A Reality 'HINT' from Joanna Warren Smith

It's Time to Set the Summer Camp Stage.


When I return to assess camps in subsequent years, I am often astounded to see that many facility issues still exist.  This probably happens because operators love their camps, lack objectivity and tend to be forgiving of the site's faults.  It's also likely that Directors wait to evaluate their facilities until the campers arrive when there's lots of color, laughter and activity to distract from facility issues.


  • Walk your property NOW!  Put on my eyeglasses and scrutinize every interior and exterior area of camp starting at the entrance.  Avoid the temptation to say whatever needs attention is 'OK the way it is'.

  • Make note of items to be fixed. Prioritize elements that present safety concerns.

  • Remove clutter.  This is especially important in program areas and parts of camp that parents see.

  • Refresh shabby areas.   A fresh coat of paint or simple raking will improve the overall impression.

  • Check signage.  Does it look good and is it helpful for campers and visitors?

  • Make cosmetic improvements.  A pot of geraniums will enhance welcome areas and offices.

  • Clean the bathrooms.  Parents in focus groups typically  mention the lack of cleanliness and supplies.

A camp facility that is cared for and organized sets the stage for an even higher quality of program delivery, increased retention and a strong Ambassador factor.


Call 310-451-1876 or email me at campconsulting@roadrunner.comfor more 'Get Ready for Camp' ideas.

(Note from Travis:   We are so thrilled to be posting the always brilliant HINTS from camp consultant Joanna Warren Smith!  If you don't already you should sign up to receive these HINTS in your email - in the left-hand column of Joanna's website: http://camp-consulting.com/)

Travis Allison