Start Your Year with These 6 Camp Tips From the Pros

Welcome to 2017!

For most of us, a new year involves a look back at the wins, losses and learnings of the previous year. So, we thought we’d look back at yesteryear, cull through some of your peers’ best advice and present you with the top picks. These resources cover staff development, leadership, marketing, and all things camp: Continue reading

How & Why to Incorporate User Generated Content into Your Marketing Strategy

user generated content child offering flower

Wikipedia defines user generated content (UGC) as “any form of content such as blogs, wikis, discussion forums, posts, chats, tweets, podcasts, digital images, video, audio files, advertisements and other forms of media that was created by users of an online system or service, often made available via social media websites”.

In other words, content not from YOU. Continue reading

University Camp Challenge #3 – Marketing and Branding

cheerleaders[If you’re just joining us, please visit our introduction to the ACTIVE C.A.M.P. Initiative seriesChallenge #1: Compliance and Challenge #2: Accounting & Finance]

You might call our answer to this challenge the ACTIVE C.A.M.P. Guide to Racking Up Registrations.

As a sports camp director, you’re at the steering wheel of a fast-moving organization. All your hard work to plan a high-quality camp doesn’t matter if your spots aren’t filled. You want to hit the court, field or pool in the spring, geared up for a summer of full sessions. Continue reading

3 Ways to Fill Last Minute Camp Spots

Boys in boat

Your upcoming sessions are filling up—but not evenly.

For some camps, half-filled sessions can present a business risk. For others, last minute registrations represent almost pure profit. Either way, it’s not a time to coast. Step up your marketing in the last few weeks before sessions start with these 3 tips:

1. Targeted DiscountsCamps quote - email registration

Ok, this one’s a no-brainer. Of course, you use discounts. The trick is in getting the message to the right people. Segment your email list into one of these groups (or others) to offer a sweet deal with a fun coupon code to parents of:

  • Former campers
  • Current campers with siblings
  • Campers who might like to bring friends


2. Social Media ContestsCamps Quote - social media

How about a contest around open spots? Maybe something like:

“Only 7 spots left! Be the first to post or tweet using #iwannawin and get 50% off for you and a friend. Remaining spots will be filled in order of posts at a 20% discount.”

Be sure to take note of contest learnings and thank all entrants for participating.


3. Parent Ambassadorssocial_media_bullhorn.flipped

Hopefully, you’ve got some parents who are consistent promoters of your camp or a few that have a lot of social collateral (i.e. thousands of Facebook and Twitter followers).

Ask them to encourage their friends or those in their social media circles to grab remaining spots. Incentives for posting and tweeting on your behalf could include coupons at the camp store for their child. Or empower them to offer a free t-shirt coupon or other kid-friendly incentive to sweeten the deal.


Variations on a Theme

These three ideas are really just variations on a theme of motivating others to help you by combining:Strategic-Marketing-Playbook-cover

  • Creativity
  • Community
  • Incentives

One of our customers reduced their advertising budget by 60% using a combination of these strategies, while steadily increasing participation and consistently filling last minute openings.

To pick up a few more marketing ideas for meeting and exceeding camp session capacities, grab our Strategic Marketing Playbook.



6 Steps to Launching Your New Program

Are you preparing to launch a new camp or program? Or maybe you’ve already launched, but your efforts aren’t generating the enthusiasm you’d hoped for.

In our experience working with hundreds of camps and educational programs, we’ve distilled a successful launch process down to six main steps that fall into the category of class or camp marketing:

Camp Launch Infographic.Blog

Continue reading

Today’s Trending #Tri-State Topics

We’re loving the vibe at ! If you’re here, come visit us at Booth #633. Sign up for a 1:1 consult with our camps marketing guru, Will Bowman, to get answers to your unique challenges, or just say hi!

If you’re not at Tri-State, we’re sorry! You don’t have to totally miss out though. We’re bringing you the top tips we’re hearing. So, wherever you are, the top three trending topics are Social Media and Customer Engagement, Video, and Google Analytics.#Tri-State Top Three Tips Continue reading

Diagramming Your Social Media Strategy


Have you created a Facebook or Twitter account for your camp? The answer is probably yes, but the reality is that most of us in the camp industry are using social media without a strategy. Creating a social media strategy is necessary inorder to build relationships with your customers and we’ve got a new resource that can help you build your social strategy from start to finish.

ACTIVE’s new Social Media Playbook – A Camp Director’s guide to a winning social media strategy, outlines how camp directors should approach diagramming their social media strategy. Here’s an outline to help you start diagramming your social media strategy:

  • Identify your Camp’s Business Goals: before you can write your social media strategy, identify what you want to accomplish. Examples of these goals include:
    • Do you want your camp to be seen as the education leader in your field?
    • Do you want 50 new campers this year?
    • Do you want to increase parent communication?
  • Identify your Social Media Strategy: armed with your business goals, you can write your social media strategy. Remember to keep your objectives realistic and measurable. Check out these examples:
    • Establish your camp as a leader in your community
    • Establish your camp as an education expert
    • Gather more information about campers/parents education needs, service needs, spending plans, etc.
    • Identify your Social Media Tactics: the most important thing is to remember as you ramp up your social media efforts is that you’re trying to build relationships. You’re talking with people, not at them. Check out these examples of social media tactics:
      • Build your profile on your chosen platform
      • Make sure your social channels are integrated with your website
      • Start following the people talking about camps or youth activities

Before you start diagramming your social media strategy always remember to appeal to the heart of your audience and start actively listening to what’s going on in the industry.

For more information on how social media can improve your camp’s business click here to download the complete Social Media Playbook.