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How to Write an Effective Camp Job Posting

Finding the right camp staff members is time-consuming and stressful. An effective job posting will help you narrow down your applicant pool before ever scheduling an interview, saving you time and money. 

This article is a roadmap to writing the ideal job posting for your camp’s open positions. Follow these guidelines to streamline your recruiting process and ensure a high-quality applicant pool. 

Lead with a description of the person you want for the job

Imagine the ideal hire. What are their basic personality traits? What do they want out of this position? How do you want them to show up for work every day? 

Write a short description of this person so applicants have an idea of how they match up with your expectations. 

List specific responsibilities 

The more generic your listing, the harder it will be for prospective staff to self-assess their skills and qualifications. Get really specific when writing about your camp’s job opening. 

For example, instead of writing this: 

“Lead small groups of campers in fun activities.”

Try this instead: 

“Lead groups of 5-7 campers ages 7-11 in activities such as outdoor games, craft projects, and storytimes.”

This gives potential applicants a much better idea of what their everyday responsibilities will be like. It may take a while to write out, but remember: the more time you put into the job posting, the less time you waste down the line interviewing unqualified applicants. 

Emphasize required qualifications 

If your camp is very strict about things like certifications or activity levels, your job postings should emphasize that. For example, say you require every camp counselor to be certified in child CPR. 

Consider adding this to the very top of your posting or putting it in a bold font. Your “deal breakers” should be easy to spot. 

Include a bit about your camp’s culture 

At the bottom of the job posting, include a short blurb about your camp. Explain its history, traditions, and what you envision for its future. 

You want your applicants to admire your camp’s history and be a part of its future, so they should know what your plans are and how you want to accomplish them. 

Include a sentence or two about how the job you’re posting will fit into these plans. For example, if you’re posting an open counselor position, explain how you see counselors contributing to camp growth. 

Be transparent about the hiring process

People applying for jobs gain trust in a company when they are open about the hiring process and what to expect after submitting an application. Consider adding a section about the “next steps” after applying. 

Think about answering these questions: 

  • When can applicants expect to hear back after submitting?
  • How many interviews will there be?
  • Is the first interview a phone interview?
  • Are any technical skill tests required?

The bottom line: Be detailed and consistent

Add as much detail as you can to the job posting so applicants aren’t left guessing. You may receive fewer applications, but this is a good thing. It means the applicant pool has narrowed itself down for you. 

When you finally get to the interviewing process, be consistent with your posting. Know what skills and requirements you put in the job description and be ready to discuss each. If you added details on the interview/hiring next steps, follow them. 

Remember, you’re interviewing your camp candidates as much as they are interviewing you. Build a foundation of trust starting with your posting and following through with the hiring and training processes. 

With CampSite’s Staff Management Module, not only can you track applications for your different job postings but you can also manage leads, record interview responses and overall, simplify your hiring processes!

To hear more about CampSite’s core Camper module features and Staff Management Module,  request your free personalized demo today!

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4 Ways to Create Camp Culture in Staff Training 

Your camp relies completely on the staff members dedicated to it. Make sure their training builds an environment campers and staff alike will be proud to be part of.  With that, creating and maintaining camp culture is key.

Why camp culture is important

Building camp culture is like building your brand. It creates the feelings that will stick with campers and their parents. 

Those feelings keep your camp alive in their memories. This can lead to them sharing your camp with others, making camp culture an essential part of your word-of-mouth marketing. 

Additionally, having a cohesive and positive culture keeps campers engaged and enthusiastic at camp. 

Establishing camp culture during staff training

Here are four simple ways to create camp culture while training your staff. To make these even more effective, make sure your training takes place on its own designated days instead of trying to rush it right before camp starts. 

1. Brainstorm shared values 

Team values are stronger when they’re decided on together. Staff will feel invested in the culture since they had a hand in creating it. 

Spend some time at the beginning of your training coming up with camp values in small groups. Use a whiteboard to write them all down. The board may get crowded, but that’s part of the fun! 

