When the school year ends, the children finish classes and summer arrives. It's time to disconnect, studies are over, sports are over. Well. Not quite.
It is now when parents think about what they can do for more than 2 months with their children. Vacations, grandparents, a bit of study... there are alternatives. And don't be surprised by the fact that campuses are one of the main alternatives. In Spain alone, there were 44,720 camps last summer.
There are thousands of campuses, there are thousands of kids wanting to sign up for campuses, there are thousands of parents wanting to pay for campuses. So, let's cut to the chase.
Which campus are parents going to want to sign their kids up for? Yours, of course. We've put together this post and an eBook titled "How to organise a Summer Camp" to explain how you can organize the best sports camp there ever was and ever will be. Want to know how? Read on...
eBook "How to organise a summer camp?"DOWNLOAD
It's normal that parents don't just drop their kids off anywhere. As an organizer of summer activities (let's say you have a sports club), you have to take advantage of the resources and facilities available. You have to offer activities that go beyond the usual ones.
Camps are an activity that never goes out of fashion. A camp is usually the great salvation for those parents who either do not have time to be with the children because of work, or need a few days of disconnection.
The summer campus is a great opportunity to grow your club. It offers a multitude of activities for children to enjoy outdoor sports, develop their skills and socialize with other children. And, across the board, you'll bring great value to your club, which can lead to increased membership, awareness and visibility.
From a club management standpoint, running a camp allows many members to avoid dropping out in the summer, not to mention the extra revenue it brings in.
That said, there's no reason not to organize a summer camp in your club. We're going to give you some tips to help you know where to start:
1.Set a clear goal
First of all, you must be clear that, unless it is a campus focused on sports performance, education must be more important than the sport itself. Even in summer camps run by professional clubs, the main focus tends to be on transmitting values and working on other skills. The sporting performance itself remains in the background.
From here, you have to define the objective of the campus. As I mentioned before, it is important that the objective takes into account giving the children a range of possibilities to develop their social and educational skills.
You must define well the profile of children you want to attract. He who wants too much, wants too little, wants too much. Therefore, be specific in your audience. Define the age, the purchasing level of the families, the special needs or any attribute that serves to segment the profile of the people you want to reach.
For example: "The objective of the campus is to promote the practice of soccer in the town, offer an added value to current athletes and attract new athletes between 6 and 12 years of age".
2.Decide on the characteristics of the camp
When I talk about characteristics, I am not only referring to the sport modality. This point is quite broad, since you can play with different types of sports. But you also have to take into account other features of the athlete's profile, language or type of campus (partial, all day or overnight).
2.1 Choose your sport
Even if your club usually competes in a specific sport, the summer camp does not necessarily have to be for that sport. In fact, it is very common to organize a multi-sport camp. Don't forget that the main objective is for the children to have fun.
2.2 Is your summer camp for members only or is it open to all children?
Not everyone who wants to join the summer camp is a member of the club.
Therefore, not everyone has the same skills, so it may be a better option to offer a multi-sport camp, adapting it to all children who sign up. If you decide on a specific sport, a good option to be flexible is to offer different schedules for different ages and levels, from beginners to advanced.
2.3 Have you considered a multilingual summer camp?
You must decide whether to offer several languages in the camp or not.
On the one hand, it is an attractive alternative for most parents. Their children will not only have fun and get physical exercise, but they will also work on another language.
This decision, however, will depend to some extent on the level of the monitors and the preferences of the parents themselves. Remember that we have already described in the first section the profile of our athletes.
2.4 Morning summer camp or full-time summer camp?
Another interesting option is to offer a full-day option, including lunch, morning class and even a pick-up service.
Typically, campuses are half-day campuses. Most of them are in the mornings. Offering an all-day campus, even covering one or more weeks, is a very important value proposition for parents. By offering more value, parents are likely to be willing to assume a higher cost.
However, in return, you again have to consider the resources of the club itself. You have to have monitors willing and available for longer days, facilities and logistics that cannot be prepared in two afternoons.
3. Choice of location: Do you have your own facilities or do you have to travel?
In order to determine the activities to be carried out at the summer campus, it is very important to take into account the place where it will be held.
We recommend you to make an analysis of the possibilities offered by your usual facilities. You have to look at the places around you. Both to be able to determine the excursions or complementary activities to be carried out, as well as to analyze the possible dangers for the children.
The ideal is to have a place with a swimming pool or that the facilities are near the sea, a river or a lake to overcome the summer heat and to be able to carry out sport activities, which children like so much.
If you do not have your own facilities to carry out the activities you have planned, there are two very interesting alternatives. On the one hand, you can move the camp to another location (in your own town or elsewhere). Or you can carry out certain activities in your facilities, and move to do those that require different equipment or a different environment.
4. You have to have a well-organized and attractive schedule for all the children and, above all, for the parents.
The schedules are determined by the availability of the facilities and monitors. But normally, you can count on flexibility to adapt them to the needs of the summer campus itself. Although it would be ideal to know how many children we will have and from there organize groups and schedules, I am sorry to tell you that to attract these children, schedules must be published in advance.
It is very important that you have a provisional list of activities in case any scheduled activity cannot be fulfilled, thus avoiding improvisation.
If the summer campus is a full day campus, you will have to take into account the breaks for lunch and rest, since the rest of the time should be occupied by activities or games.
