How to Plan a Summer Camp

By Karen Collective Published On 26 June 2020 , Updated On 26 June 2020

Camping Leisure Plan
How to Plan a Summer Camp

Aren’t we all waiting for the sunny days to submerge in the various beautiful outdoor sightseeing and fun indoor games with friends and family? But due to the ongoing pandemic this summer it is going to be difficult to relive the fond memories of all the summers that we have lived on the mountains and the sea.

But do not worry we are here to your rescue, there is nothing that can come between you and reliving the nostalgic memories of the summers. First we need to define what we want from the camp -they can be a setting for enhancing values — whether that’s learning a new skill, exploring the arts, or engaging in athletic pursuits — or just plain old fun in the sun. In fact, the concepts behind summer camps are manifold, they can be whatever you want them to be and much more. Just list them down.

Technology is breaking down many of the barriers to entry when it comes to starting your own camp. With the right tech solutions, you’ll be able to quickly and effectively create a camp that resonates with children and parents alike.

why go camping

1. Location of the Summer Camp

You need to decide the location before commencing anything in the list.You should be aware of all the possible campsites on the trail. Using topographical maps is the best way to judge but they are not available for common use. Talk to local guides or shepherds in the mountains. Get a fair idea about the location and ask them if it’s not really occupied by another trekking group. We also need to keep in mind factors like

a) Vicinity of the water source

You need water to:

  • Drink

  • Cook

  • Wash utensils

  • Carry out your personal business

b) Level of the Surface

The ground where you decide to camp should be levelled . You will know the importance of levelled ground in the night while sleeping inside your tent. If the surface has a slope, it will roll you down and disrupt your sleep..

c) Size

You need to find an area keeping in mind the strength of the group, so that it can accommodate the crowd.

d) Toilet Area

You need to figure out and reserve an area for human excreta which should be at a distance from the living and playing area to avoid foul smell, mosquitoes and flies.

e) Safety

camping safety rules

Avoid landslide and avalanche prone areas. Do not tent with dead trees around. Dead trees can cause a fire. Always prepare for the unexpected. Before you leave, check the weather report, learn about security at your camp location, and tell family and friends your plans.

2. Approximate Cost of the Summer Camp

First and foremost cost associated with opening a summer camp business is ensuring that the camp is licensed and adheres to all federal, state, and local regulations.

Two things can be helpful in setting a price — looking at other camps in the area and seeing what prices were viable, and establishing a policy where you took anyone interested, regardless of income.

The other ongoing expenses include either rent or grounds maintenance, staff salaries, medical and liability insurance, and promotional advertising. For sleep-away camps, the cost of food and overnight staff are also ongoing expenses.

So to manage the cost you need to have set of activities to have enough earning as well. Whatever type of summer camp business you have, to ensure a steady source of income, you can offer specialized day camps on weekends for both children and adults. From arts and crafts to computer programming to learning the newest dances, there are hundreds of enjoyable activities that can attract new customers.

3. The Perfect Theme for your Summer Camp

Camps are built around themes — that are attractive, unique and interesting at the same time. It should also be exciting enough and build curiosity for the group to be eager to discover and learn from it. Here comes educational aspect into play too.

A summer camp is effective only when it provides a stimulating atmosphere that helps a child work on social skills, harness the power of inquisitiveness and also continue to learn and grow.

4. How to Schedule your Summer Camp

So you have a camp, you have a theme now you need to build a schedule. A proper time table for breakfast, games, activities, lunch, dinner, hiking etc. Without a proper schedule the camp is going to be a chaos with everyone running around here and there. The setting up of schedule will help in reducing the stress of planning meals/fun/activities together.

5 Policy

camp selection factor

So now that you have almost everything figured out (registration and staffing covered below), you need to define a set of rules to manage unforeseen situations. Policies like:-

  • Cancellation and Refund Policy

  • Food Policy

  • Timings and Discipline Policy

  • You can have multiple policies based on the locality and the region. Decide.

