Here it is, the end of 2011 with the 2012 summer camp season knocking on our doors.  Many of you will be opening registration at the turn of the year or in the one to two months following.  With that in mind, let’s talk camp…promotion and enrollment.

With registration right around the corner (or already going), do you have a plan to make sure that your programs fill up?  If you do, be sure to stick to the plan making minor adjustments along the way.

If you happen to not have a solid plan for this year, don’t fret; there are still some things you can do to help encourage participation. Here is a an easy 1 – 2 – 3 for increased enrollment in 2012.

          #1. Ask for Help – Get in touch with the families familiar with your programs ask for their help.  I spoke with Elizabeth at Camp Alleghany for Girls and learned that she incorporates “Enrollment Parties” in her marketing plan.  Camp families host “parties” to promote the camp in exchange for a generous scholarship for their camper.

          #2. Emphasize the Differences. – With over 12,000 camps in the U.S., camps find it challenging to differentiate themselves from their competitors.  Derek, at Lake Greeley Camp commented on how they have to focus on the little differences that make their camp unique in order to create the separation they need to rise above the tough competition.

        #3. Keep it simple – Extend your great customer service by making it easy for parents to register their children.  Parents are busy people and they may be looking for the path of least resistance.  Jim Welch at “Summer’s Best Two Weeks” gives each camper their next year’s registration form already filled out!  The parents just need to sign the form and return with a deposit.  Now that’s simple!

If you have camp management software already, use the technology to help parents invite their friends and family to come to camp.  This is a great way to have your customers promote your camps for you and it is cost effective too! Although it is best to have a plan in place, all of these things are fairly simple to do and can be done right away.  Not only that, they are all cost effective and only require a little bit of time.  There are many more ideas out there so don’t stop here!  Now go out and get ‘em!