Camp directors across the country are grappling with the two questions: For over 100 years, summer camp programs have spent the months leading up to June preparing to operate on-location programs for kids, pre-teens, and teens. Make sure anyone involved in food preparation is washing regularly, and remind all of your campers to wash their hands before meals. summer camps are great for kids. Some efficient camp staffs have a detailed chore chart, and everyone pitches in to clean. Obvious guidelines, like no drinking or drugs, should be a no-brainer and immediately disqualifying if broken. What type of computer do you have? Get started with a few of our summer camp feedback form templates — then customize the form to fit your camp’s specific needs. This can be a regular event. This helps you stay engaged with past campers, and potentially encourage them to return, and keeps your camp visible beyond just the summer months. Phone: 765-342-8456 I have created a bond amoung them. Start with a list of the age groups you serve and the programs offered with those age groups. As the camp’s leader, you aren’t just responsible for proper camp management. You can get your own website and turn your website visitors into customers and also take pre-payments via email. I have spoken with camp directors who only offer cooking camps, science camps, magic camps, sewing camps. Remember the section above where I suggested how to determine creative ways to generate an abundance of value? You should also introduce your staff. Similar to creating, and then sticking to a mission statement or set of core values to help navigate company-wide decision-making, placing the camper’ experience as core value #1 makes all of your decisions simple and easy. When collecting medical information from potential campers, you have to be aware of and respect privacy laws. We’ve already discussed this a bit, but it bears repeating. Try As you decide on your summer camp, check out the JotForm blog for information about using forms to make your summer camp run more smoothly. 'Keeping Relationships in Mind' is something that doesn't get talked about enough - I'm glad to see it mentioned in this article! You’ll usually know if a space feels “right.” Don’t rush into choosing a space. What type of camp do you want to create? How are you going to fit all of that fine print on one online form? If your staff members are coming from overseas, they’re going to likely need to handle their own travel accommodations. Your camp may run in the summer, but your marketing plan should be running at all times. These virtual summer camp ideas offer the best summer classes for kids and summer school ideas for kids, ages K-12. And careful scheduling ensures that you’re pacing activities appropriately, which makes for a well-functioning camp. The companies that receive the most praise are those that strive to exceed expectations with each and every interaction between customer and employee/business owner. Campers who have a scholarship or a sponsor mean more paperwork for you to keep track of. It’s the time for making new friends and catching up with old ones, having all the fun under the sun, creating new memories, and, of course, the much-awaited summer camps! ", "description": "Read our comprehensive guide to learn the steps for launching your own summer camp", "step": [{ "@type": "HowToStep", "name": "Work out the logistics. Since camps are typically a great option for busy, working parents, you want the location of your camp to work with their busy schedules. As a camper director or owner, it is up to you to make those decisions based on knowing your product and deliverables and secondly, conducting your own market research on the appropriate pricing of your camp. You can connect your registration forms with CRMs, email marketing services, and spreadsheets — saving plenty of time. Programs like this in the virtual world become frustrating for both the counselor and the camper. How much will you pay your staff members? Sports? Camp directors do not become camp directors without having worked just about every job or position the summer camp industry presents. Will parents have to be involved, helping campers log on or prepare materials, before the camp sessions begin? That's why I especially appreciated the section 'Administration and marketing of a camp' where they touched on pricing and profitability. Why Choose a Custom Course Training Package? From virtual STEM camps, DIY craft camps, to computer coding camps… But child psychology experts have conducted studies and learned that the benefits of summer camps may run even deeper. Thank you! What are your camp traditions? Let’s face it, teaching a camp remotely is not going to be easy since it demands an overwhelming amount of energy each and every second of the day. Instead of welcoming campers to the session and capturing their undivided attention, you may find yourself receiving phone calls, texts and emails from parents who cannot log on or who cannot find the information and instructions on how to log on. Any tips? Will staffers who return in subsequent years make more than first-time staff members? These are camps that may be tailored for younger campers, such as all of your Traditional Day Camps for kids between the ages of 4 to 6. Other questions to ask yourself: why do campers attend your in-person camp? As an immediate first step and for the initial time being, disregard the administration tasks and set aside all logistical questions. }] }] }