5. Organization of human resources
From an organizational point of view, you need to decide on the responsible persons and their roles for the summer camp. Generally, there are at least 3 positions in a summer camp:
5.1 Campus coordinator
He/she is directly responsible for the organization of the camp and supervises the other areas. He/she must coordinate, together with the sports management, all the steps related to the smooth running of the summer camp, as well as the well-being of the members.
5.2 Pedagogical area
In this area will be the monitors in charge of determining the objectives and activities, foreseeing alternative activities as well as the organization of schedules and participants so that everything runs smoothly. In short, they are the ones who will have the most direct contact with the children.
5.3 Administrative area
This area is the most independent and is in charge of the treasury, administration, health and other administrative tasks. In theory, it will be in charge of the general welfare of all the children, but without having direct or daily contact with them.
6. Take out insurance
Well, once you have thought of all the above, comes the formal part. The hiring of insurance in summer camps is something essential and fundamental, especially for parents when hiring the camp for their children.
A good insurance will give more security to those parents who are a bit distrustful or protective. The insurances are for the children as well as for the monitors and camp staff, since anyone can suffer an accident. We advise you to get good information from an insurance company so that you do not make the wrong choice. The legal issue is also a very important part to take into account.
7. Recruiting children for the summer camp
To get attention and attract more children, start with your current members. Leverage your loyal customers and encourage them to invite their close acquaintances by offering discounts or incentives for them and each friend they bring.
Second, focus on the people around you. If you organize it in an urbanization or beach town, you can take advantage of it to promote your summer camp, since many vacationers go to spend their vacations in coastal areas. You can also get in touch with the neighbors, they will be able to help you.
Another option is to talk to organizations to promote your summer camp, such as town halls, sports associations, schools and others. If the facility is someone else's, talk to the owners of the facility and post signs and advertising in nearby areas. If it's your own facility, do the same at your facility.
As always we remind you not to forget your digital presence and have your corporate website updated, with information about the campus (date, times, prices, etc). You should not neglect social networks, especially in summer when they are most active. Many people search in google "summer campus in Seville". Position yourself well with keywords that attract attention to appear in the first results.
8. Manage your summer campus registrations
Make registration as easy as possible with a form on your website. The easier it is the better, and the more likely you are to reach more people. If they have to go to the headquarters, take a paper, fill it out, scan it, send it by mail or deliver it again at the same facility... it is not optimal or simple for the customer.
Think about making the process as easy as possible for the parents, since they do not have enough time to do so much paperwork. This way they will be very grateful and it will be more likely to reach a higher number of enrollees. At the very least, we recommend that you use a Google Forms form, although ideally you should use your own forms, with integrated payments or that calculate different prices, including discounts. This way you won't have to do a lot of math and miss any of them.
Perhaps you can have a first deadline for children who have signed up in other years or partners, and then open registrations to everyone, so you ensure a place for your loyal customers. You can also play with the price, offering a discounted price if they sign up before a date. This way, you will generate a feeling of "urgency" and they will want to sign up as soon as possible.
If you prefer, you can also take advantage of a management tool such as Clupik to take care of administration, communication and activities. This way, you can digitalize registrations; manage payments and collections; organize your databases in a single place; send notifications; automate publications; and much more, both from the web and from your app.
9. It's time to collect payments from your summer campus registrants
Now comes the most awaited part for the club. The collection of fees. These can be fixed or variable, depending on the number of days, weeks, the services chosen, etc.
You can consider charging extra for sports equipment or for contracted services, such as pick-up service, canteen service or morning classes. Many parents need this more than the campus itself.
Another option is to include discounts for booking several days or weeks, or discounts per member or number of siblings.
With Clupik you will be able to customize all the requirements to set up the summer camp and adjust the registration for your summer camp, and it will automatically calculate the total price that each family will have to pay, with discounts and extra services included. In addition, the payments will be created automatically so that parents can pay at the same time online, being able to send periodic reminders and notices so you don't have to be constantly aware of the payments.
10. You are all set. Now you only have to start with your summer campus.
All the essentials are in place. Now it's time for questions and reception. The first day you will have many questions, being there for parents to know everything is essential to give a good service and create a good impression to parents.
This is very important, since there is only one first time to generate a first impression. Prepare everything and make a list with all the possible doubts that parents may have. This way you will avoid improvisation and poorly prepared answers.
11. The summer camp is over, is everything ready? No! It's time to prepare for the next one!
You're probably thinking that it's too soon, that the next one is a year away... WRONG! Now is the perfect time to write down what went well and what did not. This way you will be able to correct everything that didn't work and enhance what went well.
It may also be interesting to get feedback from all the parents so they can tell us what they would improve. Send them a final survey about the camp where they can give their personal opinion. They are the first ones to detect those mistakes that we don't see, and they will appreciate our willingness to change and improve it.
You can also send a satisfaction questionnaire with a rating scale, so that they are not only personal questions but in some way we can measure more objectively the performance of the campus and they can tell us explicitly what issues we should improve.
In Spain there is a formidable offer of camps of all kinds. Sport-specific camps are becoming more and more common, and have become niche markets for some companies.
In any case, for a correct organization of a summer camp you should think about what you want to offer and have this very clear at the time of structuring it, since the choice will determine many of the aspects of the camp, such as the date, the place and the schedules.
The organization of a summer camp for children is a task that requires a great deal of planning, as well as the designation of a perfectly structured work team and specialized monitors.
Once the previous management work has been done, and having the necessary people and tools, you will surely make your campus stand out from the rest. All you need to do is to have clear ideas and make an effort to do things right.
Don't forget to download the eBook where we deep in all these points. Good luck with your campus!