Could this story happen in your program?
Great program? Check!
Last summer, my kids had a great experience at a small sports camp. The sports were the kind they could use their whole life—tennis, golf, swimming, and fishing, which I value. In addition, the price was right, the location was convenient, and coaches and directors not only were highly qualified, they showed a sincere interest in my children (who are solid athletes, but not stars). We gave them a big thumbs up!
Timely notices? Check!
A month or so ago, I started receiving registration notices about the camp. I wanted my kids to attend again, even with the first week of camp overlapping our family vacation. I decided to send them for the second week only, so I called the camp director with a couple of questions and mentally worked out the details.
Unfortunately, I had to stop in at the camp office to fill out paper registration forms. The office was conveniently located, but…
–I kept forgetting to drop by in the flurry of the last few weeks of school.
–Or I’d think of doing it at a time when I had my four-year-old in tow, and I didn’t want to wrangle her while filling out forms, especially if we had to wait in line.
–Did the camp require payment with a check? I couldn’t remember, and I was out of checks. The last thing I wanted was to wait in line, fill out forms and then have to COME BACK to complete the process.
–Was I going to have to fill out separate forms for each child, or could I fill out one form for both children with lots of the same information?
From gungho to throwing in the towel? Check!
All this to say, I missed the registration deadline. Ugh.
Now that I’m facing late fees, my whole attitude has shifted. I reasoned: The kids would attend for just one week anyway—only four days, really, since the last day is a big swim party. Maybe I should just reallocate the money to private swim lessons instead.
I really do blame myself, not the camp’s registration process, but I did feel that an easier process might have overcome my obstacles, which included:
- Filling out paper forms
- Filling out forms + wrangling kids
- Filling out forms + wrangling kids + outdated payment methods
With a preschooler still at home, our family has the potential to give this program many more years of business—not to mention word-of-mouth promotions.
Despite a positive experience last year, you can see how I could easily go a different direction as I consider other programs for the future.
All because of the registration process.
Directors, you’ve built a great program…now, consider having mercy on us moms by creating an easier registration process!
[Guest post by Lisa Castello, mom of 3]