While this is one of the best parts of camp, it can lead to some misbehavior. Think about how you and your camp can create special “peak” moments to “wow” the campers and parents. What is the role of each counselor? I told them we were acting as a start-up company and provided a portrayal that the start-up company environment and mentality may prove to be extremely difficult and frustrating to work---Longer hours worked, spending days making plans only to destroy and rewrite those plans, taking on new roles and responsibilities, and lastly being 100% supportive and flexible. You simply cannot make any assumptions or believe all will be well without triple checking key components to how the virtual program will be delivered. When it comes to day trips and excursions, you will also need permission slips signed by parents. More and more, successful camps are successful brands. All good things must come to an end — and summer camp is no different. Parents/campers and you/your team are already pressured with adversity, so do your best to eliminate confusion, set the precedent, and clearly define the expectations in order to stay organized and eliminate potential disappointment (unintended consequences of not setting proper expectations). How will our team communicate with parents if a camper is disconnected from the virtual camp or simply decides to walk away from the screen for a long duration of time? All of your ad materials should convey a consistent tone and aesthetic. At first glance many of them had a very hard time comprehending how their respective, 20+ years of in-person program delivery could translate in the virtual camp setting. Do you want your camp to be a day camp or an overnight camp? This requires design assets — whether this includes your camp’s logo, the use of images from your camp, graphic design elements, or some combination of all of the above — and likely some written copy, such as a slogan or concise description of your camp. Want your camp to remain a presence in your campers’ lives year-round? And on that note, make sure who you’re trying to attract to your camp is reflected in your marketing materials. First, make yourself fully available to assist parents or campers who may be technologically challenged during the weekend is something that will most definitely take additional time, but in the end will ensure success. Some of the expectations we set, in the form of both statements and questions include the following: All of the questions above, and more, will need to be answered by your team well before they commit to working with you in a virtual camp environment. Why? But including a broad overview adds some color to your letter and gives entertaining context. It is recommended you determine your final list of virtual camp offerings by contemplating the following: I recommended you revisit your core values, your mission statement and overall, your camp culture. It can be a great opportunities for camp professionals to work together, if someone might not be right for your camp consider recommending they apply to a different camp that might be more of what they're looking for in a camp job! Titles and bullets are your friend. They can be a setting for enrichment — whether that’s learning a new skill, exploring the arts, or engaging in athletic pursuits — or just plain old fun in the sun. All of your information is in one place. But you’ll need other policies as well, so that your employees have the necessary tools to deal with the children in your camp safely and appropriately. Practicalities aside, you want your location to feel special. Using an online form builder like JotForm can make the process of camp registration simple. From there, analyze and determine that you may need to offer more programs to younger campers, since their parents need supervision and activities for their children the most. If you think you are confused by the concept of Virtual Camp, imagine how campers and parents will grapple with the new reality - that a summer camp facility is now their very own house! The outcome of our initial meeting was the following: we all felt 100% comfortable that we possessed the collective skill sets and experience to run an in-person camp, but none of us knew or had any experience on how to operate a virtual camp. In your application form, you should give applicants the chance to explain what they’d bring to your camp and why their past experiences and skills qualify them for a position. We couldn’t find a figure anywhere but considering there are over 12,000 in the USA alone, we’re guessing at least 25,000! }] }, { "@type": "HowToStep", "name": "Collect feedback and keep in touch with campers. Designing and printing flyers can cost only a few dollars. They go the extra mile to ensure an exceeding-expectations product, service, and experience to all with whom they serve. Moreover, temporarily remove all thoughts about how to market a virtual camp to your camp families. What do you want to accomplish with your camp? Culture begins not with your product, but with your company’s leadership, core values, and mission statement. Find a space to suit your idea — not the other way around. Here are a few things to consider if you’re working with an international staff. And, as with any marketing plan, put money in what works. Make sure the plumber takes a look at the water — sometimes, the tap isn’t a clean source of water, so you need to opt for a filtration system. It’s all gone. Consider