What Inspires You to Be a Better Camp Pro? - CampHacker #112

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Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes | Stitcher

Tools, Podcasts, Books and Strategies for Sustainability as a Camp Pro

One of the best things about being a long time camp pro is that every year, we essentially find ourselves doing the same cycle over and over again. While this can be tiring, even exhausting, if we think about it another way, it’s also an incredible opportunity to get better and better without (too many) extremely large learning curves.

In your search for consistent improvement, the CampHacker crew wants to help! In this episode, Travis, Joe and Gab are joined by the wonderful Ruby Compton (Yes! THAT Ruby from Camp Code!). These four pros join forces to share their sources of inspiration that help them find the drive, motivation and sustainability to innovate their camp, and the entire industry year after year.

Below, is a list of most of what is covered from this episode. We included it for you, yes, you, who are awesome and read the show notes! Here you are, you awesome person, you!


Audio Books

Inner Camp Industry Inspirations

What do you do for fun?

  • Joe

    • Light big fires, make things go boom (Email Joe and ask about his potato cannons)

    • Go to the movies by yourself

    • Woodworking and art without a specific direction in mind

  • Ruby

    • Getting outside

    • Geocaching (App or App-less!)

    • Take yourself on a date

    • DIY Youtube projects

  • Travis

    • Drawing portraits and things that challenge him artistically

    • Woodworking, building and Youtube DIY videos

    • Travel to broaden your perspective

  • Gab

    • Watercolour painting

    • Museum trips

    • Listening to yourself to figure out what you “feel” like doing

Assorted Thoughts:

  • Looking at how libraries are reinventing themselves to “get with the times”

  • Starting with a morning reading ritual

  • Take a vacation. No seriously. No phone, no email, take the time to take the time.

    • Remember that you are not your job and camp is not you. You need freedom to develop yourself properly.

  • Magazine (or podcast) subscriptions (see above), not just summer camp, and not just non-fiction related material.

  • Using the idea that “We need to be better” and looking at how other non-camp people are changing the world and using their developments

  • Be brave and make waves in the industry. People might not always like you, or your ideas, but that’s okay.

  • Inspirational Instagram Feeds - Representation Matters, Because Of Them, etc.

  • Deep thinking on your own without the internet to help.

What tools and mindsets do you use to help yourself be a better camp pro? Let us know in the comments!

Tool of the Week – Make Yourself a Better Camp Director

Travis: Wyze Cam

Gabz: The Noun Project

Joe: Time Timer

Ruby: Yoga Chimes

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Focusing on First Year Families - CampHacker #111

Camper today, camper tomorrow, camper for life.

Podcast: Subscribe in  iTunes  |  Stitcher

Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes | Stitcher

This is the time of year (January, for those tuning in later) where we are really starting to think about bums in bunks. Your registrations are starting to roll in and your dedicated, long-time camp families have picked their sessions and things are looking good.

Take a second and think about those returning families. They weren’t always returners. At some time down the road, that family made a decision to choose your camp. Now, fast forward 5 or 10 years and that family has given you thousands of dollars and you have a camper or now even a staff member for life.

So how do you get those future-long-time-families to make that initial leap?

Well, if you’re reading this, you’ve either thought of listening to this episode, or are currently listening to it…in both cases, you’re super smart. The gang (Travis, Gabz, Dan & Joe) is all here, joined by friend of the show, Jalisa Danhof from Camp Newaygo to help you get those first-year bums in bunks.

We say this a lot, but this is definitely a show you’re going to want to take some notes for, because these tips are going to give you the keys to ROCKING first year registrations this summer!

What are you going to do this summer to level-up your new camper registrations this summer? Please let us know in the comments below!

Tool of the Week – Make Yourself a Better Camp Director

Travis:  Show Up Hard - by Shannon Weber

Dan: Meeting Notebook

Gabz: Decide Now App - Apple Store | Google Play

Joe: Philosophy: Buy The Best You Can Afford, Tested Gear & Tools TheWirecutter.com

Jalisa: Car Jump Starter - ANNKOO Quick Charger

Your Hosts:

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(Thank you!)

