you have to field. 

  1. Hire the Right People 

According to Quentin Tarantino, the job of a director isn’t to run absolutely everything, it’s to hire the right people and explain your vision to them so that they can get it done. This doesn’t just apply to film direction, it applies to the direction of a camp as well.

Nothing will slow down your summer camp like workers who just don’t care. Hiring bad administration will slow things down on your end; you’ll wind up giving parents bad customer service, paperwork will pile up, and mixups will be made. Hiring bad counselors means the campers have a worse experience, and you have to deal with complaints and rehires. 

While you’re dealing with very young people, don’t forget that camp counselors are relatively young people as well. Most likely, you’re going to be hiring a lot of college students and recent graduates who are trying to make some money from the summer. You have to separate the wheat from the chaff and figure out who’s great at what they’re being hired to do, as well as being able to handle children with tact, authority, and respect. 

  1. Make Camp Registration Easy 

While camp is fun for kids, and a joy for parents to hear what great fun their children had, camp registration can be a pain. No one likes the tedium of paperwork, insurance, forms, health information, and vaccination shots.

However, in 2021, you have many more options than ever to help your prospective campers and parents sign up. 

Make sure that your registration is able to be completed online. Forcing parents to print things out in 2021 is a bigger task than it was ten years ago. Many people don’t own printers and do all of their work online.

While it might be easier for an older person to print things out, this is not true of younger parents, many of whom are on the older side of the millennial generation, or the younger side of generation X. It’s best to provide parents with the option to complete online or to print out their registration. 

You should also make sure registration software is mobile-friendly. In 2021, it’s not enough to simply set up online capabilities and rest on your laurels. Mobile phones have their very own layout, which needs to be accounted for.

To learn if your camp registration software is mobile-friendly, look here now

  1. Do Your Homework 

You run a summer camp — you can’t start slacking now! Study other summer camps to learn from their success… and their errors too. 

Performing arts camp Long Lake Camp For the Arts is a huge success in both marketing and attendance. They’ve even been able to expand their camp out into a sister camp — the adventure camp. 

Their website features many great videos to enjoy, helpful information, responses to COVID concerns, contact pages, and much much more. This is a great positive role model to study.

But you needn’t limit yourself to vast success or failures. Look at your competitors, and see specifically which policies of theirs work and fail. From here you can adopt, borrow, or purge yourself of certain practices.

Running a camp means dealing with unstable variables. It’s best to take an artistic/scientific approach, and constantly be testing out new ways to improve. 

Streamline Your Summer Camp 

Summer camp is an extremely important part of a child’s development. If it’s a sleep-away camp, it’s often the first time a child is away from their parents for an extended period of time. Even if it isn’t, it’s extremely important for children to understand a sense of structure that isn’t school. 

The true heroes of the summer camp, however, are the parents. The parents have to prepare their children for this opportunity, fill out the registration, and pay for the whole thing. Make the job easier for them, for the kids, and for you, by streamlining your process.

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