costs. Use the power of your unique engagement and inevitable role of mentor to encourage the campers to be proactive around the house, well before parents intervene. Keep in mind logistical considerations. Make: Online… Maybe you’ll give up some space for the chance to put your camp in a convenient location. Remember the basics. Let that guide your choice of a space, rather than choosing a space without much consideration and bending the plans for your camp to fit this space. Assuming, though, that you've decided to get a license (potentially a wise decision): To start the process off, you contact the Department of Health and ask for the summer camp inspectors. But you don’t need to think about all of the technical wizardry going on in the background. Ready to share your information with your team? We’ll discuss the legal procedures required to get started and how to set up summer camp registration, pricing, hiring, activity ideas, and so much more. Over the years some of our camps best counsellors have been folks who didn't come to camp with years of camp experience or studying a related field but who were enthusiastic and excited to learn! Without your team’s buy-in to the sudden change of structure and organization, everything else you plan may not work. What if the kit doesn’t arrive by the time the camp start date begins? If placing your camp in camp directories is paying off, it’s worth investing in that and finding more directories. If certain people don’t work well together, mediate the situation as best you can and have them work in roles that don’t require them to be elbow to elbow everyday. Whatever stimulates conversation among staff members is best. Starting a summer camp would be a mentally demanding Task. If you do not have the time to schedule a live “parent/camper orientation” then challenge yourself, instead, to create brief video clips to share with families. If you do not communicate and engage with your counselors, you are leading both yourself and your staff to failure. Will some of your younger staffers be volunteers? Fax: 765-342-2065Contact ACA. In your marketing message, the value add could be “cooking together creates a friendly and fun end-of-day activity for both parents and children.” Now, instead of having kids actually cook the food, that portion of your camp is replaced with a recorded video that demonstrates how the camper will walk the parent through the step-by-step process of cooking the meal that the camper prepared all day making. Sign up to get notified of the latest offerings. If applicable, add some quotes from past campers. Have your custodial staff regularly keep these showers clean and well stocked with soap and shampoo. Lots of different types of camp ideas can work as long as you’re approaching the situation with creativity and passion. You can’t measure profitability without conducting market research, and you can’t decide on pricing until you have an idea of how profitable you expect your camp to be. But sometimes the benefits go even deeper and transcend “fun in the sun.” Camp can give children the tools they need to deal with social or intellectual problems, skills that will stay with them for a lifetime. Some camps even have campers pitch in on cleaning to teach responsibility and give them agency over their space. Then focus on investing in the channels that drive campers to your site and forget the methods that aren’t working. How To Create a Summer Camp Survival Kit Do you remember going to summer camp as a kid? Beyond that, you want to make sure all of your campers have access to delicious, nutritious food that fits their needs. Therefore, set the expectations at all times and well in advance. Or even add feedback from parents of previous campers. School or a school-led “online learning” experience. Let’s first address your team and the counselors you employ. So, what exactly is a virtual camp, how do you transition and what are the new and realistic expectations? This means you’re able to simultaneously accept payments and get detailed registrant information. What do you want campers to take away from your camp? Ideally you want to bring a new summer camp idea to your locale. But managing a camp is a year-round job. If international staffers are going to be working in the United States, they’re going to need a visa. They are overwhelming and they will waste your valuable time. This will help you “show” rather than just “tell” prospective campers how great your camp is. I once heard a senior customer service agent at the Disney Institute say, and I paraphrase: if you ask customers (in this case parents) what they want, they way want, want, want you right out of business. While many summer camp ideas are probably summer camps for kids, you might be surprised to learn that more and more adult summer camps are popping up, providing adults with career enrichment, couples counseling, and other skills and activities that are relevant to more mature age groups. This widget can also easily be configured to fit in with the look of your form. A lot of problems can be solved preemptively. And physical ads are affordable. And don’t worry — there are templates you can use to guide you along the way. If you need to collect subsequent payments during the summer or give refunds, having that payment information in one place makes this process much easier for both you and the registrant. Once you’ve developed a solid business plan for your camp, make sure you’re pricing your camp fairly. Most