Unplug at Camp - CampHacker #104

The reason behind your no-cell phone policy

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Camp is counter-culture.

Camps (for the most part) don't care about fashion, we encourage people to embrace what makes them quirky, and we don't have cell-phones at camp.

Now, policies differ, and some camps are even experimenting with plugged-in weeks at camp, but we can all agree on is that there is indeed a benefit that we give to our campers when we ask them to unplug from tech while they are at camp.

What? You don't believe this un-named, rogue blogger? Well fine. How about Dan Weir?

Yeah. THE CampHacker Dan Weir.

Dan was the keynote speaker at the Society of Camp Director's dinner this year where he shared his findings on the importance of unplugging both at home and at camp. Dan has done some pretty extensive research, not only in terms of the clinical benefits, but has been actively experimenting with how the unplugged culture at Frost Valley has given campers (and their parents) a much needed tech-free space. 

On this episode of the podcast, you'll find the audio of his talk.

Dan was even gracious enough to share his slide deck for all of you. Click or tap here. Hey. Thanks, Dan! 

No tool of the week this episode, but if you missed it last week, Dan references Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zomorodi. Definitely worth a read or listen!

Enjoy!

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First Impressions Last - CampHacker #102

If your first impression was your only impression, how would you fare?

Podcast: Subscribe in  iTunes    |  Stitcher

Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes Stitcher

For most of us, it's off-season proper. We're almost at the point where summer is no longer leaving, it's approaching.

Your autumn may have been full of Outdoor Education groups, clean-up from the summer (seriously, who left the tie dye out!?), or closing up a seasonal site. Now that registration is up, or will be shortly, and your marketing plan is starting to take shape, grab a coffee, a comfy chair, and get critical.

This is the time to start thinking broader about the polish that can be added to your initial customer experience.

How do your staff answer the phone? What story does the home-page of your website tell? Who meets families on opening day? How do you train your super-awesome, yet awkward teenagers to talk to parents? What is your camp's "wow factor" that people experience as they are driving down the camp road?

Take a second and answer those questions super honestly. How are you doing? If there are any aspects of your first impression that made you mentally (or physically) hang your head, no worries, the CampHackers are here to help.

Travis, Gab, Joe, Dan are joined by returning guest-host Jalisa Danhof from Camp Newaygo to absolutely blow your mind with their experience and ideas on how to make your camp's first impression memorable for all the right reasons. Again, have a pen and paper handy for this one.

What special touches do you put into starting off on the right foot with camper families? Let us know in the comments, we'd love to know!

Tool of the Week – Make Yourself a Better Camp Director

Travis: https://www.bonjoro.com
Dan: The Awakened Family: How to Raise Empowered, Resilient, and Conscious Children 
by Shefali Tsbary, Ph.d.
Gabz: LED Twinkle Lights
Joe: Mixed Media Book as an example - Canson Art Pad
Jalisa: The Beacon 8000

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Building Community With Your Local Community - CampHacker #98

It's not just about being a good neighbour!

(you should still be a good neighbour)

Podcast: Subscribe in  iTunes    |  Stitcher

Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes Stitcher

First things first, if you don't draw campers from a community in close proximity to your site, DON'T TUNE OUT! If you were about to tune out but didn't due to the capital letters (you're welcome), this show may actually be perfect for you!

No matter how far your "draw" is for campers, it's absolutely critical that camps have a good relationship with their neighbours and local communities. 

If you have close residences (especially on a lake), it's important to recognize the fact that you're a noisy, bell-ringing, song-sining (screaming) place. If your camp is a little more secluded, you may be facing the challenge that, despite your strong camper numbers, people don't even know you exist!

It's safe to say, you aren't the conventional neighbour, but that can be your biggest advantage. From dropping mailers on the docks of lake neighbours, to sponsoring local sports teams, to offering free meals for families in need, there is so much good that your camp can do, while doing some good for your organization.

CampHackers Travis, Joe and Dan are joined by Marc Cooper from Camp Tamarack and AWARD WINNING Jalisa Danhof from Camp Newaygo to bring to you an absolute TON of ways to be the best neighbour you can be for your community.

What are you going to do THIS year to connect with your local community? Let us know in the comments below!

Tool of the Week – Make Yourself a Better Camp Director

Travis: GraphicVision.me - An innovative way for your camp's strategic visioning

Joe: Maui Jim - Sunglasses that stand up to camp

Dan: Quiet Power - Susan Cain - http://amzn.to/2lyWexj

Jalisa: The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt - http://amzn.to/2lX1ags

Marc: The Daily Stoic - Ryan Holiday - http://amzn.to/2mtk6GG

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What's on your mind? - CampHacker #97

Uncertainty is a Killer of Good Work...and Other Debatable Statements

What's on your mind right now?

It's fair to say that it's getting into "crunch time", but it's also probably fair to say that there's still some time to think.

And when there's time to think, there's sometimes a space created in a section of our brains that is reserved for vulnerability. Whatever that is to you - uncertainty, concern, doubt, worry - thoughts like these have a way of floating in and settling in the spaces in-between your day to day. These thoughts don't exactly impede our progress, but if left un-dusted, the can certainly prevent us from moving forward on potentially critical aspects of our upcoming season.

This episode is for some of those thoughts. It's also for the thoughts that are on the minds of our CampHackers and Camp Pros in the community. Travis and Joe are joined by good friend of the show, Paul Sheridan from Four Winds, Westward Ho to share not only what's on their minds in February of 2017, but to comment on some other Camp Pro's thoughts from around the camping community. 

Tune in to hear thoughts on:

  • Uncertainty
  • Embracing change (both for yourself and for your staff/organization)
  • Best advice for a new Director or management in your organization
  • How to deal with the feeling of loneliness after a season of camp is over

What's on your mind?

We would love to hear it and if you have any big burning thoughts, please do throw them down in the comments below. We would be happy to hear them and maybe feature it as a topic of discussion for future episodes!

Thanks!

Tool of the Week – Make Yourself a Better Camp Director

Travis: Book - How To Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck - Steve Stockman

Joe: Tervis - Mug/Cups that keeps things the temperature that you intend them to be

Paul: Delorme InReach - Global satellite technology useful for tripping programs

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