Once the board is full, go through the words one by one and have staff vote on their top three. The three values with the most votes will be the core of your camp culture. 

If your camp already has established values, use this time to review them as a group. How were they chosen? What do they mean? 

In small groups, camp staff can discuss what the values mean to them and how they want to instill this culture in the campers. 

2. Thoroughly review the camp schedule together

Knowledge builds confidence, and this includes knowledge of when and where everything at camp is supposed to happen. After discussing camp culture, review everything on the schedule and how it fits into those cultural values. 

For example, let’s say one of your camp’s major values is community. On your schedule you have a sports competition planned. How does this activity instill a culture of community? How can you go the extra mile to emphasize that value? 

Repeat this process for everything on your schedule. You can even discuss meals and break times to see if staff have ideas for connecting “downtime” to camp culture. 

3. Conduct team-building activities 

Team-building activities may seem basic, but there’s a reason so many companies do them again and again. They’re effective! 

Ice breakers, group puzzles, team games, and improv acting exercises are all examples of activities used by professional management groups to bring teams together and create a cohesive culture. 

4. Host recreational events after training

After a long day of training, create some camaraderie by doing something fun with staff. Take them out to dinner, go to a local music show, or do a big group activity like laser tag.

Having fun together kickstarts a positive and inclusive culture for staff that will be a great example for your campers.

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Top 7 Qualities to Look For When Hiring Camp Counselors (with Example Interview Questions)

Feeling pressure to pick the right camp counselors? Good – you probably should. 

It’s extremely important that the children/teens at your camp are around trustworthy counselors whom they respect. It’s also essential that parents feel safe leaving their kids with the counselors you choose. 

So, how do you narrow it down and find the counselors of your dreams? Start by checking off all the qualities below. 

Your counselors must have…

#1: Patience 

Working with kids can be exhausting. The right counselor candidate will love kids and have the patience to prove it. 

To determine if your candidate has the required patience, ask them questions like: 

  • Tell me about a time someone really tested your patience. How did you respond? 
  • How would you handle it if a camper was not being uncooperative? 
  • People say patience is a virtue. What does that statement mean to you? 

#2: Respect 

A camp counselor must be respectful not only to you and other staff members but also to the campers they work with. It’s easier for kids to show respect if they’re respected first, and a good counselor will know this. 

Ask these questions to learn about a counselor candidate’s views on respect: 

  • How do you show respect to people younger than you? Give an example. 
  • What would you do if a camper was being disrespectful toward you or another counselor? 
  • How will you earn the respect of campers? Of fellow counselors? 

#3: Leadership

Being a camp counselor requires leading small groups and knowing how to take charge. Determine a potential counselor’s leadership skills with these questions: 

  • Tell me about your favorite leader. What did they do to show their leadership? 
  • When you’re in charge of a group, how do you handle internal conflict? 
  • If a camper or another counselor did something wrong, how would you give them feedback? 

#4: Positivity 

Positive counselors will create a positive atmosphere for campers. This atmosphere will be happier, more collaborative, and easier to manage. 

Ask candidates these questions to gauge their level of positivity: 

  • Tell me about a time you turned something negative into something positive. How did you start thinking about it differently?
  • Pretend there’s a day at camp where everything seems to be going wrong. How do you make the campers feel better about it? 
  • Do you see yourself as optimistic? Why or why not? 

#5: Adaptability 

No matter how much you plan, something surprising will always happen at camp. Counselors should be flexible and able to adapt to whatever circumstances (or campers) throw at them. 

Use these interview questions to determine adaptability in a potential counselor: 

  • Give me an example of a time when something unexpected came up at school or work. How did you adapt? 
  • How do you feel about learning new things? 
  • If a camper was having trouble adapting to a big change, how would you help them? 

#6: High energy 

Camp can involve long days and not much social downtime. Your counselors will need to have the energy to keep up with the campers and all the activities you have planned. 