6. How to Register Participants for your Summer Camp

You have a plan that is cost effective and good to go, you need to manage and record the data to run an awesome camp. You need not be a techie for that — there are multiple software and apps that would come handy and useful. Karen is one such app.This is going to help you have a systematic approach that will benefit both the parties.

7. Staffing

One of the most important yet ignored fact about setting up of a summer camp is staffing. You need to be extra cautious while hiring them. Two things to be considered:-

a) Customer Experience: — Your staff is going to deal with the customers first hand so they need to be polite and humble while dealing with them. Also hey should be ready to handle unforeseen situations. For example: — When someone gets angry or when there is an emergency and you need to evacuate they should be ready all the time to help the customers.

b) Cost effectiveness: — You should also keep in mind the cost at which you will be hiring them, you need to work around and check the pricing of the ongoing camps and decide likewise. Always remember you time and effort will pay off tenfold. Choose a training regimen that works for you, your staff, and your campers.

Saying that you should also invest in staff training. Hiring great staff is only a first step — you always want to train them so that they’re set up for success.

8. Insurance

As the owner or director of the camp, you have more than just fun to think about. You have to make sure everyone, and everything is safe and protected. You need to consider multiple insurance and compare the price of each before getting one. A list of few insurance that you might need are listed below:-

  • Injury liability

  • Workers Compensation

  • Baggage liability

  • Travel

  • Property liability

  • Vehicle liability

  • Failure to perform background checks liability

You should work around this and find what best suits your need.

9. How to Market your Summer Camp

Advertisement and marketing are the bread and butter of any business, you need to make sure that you invest enough (and not too much) on it to bring in more customers. The advertisement should be catchy enough to lure the customers with effective packages and images. Marketing your summer camp is essential for increasing your enrolment rates.

When it comes to marketing your summer camp there really are countless options at your disposal. The question now is, *which options are going to give you the best return on your investment? *A few of it are listed below, you can take a look and then build around.

a) Build your Website — If you take my advice you should invest in building up a website that will give the potential customer a virtual walk-through to your camp and business. It can also be used for registration purposes, taking bookings, telling about yourselves and so multiple things you can think of.

b) Build your Social Media — No one can deny that social media has become one important part of our daily life that we cannot do without. So having a platform on the social media with eye catching gallery will do wonders for your business. You also get a chance to talk to your customers directly and address their needs.

c) Promotion through an Influencer — So in this age of social media there are multiple influencers having millions of followers, collaborating with them lends you the eyes of millions. You just need to be creative to catch the eyes.

d) Promotion on local websites —  Running ads on the most accessed local websites will give you ample customers. Try promoting your camp on local websites. We recommend looking for sites that your target audience is most likely to visit so that your display ad, listing, or sponsored content is seen by people who would find it relevant.

e) Work with local schools and communities — Involve nearby schools to help you market your summer camp. Send out brochures and flyers to parents and local communities. This will help grow your visibility and maximize your chances of receiving a positive response from a large group of interested customers.

f) Referrals — Referral programs are quiet common these days and used by almost every business. Just look around and design the best referral program that suits your as well as the larger public needs. Be Creative.

Saying that you need to set the budget and develop a branding strategy that is cost effective that is cost effective runs the market year round. Look around for various marketing options which are already being used by competitors and zero in just the right one. Take time to build but come with the best option available , take help of if you need , this is going to help you in the long run.

You are all set to have your own Summer Camp. Happy Camping!

have you tried camping

10. Parting Tips for your Summer Camp

Create a database of parents nearby. Write to them about your summer camp.

Try giving back, give a token of personalized appreciation to the kids and parents when they leave, it will give them a sense of belonging and bring them back to you.

Choose the activities and personalise it based on the age group.

Don’t forget to turn off the schedule when the occasion calls for it.

If you have someone on-board with specific disability ensure adequate medical care.