Summer Camp Planning

Planning Your Organization’s Summer Camp

Girl at physical education classThe summer months often bring lots of extra time for children and teens since school is out!

One of the most treasured ways to keep boys and girls active while learning something new is enrolling them in a summer camp. Whether your facility offers a day camp or an overnight experience, it is extremely important to get attendees excited before Day 1! I’ve outlined several ways to help you increase enthusiasm associated with your summer camps:

1 – Promote That Children Will Partake In Group Activities
No child wants to be the oldest in a sea of peers and no one wants to be the youngest, either. Avoid these issues by grouping children by age, when applicable. This will lessen the fears from children about not making any friends or not being around others with similar interests. Ensure your staff members are on the lookout for a child completing an activity by themselves or for pairs or trios who aren’t accepting of others.

2 – Plan Something New For Each Day
All people have different hobbies and talents — that’s what makes us all special! On promotional flyers and social media posts, make sure to mention the varying activities and how each day will be different than the last. If you have held similar programming in the past, review survey results or ask the camp’s alumni what they liked best and what they liked least. After all, you want to improve the experience year after year but keep some of the flagship pieces that have proven to be successful.

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3 – Offer A Mini-Camp
Some children are used to being away from home while others might require a little coaxing. Offering a mini-camp for two hours one afternoon will be enough for children to test the waters to see if they like the program. You’ll hope that parents will ask for information regarding the longer camp sessions or better yet, that children request you do this again! If parents express that money is a larger issue rather than the time commitment, inform parents and caretakers that it is an investment in their child’s future.

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4 – Create An Open Door Policy
If a child is missing home, no matter the situation, allow them the opportunity to ask for a quick call home or if needed, the chance to return home early. Communicate refund policies clearly upon sign up, as you have materials to purchase and staff to compensate. If a parent demands more of a refund than promised, keep referring to the paperwork they completed and the planning that went into the camp.

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