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Okay, so let’s talk camp…..finance.
As we approach the end of July, many camps are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. For camp directors this is a bittersweet time; the end is near meaning the stress of making sure everything is running smoothly and the joy of camp are both soon to come to a close. However, for many camp directors, they lie awake at night trying to figure out how to fill the remaining spots with gleeful campers this late in the season, no doubt compounding the stress factor.
What better time is there to introduce the topic of camp finance and economics than late season?
For those camps that run into late August, it might not be too late to consider fixed and variable costs. All camps have fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs, as I am sure you are aware, are those costs that you are going to pay regardless if you have one camper or 1000. Variable costs, on the other hand, are those costs that go up with each additional camper you add. If you are in a position of having those latter parts of August with open slots, perhaps it is time to figure out what the cost of adding one camper really is. And, if you can do that, you can make some irresistible last minute offers that will get campers to come to camp and experience the reasons why your camp remains successful year over year.
So what are the variable costs per camper and how many of you know this number for your programs? Are your fixed and variable costs clear to your organization? What is being done to minimize both fixed and variable costs so that you can maximize profit and increase participation?
I welcome the contributions and feedback of the experiences related to finance and economics around your camps and look forward to continuing this discussion as we explore these and other business related aspects of camp.
Ryan Miller, MBA