likely, you began your camp journey working with campers in a small group, positive and fun environment. Get out in the public. This means you have to maintain certain hygiene and sanitation standards so that campers stay healthy and comfortable. This guide will show you how getting your own summer camp up and running is actually easier than you’d expect. Regardless, you will need to collect waivers, especially if you are planning excursions and day trips. Keeping application information and payment information together allows you to easily contact the camper if there are any issues with their payment. With some know-how, it’s pretty simple to create a comprehensive waiver, consent, or release form in JotForm. If an in-person camp does happen, then the sheer excitement and opportunity for children having the ability to get out of the house and attend a summer camp will far supersede any extraneous items and/or experiences they may be used to receiving (giveaway items, t-shirts, certificates, etc). Awesome place to camp. To make sure your bathrooms are functional, hire a plumber to take a look at your plumbing system before camp starts. So, take a moment to pause and reflect on the fact that you know much more about how to create fun, meaningful, interactive and valuable experiences for kids than you may think. One of the most important factors in planning your virtual camp is the schedule. These are vital considerations as you work on designing your camp program. Because at the end of the day, you have a great big stretch of land that’s built for human enjoyment. Sometimes you just know when someone will fit into your staff culture — and when they won’t. Social ads tend to be rather cheap in the grand scheme of things, so investing in social might be a cost-effective way to draw attention. Will campers receive a kit of materials to use during the camp session(s)? While we’ve already spoken a bit about how digital tools can make the summer camp creation process easier, you can’t forget that summer camp still requires a physical space. What if, however, you removed the (in-person) unsupervised dangerous activity of sauce simmering, and instead created a step-by-step, pre-recorded video to share with both the camper and the respective family member an hour before dinnertime. It’s your responsibility to keep them in the loop so they know that their child is safe and happy at camp. }] }, { "@type": "HowToStep", "name": "Hire and train staff. CreatueU! Never lose your culture. Will children be working in teams or groups? I think Henry Ford once said, 'If I'd ask customers what they wanted, they would've told me a faster horse.' Release forms help protect camps in the case of an accident or other unexpected incident occurring at the camp. This is how I communicated our change of plans and the new vision to our team: In the Virtual Camp environment, the true definition of value has changed, but only slightly. What is in the kit? Trust me, they will not only be appreciated and valued now, your acts of kindness, creativity, and positivity will pay off in dividends in future summers. Details regarding everyday life at camp will certainly be of interest to parents and will put them at ease as they send their children off. The documentation required and procedures you need to follow as your start you camp vary on a state by state level. ", "itemListElement": [{ "@type": "HowToDirection", "text": "Develop job descriptions, applications, and policies, including staff appraisals." Maybe you start your days with a fun icebreaker activity, take a field trip in the middle of the day, and then have a fun activity like a scavenger hunt later in the day. A summer camp’s rigid schedule can help you create structure for your kids and yourself by planning camp activities hour by hour. Nevertheless, despite all the hard work, time, and energy accompanying the pre-camp mania, it is a welcomed challenge. Physical or academic enrichment, lifelong friendships, timeless memories. At-Home Outdoor Fun & Nature Camp. This also is the case if you’re setting up recurring payments for the camper throughout the summer. While this will surely be included in other camp materials, it’s never a bad idea to remind parents about how they can get in touch with you — and that you welcome regular contact if they ever have questions, concerns, or feedback. It also allows you to make improvements to your programming and potentially pay your staff more. They can be pulled out a moment’s notice to get your campers excited and engaged. Taking summer camp registration online allows campers to fill out any necessary forms and send their registration payment to you quickly. Summer Camps for kids in Milton for Kids Ages 4-12. You can start by creating a database of parents nearby. Kids need a break from their parents and they need it ASAP. It should seem like a place where memories will be made. STEP 3: Enter your Business Name, Form Title, and choose the Registration Type. One of the main benefits of using an online form for camp registration is the fact that all of the information you need — names, contact information, etc. It may not be the most glamorous or exciting part of the camp management process, but it’s arguably the most important. This will keep campers fresh and full of energy! It’s simple: permission slips and consent forms are evidence that a parent knew about and approved of an activity that was happening at camp. 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