Here are some questions you can ask about energy levels: 

  • How do you balance your work and/or school life with extracurricular and social activities? 
  • What do you do when you feel like you’re running out of energy? 
  • Describe your ideal daily routine. How would you fit in everything you want to do? 

#7: Open-mindedness

Last but not least, all of your counselors should be open-minded. Your campers will come from various backgrounds and have widely varying personalities, as will the other counselors. Getting along with and accepting others is a must. 

To gauge open-mindedness, include these questions in your interview: 

  • Give me an example of a time when you changed your mind. What made you think differently? How did you react?
  • Why is it important to you to work with people that have backgrounds different from your own? 
  • If a camper was going through something that you didn’t personally understand, how would you react? 

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3 Easy Ways to Say “Thank You” to Camp Staff and Alumni 

Campers and staff make your business thrive. Without them, your camp quite literally wouldn’t exist – an appreciative “Thank You” is a must! 

We’ve come up with a few simple ways you can ensure staff and alumni feel the love year-round. Let’s start with why it’s important. 

Why it’s essential to say thanks

Making sure the people you work with feel appreciated isn’t just “being nice.” In fact, it’s an essential part of being a leader and building a camp culture that keeps people coming back. Here are a few other benefits of expressing your gratitude. 

Retain top talent 

According to a study by the American Psychological Association, employees who feel valued not only feel better about their work but are more engaged as well. Showing your thanks will help you retain your talented staff members and keep them interested in doing their best. 

Build a culture of appreciation 

Your camp’s culture is the core of everyone’s experience there, regardless of their status as staff or camper. Ensuring you thank everyone from counselor to camper establishes gratitude as one of the tenets of your camp’s culture. 

Enhance word-of-mouth marketing

When people feel valued, they’re more likely to share their experiences. Alumni and camp staff who feel appreciated at your camp will be the ones spreading the word for free. 

Our top 3 ways to say thanks

These are simple ideas for enhancing your culture of gratitude. Feel free to add your own flair! 

1. Social media highlights 

Show camp staff and alumni that you care by giving them a shout-out on your camp’s social media channels. Here are some things you could post about: 

  • Accomplishments at school. Have they won an award? Earned a top sports title? Been accepted into their dream school? Let everyone know about it. 
  • Testimonials from campers. Ask campers what they love about a staff member or former camper and compile those quotes into a heartfelt post. 
  • Simple fun facts. Ask the alum or staff member for a fun fact about themselves. It’s a small thing to share, but it can still make someone feel special. 

Whatever you share, make sure you include a flattering photo of the staff member or alum. They will feel truly recognized (and happy you got their good side!).  

2. Gift cards 

Unlike social media highlights, getting gift cards as a “thank you” will cost a little money. Save it for special occasions or personal milestones. 

Although it’s easy, try to avoid the generic Visa or Amazon gift card. Try these more personal ideas instead: 

  • Local coffee shops. Camp staff and older alumni who love coffee will appreciate your support of their caffeine addiction. Plus, getting a gift card from somewhere local is a great chance to build a relationship with another small business. 
  • College bookstores. Are your former campers or staff members moving on to college? Show you care about this big step by getting them a gift card to their campus bookstore. 
  • Toy stores. Younger camp alumni would be delighted by some extra toy money. Just be sure to clear this one with their parents first. 
  • Camp merch stores. If your camp has swag, say thank you with a voucher for something that will let your alum or staff member show their camp pride. 

3. Service awards and superlatives

Host a ceremony at the end of the camp season and invite staff and alumni. You can give thanks and have a party at the same time! 

Use these awards/superlatives to get you started: 

  • Years of service. If a staff member has returned to your camp year after year, give them an award to commemorate how much time they’ve dedicated. 
  • “Most likely to” certificates. Make up some camp-related superlatives for alumni and ask other campers to vote. Campers will feel appreciated for being thought of in unique ways. 
  • Leadership recognition. Get senior staff members together and choose a few counselors who showed the most initiative. Give them an award to say thank you and recognize their potential. 

