I interviewed Michael Staires, Director at Taconic Retreat & Conference Centre and reformed marketer ;-), after his presentation at the Tri-State Camp Conference. Michael's session was called Marketing to Moms.
Michael had some great ideas about how camp directors can focus their efforts on the women who make most of the purchasing decisions in a family. Thinking about communicating to mom's means focussing your website in such a way that they will know and trust your camp.
This video is a great how-to for planning this year's summer camp marketing.
[Apologies to Michael for taking so long to post this - it's been a long few months of technical difficulties in the CampHacker office. Also, we'll work on a better location for this year's conferences so that the sounds a lot better.]
Beth and I lead a 2-day summer camp senior staff training for the leadership team at Camp Ouareau last week. Ouareau is a bi-lingual girls camp north of Montreal.
It was a great program that introduced our new staff supervision model: T.I.M.E and S.P.A.C.E. with Grace.
While we were there I filmed a CampHacks video featuring their inexpensive disk golf course.
I would love to see a camp take this idea and run with it: make a video summer camp packing list. For extra bonus CampHacker points - set it to music and have jump-in verses (a la the Bad Horse Chorus).
CampHacker was excited to get to speak to so many of the great vendors at the Tri-State Camp Conference in March. We will be posting videos from them over the next month.
In this video: Global Arts To Go - Leadership Training, Music Programs, Dance Programs
Having great music at summer camp is something that I think it is VERY important. Teaching that music is a skill that I don't really have.
Thankfully, former CampHacker host Rebecca "Palais" Jess, does have that skill. Listen and learn from the Cairn Co-Director.
Seth Godin's summer camp interview from Tri-State 2011
We need our summer camp staff to be willing and able to be indispensible in their jobs - creative, energetic and steadfast. At the Tri-State Camp Conference Travis had a chance to talk with best selling author Seth Godin about how we can inspire the Linchpin mentality.
Many people have asked us about joining the conversation as a CampHacker Summer Camp Podcast co-host. We are always eager to have a new voice or two on the show. Watch our "Being a Co-Host" video and let us know if you are interested. We record every other Tuesday, usually at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
We look forward to hearing from you!
When parents monitor their children's online activity they are doing nothing to teach them to guard their own privacy.
Cory Doctorow, my favourite author and blogger, gave a great talk at the TEDxObserver conference this past month. He believes that Facebook teaches our children to be less and less private by rewarding them for giving away information about themselves.
I am, by no means, a Facebook hater but I think Cory gives us some points to ponder about what kids are learning from the experience. I do LOVE his idea about teaching them to not accept being spied on by anyone (parents, schools, local businesses, etc.) and to value privacy as a diminishing commodity.
Focus your summer camp marketing
Camps can reach out the the right prospective parents if they are conscientious about their marketing.
When we were at the Tri-State Camp Conference I had the honour of interviewing Nancy Shenker, CEO of theONswitch about her presentation "How to WOW Parents".
CampHackers are the kind of people who look at everything about summer camp and think "How can we do this better?". CampHackers see an everyday problem and think outside of the box. CampHackers are our kind of people.
This is how it all started: the CampHacker videos.
Mr. Bogusky has created - with others, a new concept - a new brand - called Common. From the Common.is site:
COMMON is all about connecting people with good ideas to like-minded creative professionals who will help launch their socially beneficial businesses. Our community is dedicated to shifting from the tired old concept of competitive advantage to a more meaningful system of collaborative advantage. We believe that a single brand with shared values can spin off hundreds - if not thousands - of progressive businesses that spread love and prosperity to all stakeholders.
I have been searching for the "future of summer camp" not just for where I am at, but for all of summer camp - as an industry. This is another puzzle piece that fits into my head and into my weekly reading.
It is an unconventional tool - but one we should all have in our heads.
Dreaming of Camp,
I had an amazing opportunity to have a chat with Lenore Skenazy from the Free-Range Kids book and blog. We talked about her experience being "America's Worst Mom" (not my words - Lenore has proved she's an awesome mom to me) and what that has taught her about parents.
Lenore has some great stuff to say near the end about how summer camps can better speak to parents about getting their child to have an amazing summer camp experience.