Five Tips for Camp Directors to Boost Enrollment

Distinguish yourself from every other camp

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So, you want to boost your camp enrolment this year? Making sure that you have enough campers is a yearly toil for every camp director. But there are some ways that you can entice both newbies and kids who have attended camp before if you think outside of the box. Here are five amazing ways that you can really distinguish yourself from every other camp or summer program and have kids and parents lining up at your door.

Emphasize Unique Experiences Each Year

One of the reasons that return camper numbers aren’t as high as you would like is that both kids and parents suffer from a ‘been-there-done-that” mentality when it comes to summer camps. Parents think that once they send their kids off to learn how to wrestle a Grizzly Bear (or whatever activities you provide) they don’t need their kids to repeat the experience. Kids always want something new and summer vacation is sacred to them. You really have to let them know that not only do you have completely unique experiences each year they attend – but that this year is going to be really special.

Advertise an Adventure

Let parents and kids know that you are going to not only be giving them an amazing camp experience, but that they are going to have a huge, exciting adventure during their summer. For parents, compare the adventure to something that you might find Indiana Jones doing; for kids, you may want to go with Lara Croft. Make it sound like you are going to be sending them out into the wilderness with nothing but a great compass and their wits, to search for a long-buried treasure or explore a land that has never been explored before. However you decide to advertise it, just make it sure it seems like an unforgettable adventure.

Appeal to Good Parenting

While most kids have some say when it comes to whether or not they will be going to camp, it is parents who make the final decision. So, you’re going to want to speak to them about the benefits that camp offers. While you probably don’t want to tell them to pry the video game controller out of their hands and get them off the couch directly, you can indirectly say exactly that by telling them about all of the benefits that camps offer, and how much kids learn and grow while they are at summer camp.

Make Your Camp Distinctive

You absolutely have to make your camp distinctive. Even if you are the only summer camp for five hundred miles, you are still competing with hundreds of other summer programs, not to mention weeks and weeks of slaying zombies with a virtual reality helmet. So, you have to make your camp stand out, not only among other summer camps out there, but among all of the summer activities that kids could be doing. Think about what would have excited you as a kid, and then switch perspectives and look at it from a parent’s point-of-view.

Include Camper & Parent Testimonials

Finally, if you want one of the best ways to convince both parents and kids how amazing your camp is, then include glowing testimonials from both kids and their parents that let everyone know how amazing their camp experience was. Make sure that you choose them carefully and remember which audience you are speaking to with both testimonials. Parents are going to read both, while kids are just going to want to know what other kids have to say about camp. These five things should fill up those cabins in no time.

[Travis' Note: From time to time guest writers reach out to GCP to ask if they can post to our blog.  It's an interesting Search Engine Optimization tactic - often for their own company but it could be for a website that has contracted with them to create content.   If the content will be beneficial to camp mavericks we let them post!]

Travis Allison