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How to Cultivate Mindfulness at Camp

It’s been a bit of a buzzword for the last couple decades, but it’s for good reason. Mindfulness has many applications and benefits. 

Practicing mindfulness can be an enriching addition to your camp activity docket, and parents will likely appreciate the calmness and peace that it teaches kids and teens. 

But how do you get started teaching such a big concept? Let’s start with the definition. 

The definition of mindfulness

According to Mindful, the definition of “mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”

When we are mindful, we aren’t caught up in worrying about the future or ruminating on the past. We are simply paying attention to our breath and the world around us. 

In essence, mindfulness is a path toward inner peace.  

Why mindfulness is important for kids and teens

Today’s kids and teens have trouble shutting down their minds. Stress is constantly present in homes and schools. Depression is more common. And anxiety has been steadily worsening among these age groups for years. 

Mindfulness practices are often “prescribed” as treatments not only for everyday stress, but also for more serious mental health issues. Learning mindfulness techniques has been proven to help young people improve their focus, better regulate their emotions, and feel more optimistic about life. In schools, it can even improve classroom participation and respect among students.  

Unfortunately, many schools leave mindfulness out of their curriculums entirely. This is where your camp comes in. Away from home and school, kids and teens are in the perfect headspace to reevaluate their negative feelings. 

You want your campers to leave camp with life-long friendships and great memories, but taking home mindfulness can make an even longer-lasting impact on their happiness.  

Cultivating mindfulness at camp

Introducing your campers to mindfulness is not as complicated as you may think. Here are four examples of simple activities they will love: 

1. Guided breathing exercises 

These can be as short as a few deep breaths before snack time or as long as a half-hour of meditation. It’s up to you to decide what your campers can handle. 

When everyone has quieted down and closed their eyes, start leading some deep breaths and use your imagination to describe a calming scene. If you’re not sure where to begin, you can also look up a guided meditation video on YouTube. 

When they open their eyes, remind them that they can come back to their breath at any time – especially when they feel big emotions like anger or frustration. This can help them regulate interactions with other campers on their own. 

2. Scheduled quiet time 

This is exactly what it sounds like: time on the schedule for simply breathing and being quiet. 

Often, camp schedules are jam-packed with activities. This is great for having fun, but slowing down can help campers take a mindful moment and appreciate their environment even more. 

This will also give sensitive, quiet kids time they may need to decompress. Plus, counselors can get a well-needed break from the noise. 

3. Walking meditation in nature 

This could also be called a “silent hike.” Lead campers on a walk through nature (or whatever space is available to you) and ask them to focus on their breathing instead of talking. 

Encourage them to look around and notice their surroundings without pointing them out to anyone else. This is their time to be with nature and their own minds. 

After the walk, break off into small groups and discuss what the campers noticed. Did they see more than they usually would? What sounds were they able to pick up? 

When the activity is over, remind them that they don’t need to be on a hike to do a walking meditation. Whether they are in the woods or walking in circles in their bedroom, all they need to do is move and pay attention to their breathing. 

4. Mindful mealtime  

Mealtime is an excellent opportunity to introduce mindfulness. During a meal or over a snack time, encourage campers to do very little talking and just enjoy the sensations of eating. 

You can even lead their thoughts by pointing out different flavors, textures, and other aspects of the meal. Ask them: Have you ever really just tasted your food before? Or were you just focused on talking to friends?

At the end, remind them how precious this time is and how lucky they are to sit and enjoy their food. Then allow them to talk about the food and their feelings in small groups.  

Key mindfulness resources

Interested in learning more about mindfulness and its applications? Here are a few resources to get you started: 

Peace in Every Step

This book by well-known Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh is an ideal guide for those just starting out with mindfulness. His advice, stories, and meditations show readers simple yet effective ways to apply mindfulness to their everyday lives. 

Mindful

Mindful is a magazine and website dedicated to mindfulness resources. It has everything from blogs to guided meditations, as well as resources grouped by issues like anxiety or sleep. There’s even a section dedicated to kids. 