Big Issues at Day Camp This Year - CampHacker #110

An Episode Especially For, But Not Only For Day Camp Pros

Podcast: Subscribe in  iTunes  |  Stitcher

Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes | Stitcher

It would be easy for the hard and fast overnight camp pros to see “Day Camp” in the title and move on.

Don’t do that.

There are logistical differences with both models of summer camp, but it’s so easy to see that what is relevant and pertinent to one, is the same for the other.

Rituals, traditions, culture, integration, camaraderie, it’s a part of every camp experience, no matter when, or how often the campers go home. What is good for overnight, is good for day.

All that being said, kids going home every night, camp vs school syndrome, wavering attendance, rented sites, lunch time, and many more things all pose a significant and unique challenge, that needs to be addressed and collaborated on.

And we’re good at challenges.

This episode of the CampHacker podcast brings together some camp pros that have truly hacked the day-camp experience and bring the extraordinary world into the 9-5, every day. Andy Pritkin from Liberty Lake Day Camp, Ehren Gluckstein from Camp Robin Hood and Sam Thompson from Crystal Lake Park District all join Travis to begin to unpack the emerging and ongoing challenges and successes in the world of Day Camps.

You know as well as we do that this is only the beginning though.


Let’s take it to the next level…

Introducing - The CampHacker Day Camp Show

New to the CampHacker Podcast network is so excited to announce the upcoming release of the Day Camp Podcast.

Tune in to the new Podcast stream by clicking here!

Tool of the Week – Make Yourself a Better Camp Director

Travis: The Being Useful List

Andy: Dark Sky Weather app https://darksky.net/app

Ehren: Camptivities Scheduling Software https://www.camptivities.com/

Sam:   Kahoot! Testing Game App https://kahoot.it/

Your Hosts:

Rate and Review the CampHacker Show in iTunes 

(Thank you!)

Staff Retention & Recruiting Tips - For Right Now - CampHacker #109

Your best future staff members are looking. Are they going to find you?

Podcast: Subscribe in  iTunes  |  Stitcher

Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes | Stitcher

Hey! Welcome back!

We hope that you had an incredible summer.

We also hope that you’ve had an incredible chance to take a breath and reflect on the magic that surely happened this summer. Or even, to not think about camp and…you know…sleep!

Whether you’re still recovering, coming out of hibernation, or still in the busy season, it’s time to start setting the next summer up for success.

Step one. Staffing.

This time of year (October/November), is when the financial and emotional reality of the school is kicking in for students and they are ready to start looking for a summer job. Your potential returning staff have also now taken a breath from the potential drama and tiredness of the summer and are ready again to dream of their home away from home. In either case, the “keeners” are looking, and you want them on your team.

As always on the CampHacker podcast, we try to deliver timely, relevant and practical information to help you (and your staff) on what matters most to you NOW. To help do that, Travis, Joe and Gabz are joined by the brilliant, legendary Kim Aycock and intentionally amazing Jolly Corley on this week’s episode.

Tune in and get inspired to find and build you best staff team yet.

**Travis’ Note: Gabz awesome Ouareau Interview Prep booklet.

Take This Episode One Step Farther

Register for the Caught Between Two Staff Seasons Masterclass with Kim and Jolly. Get your staffing hat on and create your playbook for retaining, recruiting and developing staff for 2019.

Find out more here!

Tool of the Week – Make Yourself a Better Camp Director

Travis: Gear Infusion EverRatchet - (20% off code EverRatchetBacker20)

Gab: JOBY GorillaPod

Joe: Super Thick Index Cards - Joe uses Levenger Cards that are 170lb paper and vertically lined. Amazon.ca Link.

Kim: United by Blue (removes a pound of trash from the world’s oceans and waterways for every product sold...lots of cool “camp” items!)

Jolly:  Backless Yoga Ball Desk Chair - Canadian Link

Your Hosts:

Rate and Review the CampHacker Show in iTunes 

(Thank you!)