7 Quick Tips about Organizing your first Summer Camp
Summers are great. If you have your own summer camp, then it's a no-brainer that it's the best time of the year with the best opportunity for parents to get their kids to experience various indoor and outdoor activities, learn a new skill, learn to stay organized, indulge in a fun activity, make new friends and one most important thing is to benefit from new learnings that come with camp life. Camp experience helps build community and a better future for the younger campers as they learn a lot of life skills.
If you have your own camp or are a camp director and have been looking to organize summer camps this year. You need a solid plan to get started. Make the summer camp experience super smooth for excited campers, younger children, many parents, a group of friends, or whoever your target audience is; so they could just grab their sleeping bag and have the best summer camp experience at your camp.
Here are 7 quick tips about organizing your first summer camp.
- Choose the right age group
- Lay down a structure
- Set a fair price
- Start early by taking pre-bookings
- Write to parents nearby
- Get creative
- Give it back
Let's check each of these helpful tips and learn how getting a few things together would help both you, your staff members, and your campers have the right camp
1. Choose the right age group.
If you are opening a new camp, it’s important to choose your genre and what age group you are targeting. Most resident camps would select a style of the camp experience that they would want to sell. Typically, few people or groups of friends would not feel free to spend time in the same camp as say one that is more family or kids friendly. There are different kinds of camps such as day camps, picnicking, educational, health, short-term recreational, or overnight for vacations. Similarly, activities for most camps would certainly differ from the others. If you are a sports coach, a dance teacher, or a photography expert, you will be organizing a summer camp based on your specialty. However, if not, it’s highly recommended that you choose one interest area like pottery, art, etc.
It also helps a camp counselor to plan ahead, organize better and implement diverse types of camp programs as the camp starts. Besides leading through kids' activities, a camp counselor is also responsible for the smooth running of a camp, problem-solving, and safety of the campers. Therefore, it is also important to decide what age group you are targeting. If you can narrow it down or club them according to ages, you’ll be able to provide the best and actual camp experience to the campers.
2. Lay down a structure.
Once you’re done with point no. 1. Take out your notebook and lay down a structure for 2 months. You can divide them into 8 weekly summer camps or two monthly summer camps. The advantage of creating 8 different weekly summer camps is so that you can enroll a lot more kids and parents can choose the week(s) that are convenient.
Decide on the activities much before your camp starts. It also gets easy for camp counselors to guide campers best through the season.
3. Set a fair price.
Pricing is important. You have to set a fair price for the camps based on the expenses that you will incur like renting out spaces, buying equipment, food, etc. Also making your camp fees cost-effective will attract more and more campers. The good news is that you can evaluate the price as part of the bigger picture, as much as budgets allow. Here’s how:
Total Cost* /Number of Campers= Cost of one Camper
Once you have reached the cost, the pricing for one camper should be 10%+Cost of one camper. 10% is your profit. You can keep it as per your requirement.
*Total Cost= Space rental + Equipment Cost+ Food+ Drinks+ Staff
4. Start early by taking pre-bookings
Once you are done creating a structure and schedule. You should start by taking pre-bookings as early as you can. If you haven’t already, don’t worry, it’s not too late. There are various ways you can take pre-bookings, you can use Paypal and ask parents to transfer money or use Omnify. With Omnify, managing summer camps is a breeze. You can get your own website and turn your website visitors into customers and also take pre-payments via email.
5. Write to parents nearby
You can start by creating a database of parents nearby. Write to them about your summer camp. Get contact information, collect feedback, use social media platforms to market your camp well. You can use Mailchimp to send bulk emails, send the weekly newsletter at once. Or you can use Omnify and add the parents to your database. Emails will be sent to them automatically as you add them.
6. Get Creative
After you’ve figured out your activities, create a schedule for the day, it’s important you include some fun activities for the kids. Get creative with amenities such as setting up a swimming pool. Include best summer activities like swimming, painting, storytelling sessions, scavenger hunt, etc so that along with the kids, the whole family could have fun. Or you can always have some coloring sheets on hand or another quiet activity set up. This gives you a break time as well. Making your campground fun with newer and a hub of interesting new skills also helps other children who are probably introverted in nature. Start with some fun games that also involve prizes and gifting say t-shirts, mugs, or any other souvenir. Most kids love the idea of competition and adventure, setting the right camp tone on! Many counselors and staff members might also want to make the camps social media-friendly by setting up places for sharing a great photo from their cell phones with friends and the whole family. The whole idea is to make the camp experience talk of the town!
7. Give it back
Once the kids have completed their camp successfully, give them a token of appreciation. You can organize competitions as well and give them gifts. Every contribution, however small, is appreciated. Invite the parents and community over and arrange for campers to perform on the last day.