Headspace Guide to Meditation

This Netflix series was created by the people behind the popular mindfulness app Headspace. There are eight episodes that explore different emotions and strategies. 

Want more kid-oriented resources? Check out this extensive list of mindfulness books for kids

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5 Ways to Build Life-Long Relationships with Campers and Staff

Forming healthy relationships is essential for the development of kids and teens. That’s why making life-long relationship building part of your camp’s goals is so important. 

Bonding is also important for adults, so make sure to include camp staff in your goals! Here are five ideas to start building those connections. 

1. Pre-camp staff training

Before your camp officially starts, plan a day or two just for staff to get to know one another and train. Make it like a mini-camp just for the adults who run the show. 

This will not only help your camp run smoothly by training the staff well, but it will also build relationships. This can lead to friendships while creating a high-functioning team that will run your camp efficiently. 

2. Small groups

Breaking campers into smaller groups led by a staff member gives kids a more intimate environment to share experiences. Big group activities are fun, but it can be hard to connect when there are so many people involved. 

You can separate groups by age, interest, or do it randomly. To make it extra fun, you can even break campers into “houses” with different mascots, like in Harry Potter!

3. Innovative icebreakers 

Starting with “tell us about yourself” isn’t very memorable and can really put people on the spot. Instead, try some unique prompts that can bring campers and staff out of their shells. 

Here are some ideas: 

  • What would you do if there was a zombie apocalypse? 
  • If you were a mythological creature, what would you be and why? 
  • What are your hidden talents? 
  • What is the best book you’ve ever read? Why was it the best? 
  • Describe yourself using three emojis. 
  • If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
  • What would you title your autobiography? 
  • What is your best dance move? Can you show us? 
  • Would you rather be the smartest person in the room, or the funniest? Why? 
  • What are you most excited for at camp? 
  • What do you look for in a friend? 
  • What is your favorite part of being with your family? How do you feel about being away from them now? 
  • What is something you want help with during your time at camp? 

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Feel free to make up your own icebreakers or even let your campers come up with some.

4. Shared mealtimes 

Camp staff and campers don’t need to eat separately. Spread out your staff among the campers during snack time and mealtimes. If you have the facilities for it, you could also have staff and campers cook together before they eat. 

Connecting over a food can be more organic and meaningful than other activities or icebreakers. During a meal, people often share deeper stories than they usually would. This can help campers form bonds for a lifetime. 

5. Team challenges 

There’s nothing like a good competition to bring teams together. Make time for trust-building team challenges that your camp’s small groups can compete with. 

One example is the human knot game, which only takes 15-20 minutes. Teams form a “knot” by joining hands across the circle, and they have to work together to untangle themselves. 

This is as much a puzzle as it is an exercise in working together. Campers will learn how to communicate with one another and gain a deeper understanding of the people in their group. To make it a competition, award a prize to the group that detangles the fastest! 

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Website Design 101

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to do a revamp of your existing site, website design choices can be overwhelming. There can be hundreds or even thousands of website themes to choose from to guide the design—and choosing a theme is just the first step.

Your website provides a vital piece of your business, attracting interested families and campers, answering questions, and converting website visitors to customers for your business. We’ll break down the 3 most important design principles for your camp website to help you reach people sooner.

Embrace Mobile First

In web design, we used to design a website at desktop size and then rearrange elements to make it work on mobile. The “mobile first” concept means the opposite – that mobile is the most important design of your website.

Mobile search is often the first way people start researching a large investment, and websites are often shared between people over text, Facebook messages, and other mobile formats. If visitors can’t find what they want on mobile, they may move on to the next website.

So what does mobile first mean in practice? You should be using a responsive website builder that takes all screen sizes into account when you create your site. This means that fonts will resize to be big enough to be readable and that spacing between elements looks great. 

Then, check every page of your website on multiple phones and tablets to make sure that you can open menus, click links, tap buttons, and easily interact with all website elements. And finally, consider disabling pop-ups that can be difficult to close out of on a small screen.

