We Care - Raising World-Changing Leaders at Summer Camp

What Is Your Summer Camp Staff Going to Do About It?

Transient

As Camp Directors, we have the honour and privilege of helping to raise a generation (or more) of campers and staff who can learn to make a difference, a real difference.  The following activity is best done with staff, LIT, or older campers

Activity: THE DAILY NEWS

Bring in several newspapers.  If staff members have been at camp for several weeks or months, they will be very excited to hear from the 'outside world'.  Try to get a variety of papers (local, national, provincial, state, etc.).  If you have a large group, get several copies of each one.  There will be a lot of things in the paper that may not work for this exercise (ex. comics, cars, fashion, sports, etc.) so you will need enough sections of the ‘news’ to go around.

Divide your people into small groups.  Have each group look at a section of the paper to get ideas about global issues that concern us all, no matter where we live.  Ask each group to discuss what responsibilities, if any, we have or should have regarding the issues that they raise. After they have had time for reading and discussing, come together again as a larger group and discuss some of the issues together.

Be sure they focus not just on the issues but on our responsibility as children of this planet for problems that do not directly affect us.  Encourage deep discussion and respectful debate.

Take time now to regather in their original small groups and have them come up with several concrete steps they can take now while at camp to aid their chosen issue of concern.

End this activity be hearing from all groups and allowing additional ideas or input from the others.  Commend them for the steps they have taken and encourage them in this journey.  Follow up throughout the coming weeks at camp.  You may want to share their successes with the rest of camp!

5 NEW Tips for Social Media Marketing Your Summer Camp - Part 1

How do I use social media to market my camp?

On January 29th, 2010, Travis presented his 5 NEW Tips for Social Media Marketing Your Summer Camp to a packed room at the Ontario Camps Association conference.   The presentation is full of practical tips for camps who are looking for immediate actions that they can take to improve their online marketing campaigns.

5 Tips

The five tips include:

  1. Tell visual stories
  2. Love your alumni
  3. Be a better blogger
  4. Remember your "call to action"
  5. Make the most of your Facebook Fan Page

**Please note: some of these posts are password protected but will become open to anyone to read in the next week or so.  If you would like early access to CampHacker.org content then sign up for our newsletter (it's free).

Part 2 - Tell Visual Stories

Coming tomorrow: Tip 1 - Tell Visual Stories

If you are interested in ways that your camp can improve your social media marketing strategy please fill in the form (click here) for a free 15 minute consultation.  You can also call (519.532.7366) or email Travis (travis@walkingmaverick.com).

Teaching as Marketing - Beber Camp - URDoingItRight

Many of your summer camp peers realize that the best possible marketing tactic is to teach people. By teaching (something we are great at!) parents about summer camp in general we can demonstrate to our potential clients that we are knowledgable, smart, (maybe funny), and we can talk to kids.   All of this leaves the lasting impression that we are great leaders and trustworthy to send their kids to.

Transient

With thanks to Dave Bell from CampLeadership.org, I found this web page from Beber Camp in Mukwonago, Wisconsin. It is a brilliant example of Teaching as Marketing.   I'm certain that this page has been crafted to help parents who's kids are already signed up but the genius of it is what it says to potential client families.

What we can learn from Beber (click the thumbnail image to see it full-sized)

  1. Breadcrumbs - this is a great website usability (and Search Engine Optimization) trick.  Not specific to today's Teaching as Marketing lesson but... people find it helpful to be reminded of how they arrived at a web page.
  2. Visual Medium - don't forget that the web is primarily a visual medium and we need to balance text with images.  Besides, pictures of smiling kids at your camp gives readers a good impression.
  3. What Parent's are Looking For - by acknowledging that parents need this info (and have many questions) Beber establishes some trust.  Parents will feel respected if you let them know that they are not the only ones with questions.
  4. Credibility - Beber Camp has further reassured parents of the thought put into this page by alluding to the fact that real-life-experts have contributed to the material.
  5. Referral Credibility - Not only does Beber have "expert" contributors they have been recommended by actual parents - ones just like the reader.
  6. Perusability - Notice how usability is the root of this word? This page is setup so that parents can easily find what they are looking for.  Plus: it shows them things that are available that they may not have even thought of yet.

The Next Step in Teaching As Marketing

When you write your brilliant Parent page - be sure to reference this page in all of the material that you send out to potential client families.

What do you do to show that you are a leader?