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Marketing April 8, 2014

8 Tools to Promote Your Summer Camp

Whether creating a camp for rambunctious Rugrats or temperamental teens, you are bound to require promotional tools in order to get parents sign their kids up. This is true regardless of what kind of camp you’re creating -- summer, cheerleading, Boy or Girl Scout, dance, art, sport, music, science, special needs, etc. Let’s check out a few tools and ideas you can use to get your camp noticed and have it remain popular for years to come:

1) Build an Awesome Website

Build An Awesome Website

C’mon, did you think you could create anything nowadays without having a website? A website is your way to not only provide detailed information and images about your camp, but also the fastest and easiest way to garner signups, address parents’ basic questions, provide contact information and directions, and provide information about most anything else related to your camp. Websites are also easy ways to link to social media pages, such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter accounts.

Ensure the site is easy to navigate and features plenty of high-resolution, stunning images. After all, most camps are located in or near a wooded area that usually features a body of water, such as a lake or river. A link that provides a gallery of gorgeous images is a great way to entice potential campers (and the parents paying for them). If you aren’t particularly web-savvy, ask a friend or co-worker who is to design an awesome-looking website for hopefully a reasonable price. Depending on how large your camp team is, you may want to assign a staff member to website duty.

2) Use Social Media to Promote

Use Social Media to Promote

Now that your totally-cool website is up, it’s time to make use of social media. Use Twitter, Facebook and any other social media you can find to announce camp signups and start dates, post images, discuss camp activities, run contests, offer freebies or whatever else may be appropriate for your camp. Social media is also great for tagging camp members as they swim, hike, roast marshmallows, crochet beanies and do, you know, camp stuff. Even when camp is over for the season, you can use social media to re-engage and alert people about what’s planned for the following season and when signups are happening.

3) Create Fantastic, Informative Brochures and Posters

Create Fantastic Informative Brochures

Print media in form of brochures and posters are especially helpful if promoting a camp around your town, across several towns, or a region. Send your camp-tastic team off to staple posters and leave brochures wherever possible, particularly in schools, local stores and organization headquarters, playgrounds, rec centers and other places kids in your area like to frequent. Restaurants and coffee shops are good bets as well. Depending on your target audience, sending brochures or flyers to school for children to take home is another excellent option.

4) Present Your Camp to a Captive Audience

Present Your Camp to a Captive Audience

While this again depends on who your target audience is, it may be possible to provide a short presentation to local schools about your fun-filled camp, particularly if education is an essential part of your program. Kids love skipping class to watch a presentation anyway, and if you make it fun (and possibly interactive), they’ll be especially excited to run home and tell their parents about it. This is also a perfect opportunity to hand out other promotional tools, or freebies, to the kids. Think lanyards, erasers, pencils, candy, notepads, magnets, tote bags and small calendars, all of which will feature your camp name, logo, website and phone number.

Depending on your budget, you can throw numerous freebies in tote bags along with brochures to send home with the kids. They’ll love it.

5) Use Regpack to Registration a Heck of a Lot Easier

Sign Up For Regpack and Make Registration Easier

Regpack is a super-nifty online tool for simplifying the registration process by a lot, therefore allowing time to focus on other promotion activities. The tool eliminates the need for paper applications, and makes the process easier for applicants as they can easily fill out the online application and be done with it rather than mailing the darn thing and hoping it goes to the right address. The tool recognizes what applicants need based on their answers, meaning they won’t have to sift through unnecessary forms. It also ensures applicants receive the right forms at the right time without hassle.

6) Use Your Friendly Local Government Websites

Use Local and Government Sites

Local and county government websites are excellent resources for promoting camps, as such websites often feature information on local/regional events and programs. Depending on the site, you can write a short description of your camp along with a link to your site and or social media pages. Contact the necessary people around late winter or early spring to determine when they’re adding summer program information and go from there.

7) Make the Billing Process Easier With Chargebee

Make the Billing Process Easier with Chargebee

Want to save yourself time and aggravation regarding billing?  Chargebee is your one-stop-shop answer. It allows you to automate all recurring billing and invoice clients at no extra cost. It also makes it easy to introduce price plans, manage trial users, deal with credit card failures, and much more.

8) Manage Everything with ACTIVE’s Camp Manager

Manage Everything with ACTIVE Camp Manager

The cloud-based camp management software from  ACTIVE is a great, awesome, super-cool way to manage everything camp-related without breaking a sweat. No matter what kind of camp you’re promoting/running, ACTIVE’s Camp Manager makes it easy to create forms, manage registration, set up multiple payment options, track forms, create wait-lists and offer mobile-friendly registration among other things.

Utilize these tips and watch your hard work pay off! Once you establish your camp in all its awesomeness, it won’t be hard to maintain a following year after year. Put in the work, build something incredible, and reap the many rewards that follow. Have fun!

Have you used any of the above suggestions to promote your camp? What was your experience? Post your story in the comment section below! 

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