Show and Tell

Modern websites are more image-driven than ever before. While writing descriptions of important information is crucial to your website’s success (both in providing information people want and in helping your SEO), it’s best to be able to also provide dynamic photos on every website page. 

Consider what you would show someone on a tour of your facility who has never seen it before. You’ll probably want to show off the grounds, some activities, the cafeteria, and what the inside of the cabins look like. And if there happen to be people around enjoying the camp while you’re showing it off? Even better.

A number of tests have shown that including images with people helps websites convert better. Seeing faces helps people imagine themselves in that space. For the best website experience, hire a photographer to come out for a day to capture your camp. You’ll have photos for your website and a high-quality repository of images to use in other materials.

Prioritize Accessibility

Web accessibility means that all website users will be able to understand, navigate, and interact with your website. Accessibility is beneficial not just for those who may have vision or hearing impairments, but also for all website users. The Web Accessibility Initiative is the best resource for checking if your website is compliant.

Here are a few places you can start with to make sure your website is accessible to all users:

  • Alt text: Adding alt text to images helps screen readers to tell people what’s on a page. Your alt text should always be as descriptive as possible, and should never be a place that you try stuffing keywords into.
  • Colors: When placing text over a background color, check that there is enough contrast between colors so that people with visual disabilities such as color blindness will be able to read the text.
  • Hierarchies: Use heading and subheading styling to indicate the flow of information. Do not use heading styling simply to provide a certain font size or color to a piece of information.
  • Content: Avoid jargon or industry abbreviations and instead opt for the most simplified language possible. This will be easier to understand for all website users, but especially benefits those who may have cognitive disabilities, use a screen reader, or be a non-native English speaker.

Some people may see the above tasks as an added layer of difficulty, but there are a couple reasons why they’re actually non-negotiable. First, these items are actually also extremely important factors for your website’s SEO. Search engines like Google prioritize websites that are easy to digest and navigate. So, this helps your website rank higher and helps your website visitors navigate your website. That’s a win-win.

And more importantly, it’s the law. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers websites under the same standards that a brick and mortar business would be subject to. In other words, your website must be accessible to all visitors, regardless of ability. Unfortunately, the Department of Justice still hasn’t formalized what the standards are for website accessibility, but the gold standard is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and it’s the best place to start.

Key Takeaway: Keep it Simple

While this may seem to be a lot of information to digest, at its core good web design is all about making it easy for people to find what they need on your site. The first steps to building your lead converting website are:

  • Checking that everything looks great and works well on mobile
  • Using great photos that show off your camp and its facilities
  • Making the site accessible to all users with clear copy and simple navigation

Once you get your campers in the door, the rest is easy with CampSite. We handle the online registration, billing, forms, and so much more. Request a free demo to see what we can do.

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How to Choose Your Marketing Channels 

For small and large businesses alike, it seems that marketing efforts could grow endlessly. Your marketing attention – and budget – are pulled in so many directions. Which ones should you focus on, and which can you abandon?

As soon as you have a grasp on Instagram Stories, they start pushing Reels. Maybe you finally set up a SnapChat, only to find that now, everyone’s on TikTok. And what about traditional channels, like newspapers and direct mail? 

You can’t be everywhere, but you can optimize your time to make the biggest impact on the channels you choose.

Here are some questions to consider when choosing what marketing channels to focus on.

Who’s Involved in Buying?

The first thing to consider when building any marketing plan is the audience. Who will be making the buying decision, and who will be influencing it? For corporate retreats, this may be someone in HR or Learning & Development. For kids camps, you’re likely looking at parents or grandparents. And for camps for teenagers, guardians may be including their teens in the decision-making process. But to be sure, make sure you’re collecting job titles and relationships on the inquiry forms on your website. This will determine your audience.

The next step is considering where those people are spending their time. HR and L&D professionals are likely to be on LinkedIn, while grandparents might be more likely to read physical mail. Though parents spend time on Instagram, they might be more proactive in checking their emails for arrangements for their kids. 

