Here’s how to make your camp mom-friendly


Being transparent with your campers’ parents is key to making your summer camp mom-friendly. Parents, especially moms, tend to want to know every detail about their child’s summer camp experience. While it’s not possible to provide all the details, there are ways that you can improve your transparency.

Make sure you’re HIPAA compliant

Moms want to know that they are sending their child to a camp that is safe. In fact, all summer camps must meet local, state, and federal regulations regarding safety. Everything from dining halls and specialty diets to water sports and medical aid must be evaluated to ensure they are up to safety standards. This safety extends to the paperwork and documentation you have to maintain for your campers.

Start with camper registration. Whether you’re collecting insurance information or a medication list from your campers as part of registration, the process must be HIPAA compliant. HIPAA compliance requires all companies that handle such data, including summer camps, to “have physical, network, and process security measures in place and follow them to ensure HIPAA compliance.”

If you don’t, you stand the risk of jeopardizing the security of your campers’ confidential information. This could harm your camp’s reputation for professionalism, which you’ve worked so hard to develop, and erode the confidence your campers and their families have in you. When this happens, campers will not return the next summer, and they certainly will not recommend your camp to friends and relatives.

Use online registration forms

Online forms are a tried and true means of collecting important data from parents and campers. By choosing a powerful online form builder that’s easy to use and built for summer camp registrations, you ensure that all of your campers’ personal data is compiled in a secure manner.

Parents also appreciate registration forms that have a simple interface and are a breeze to fill out. It’s even better if you can include all camper, parent, emergency contact, and payment information in one form. The fewer things parents have to keep track of, the more they will appreciate your camp.

Using online forms for summer camp registrations also cuts back on paper forms and tedious data entry, so you and your team can spend more time attending to camper and parent needs.

Get camp activities preapproved

Provide a full list of camp activities in advance so that moms and dads can review the activities with each other and decide how appropriate they are for their children.

Letting parents know about camp activities ahead of time is key for creating transparency and gaining trust. In addition, you can ask parents to sign off on activities by using an e-signature feature in your registration forms. Getting permission from parents before camp starts ensures you won’t waste time trying to gather approvals after camp is underway.

Ask for feedback

Surveys, polls, and open-ended questions are all great ways to request parent feedback for your summer camp.

If you gather feedback through an online form, you can save the data and revisit it later. When you are ready to pull together end-of-year reports to evaluate your camp’s performance, you have the data you need at your fingertips.

Better yet, you have feedback from the parents of your campers so that you can improve your summer camp next season.

Final thoughts

Whether you’re starting a summer camp for the first time or are a seasoned professional, by increasing transparency and communication with parents and staff, you create a more comfortable camp environment. Moms and dads alike can feel at ease while their child is away at summer camp.

Opening up the channels of communication provides both parents and campers the information they need to have confidence about the entire summer camp experience.

Editor's note: This is a guest post from the kind folks at JotForm.

Travis Allison