Summer camp is a great tradition that goes back for decades, and a variety of organizations, such as private schools, places of worship, community organizations, and sport groups all work to keep the tradition strong. It’s not easy, and some camps are left asking themselves how to increase summer camp enrollment
How to Market Your Summer Camp
Many organizers are faced with the dilemma of how to increase summer camp enrollment. Here are some tips on how to market your summer camp.
Communicate a Clear Purpose
Parents and kids that are new to the summer camp experience will take comfort in knowing the camp’s basic itinerary before they arrive.
Commit to a Summer Camp Marketing Plan
If you’re like some organizers, you are so focused on making a great camping experience that you may forget how to market your summer camp. A summer camp marketing plan isn’t something you can make up as you go along. It needs to follow a strategy that has a direct goal of bringing campers to you.
What is a Summer Camp Marketing Plan?
A summer camp marketing plan is the strategy many use in order to advertise summer camp. Here are some summer camp marketing ideas;
Organize Events in the Community
Summer camp is an investment, and parents like to know what they are getting. Hosting low key events, such as pizza parties or car washes give parents an opportunity to ask questions about your camp.
Community events bring larger numbers of people than those who sign up for camp. By holding contests, such as raffles, you’ll be able to collect contact information, such as email and regular information to expand the pool of possibilities.
Ask for email addresses
Email can be a very effective marketing tool. Whenever possible, leave a space on permission forms or sign up sheets for email addresses, so you can always communicate with campers and their parent or guardians.
Embrace Social Media
Open camp accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and even video accounts on YouTube. Posting pictures and videos of kids interacting at camp will make it more appealing, and let new prospects who find you via the Internet know who you are.
Build a Camp Website
A simple website that can be found through a search is another way to give new campers and parents information,and provide regular campers with a frame of reference to easily refer friends.
Fundraise in the Off Season
Many camps raise money to reduce the costs for all campers, or to give a disadvantaged child a scholarship. Car washes are popular and can be staffed by counselors or graduated campers. Some camps offer basic merchandise, such as t-shirts and water bottles on their website.
Have a Meaningful Blog
Blogs are a great way to draw in people who share the values of your camp, or who need valuable information on topics, such as safe sun practices or something else directed toward the niche of your camp.
Work with the Schools
Schools are filled with potential campers. Find a way to make working with the school to introduce your camp to kids a win-win situation. Offer to host a field day, or talk to a music or science class to promote a specialty camp.
Offer Referral Discounts
Let returning campers get a discount off the summer camp fee if they bring along a friend who is new to the camping experience.
Sharing the Wealth
Schools may push harder for referrals if you agree to donate a small percentage of the enrollment fee to the school.
Hit the Pavement
Things like paper flyers hand delivered to local businesses may seem “old school”, but that can be appealing as well. Taking the time to introduce your camp to local businesses individually is good for the integrity of your camp and can help you sustain a positive reputation.