While there’s a chance that a teen might see a really cool camp on TikTok and beg to go, it is much more likely that a guardian will be researching choices. 

What’s Your Marketing Budget?

A lot of business advisors and agencies like to call social media “free,” but that isn’t exactly true. Writing posts, creating visuals, scheduling it out, and monitoring comments all take time. The only way to guarantee eyes on your posts or website is through social media and search engine advertising. After all, according to Hootsuite, organic (non-paid) social media reach for businesses is around five percent.

In addition to keeping your social media channels active and your website up-to-date, you likely need to be running ongoing ads for your brand. This will help all the content you’re working so hard on actually get in front of people. And, when you use advertising, you can choose the audience you’re paying for to ensure that the people who are buying are who sees the ads. 

If you truly don’t have any additional budget to put behind marketing, look to the channels you already have. Your email list is the best place to start. Tell past attendees about what you have coming up, and offer gifts or discounts for referrals. 

What’s Converting?

The most important piece of marketing is the tracking after your campaign goes live. When using paid advertising, you can learn from analytics how many people saw your post, clicked on it, and completed a form. If you’re sponsoring an event or sending out mailed postcards, consider using a landing page on your website specific to the channel so you know that all people from that page came from that source. Then, calculate the ROI from each source. 

If you aren’t using online ads, tracking can be as simple as a “how did you hear about us?” field on a registration form. Review the results at the end of each registration session, and consider devoting more resources to the areas that are paying off for you. 

When it comes to marketing your camp, you don’t have to be everywhere at once. Consider your own goals and audience, and make a plan from there. By focusing your time and money on the channels and people that have the highest return, you can take the guesswork out of marketing your camp.

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Social Media Platforms That Will Boost Your Camp Marketing Efforts

Relying on word of mouth to spread the news of your amazing programs? Sure, it can be powerful. But word of mouth can only go so far. It’s 2022. If you haven’t already, it’s necessary for your business to jump on the social media train. 

Knowing which platforms to use and how to optimize them can increase your signups. It’s better for your business and for the campers. 

This article reviews the top social media platforms you should consider to boost your marketing efforts, the content you should post, and the strategies you can implement. 

Facebook & Instagram

Let’s start with the most obvious (and your best bet). Parents love Meta platforms. 

In fact, 77% of Americans between ages 30-49 have a Facebook account. This is a classic case of meeting your audience where they are.  

Content

Posts that contain images of people and video posts often receive high levels of engagement. Some ideas for more content that would do well on Meta include:

  • Photos of the camp location 
  • Examples of camp activities and crafts
  • Videos of campers talking about their experiences
  • Videos of campers in action
  • Parent testimonials

Feeling experimental? Try creating an infographic explaining the various benefits of your program.  

Strategy

It’s essential to have a Facebook Business page for your camp. Some parents try Facebook even before Google, so you want your camp’s information to be easy to find. Fill out every bit of your Facebook Business Page.

Organic content can go far here, so establish a regular posting schedule with varied types of content (photos, videos, and text). You can also share articles and tag other organizations to increase your reach.  

TikTok

TikTok is a fun platform to post organic content that can reach both campers and parents. Especially if you have Gen Z staff, take advantage of this platform. 

Many marketers seem to be mystified by TikTok. The best advice? Just relax. Sometimes, the simplest videos are the most successful. 

Content

Record videos showing examples of camp activities or introducing counselors with some fun facts about each person. Keep an eye on the trends, but don’t feel beholden to them. Many videos go viral without using the latest dance craze. 

You can also reuse these videos by adding them to your Instagram Reels. Social media is all about repurposing content!    

Strategy 

You likely won’t be able to directly track ROI on TikTok, especially if it’s the potential campers seeing your content instead of their parents. Stick to organic content here. It can spread the word and generate excitement among future campers.  

LinkedIn 

This one seems a little out of place, right? 

But remember, you’re not always talking to potential campers. You’re talking to their busy parents, and those busy parents likely are active  on LinkedIn. 

Content

You’re talking directly to the parents here, and they’re already in a business mindset since they’re browsing LinkedIn. 

