Using Facebook Groups to Engage Parents

Using Facebook Groups to Engage Parents

Part of the beauty of camps and after-school classes is the freedom they provide — a chance for kids to learn and cultivate activities in their own space (and maybe the same goes for parents).

Still, it’s important for parents to stay engaged in the programs their kiddos are involved in, and Facebook groups are a trending way to do just that. By joining a Facebook group, you’re joining an active community of program coordinators and other parents who are facilitating a conversation about news, updates, and ongoings in the organization that matters to you.  Continue reading

Fresh Fundraising Ideas for Afterschool Programs

Fundraising for afterschool ideas

Public funding for afterschool programs is at historic lows 1,with just 47% of K-12 spending nationally comes from state funding. While Congress recently approved $1.2B in funding for this fiscal year— an increase that will help schools provide homework assistance, meals and enrichment activities across the country – afterschool programs continue to be wary about their funding in the future.  Continue reading

The Ultimate Social Media Plan for Camps & Classes

Build a social media strategy for your camp or afterschool program

Here on the Let’s Talk Camp blog, we’ve explored the benefits of live video and podcasts, as well as connecting with Generation Z. We’ve also provided tips for identifying and utilizing social influencers and creating timely communications to share with current and potential participants. Each of these smart strategies can help grow your camp, class or after-school program, and they’re all powered, in large part, by social media.  Continue reading

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