Focus on how your camp benefits them. They will have so much more time for both work and play when their kids are occupied at camp. 

For parents of older campers, you can also emphasize the more practical benefits of your program, such as learning about teamwork and other skills that will come in handy in kids’ future careers.

LinkedIn is also a great platform to boast about camp alumni. How are your past campers doing? Get updates from parents and post them here for some organic, feel-good content.  

Strategy

Use audience-selection features to zero in on the type of parents that will be interested in sending their children to your camp. What are their usual job titles and interests? 

When it comes to money, spend the least here. Try just boosting a couple posts around summer camp signup season. Though it may be good for catching a few career-minded folks, Facebook and Instagram are still your best bets.   

The Camp Marketing Bottom Line

Both kids and their parents are likely to see your camp’s social media. Your priorities should be building up your business’ profiles, strengthening your organic posting strategy, and experimenting with paid media, in that order. 

Dedicate most of your marketing time – and budget – to quality content rather than focusing only on paid ads. Producing a shareable video that makes the rounds among local Facebook parents can be very effective. 

Blog

3 Reasons Why You Should Use Your Camp for Rental Groups 

You may consider your camp a sacred space meant for camp alone. However, renting out your space has many advantages that make the extra work worth it. These are our top three reasons why you should consider using your camp for rental groups. 

1. Off-season cash flow

We’ll start with the most obvious reason to rent out your camp space: cash. More people paying to use your space means more money at your camp’s disposal. 

This revenue can be used for everything from building upgrades to hiring more staff to expanding marketing efforts. It also gives you the opportunity to work with more local vendors and strike deals that could be beneficial for camp season. For example, your food supplier may give you a discount if you start doing more business with them during the off-season.  

2. Year-round maintenance 

No more pre-season scramble. If you’re offering your space year-round, you’ll be constantly maintaining the property. 

The extra cash flow could also give you the means for renovations and other improvements beyond simply maintaining the property. Keep in mind that the upkeep will cost more than usual because of how often you’re using the space, but if you budget well, it will be more than worth it. 

3. Work with parents of potential campers

Bringing in rental groups means working with more adults, many of whom will be parents. This gives you a unique opportunity to advertise to a captive audience. If the parents enjoy your camp space, their children might too.   

When you host rental groups, have your camp brochures handy and display them in areas where people will congregate. For example, place a table of promotional materials by a water cooler or food table. 

What to do before you rent out your camp

Using your camp for rental groups is not an easy undertaking. You’ll need some extra money and resources, but you’ll hopefully make all that back and more. 

Determine your market

What kinds of rental groups do you want to target? What are their needs? What is their budget? 

Ask yourself these questions before you put anything out there. For example, say you want to target small (10-25 people) corporate groups with moderate budgets that need enough space for team-building activities and meals.

Get specific with your offerings and start pricing them out to add to your website. You could even get in touch with local businesses that fit this description to see if they’re interested. 

Set rental sales goals

How many rental groups do you want to host? Set a specific goal for the number of groups and how much money you want to make. 

Add it to your budget 

Using your rental goal as a baseline, start budgeting for the extra supplies and maintenance you will need. Expect it to be very different from your usual camp budget.  

Use a different advertising approach

When you advertise your camp, you’re likely targeting parents on platforms like Facebook or going directly through schools. Businesses and other rental groups are different. 

A company looking for a place to hold a leadership retreat is less likely to look on Facebook and more likely to be on LinkedIn or click a Google ad. 

Final thoughts

Your camp doesn’t have to just be for camp. It might be nerve-racking to try something new, but offering your space to rental groups can open up a whole new world of revenue and improvements. If you make the move to open your space to rental groups, our Conference and Retreat module offers a great place to start!

With the Conferences and Retreats module, you can rent portions of your facilities or the entire property out as desired.  You can set capacities, and quantities of your facilities and equipment so you know what’s available on what dates. On top of that, you can group popular facility features together to create personalized or commonly used rental packages.