Encouraging the Next Generation of Camp Pros - CampHacker #103

Because you won't be around forever.

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Okay, that was harsh. You'll be around for awhile. We're sure of it. We love you.

That being said, the reason that we budget, vision and innovate is so that camp will be around for a long time, or as Joe says, "for today's camper camper". That means you need to take a second to think about the type of person you want to be the future stewards of your site and program.

It's a humbling experience to think about a future at camp without you. What makes that humbling experience also comforting is when you know that you've intentionally fostered the people who will take up the torch.

We had the rare opportunity to have Travis, Joe and Dan all in the same room leading up to the Society of Camp Director's dinner, so of course we were going to record an episode! Can you believe we've been doing this for 10 years and it's the first time Dan and Joe have met? Our 3 CampHackers are joined by our producer Matt Honsberger (who feels slightly awkward typing his own name in right now) to discuss their stories of being mentored into their current roles as well as the things they do every day to set the future of camp and the industry up for success.

Take a quick second to think about how you got to where you are today. Who planted the seed of possibility in you? Make sure you thank them and then tell us the story in the comments below! 

Tool of the Week – Make Yourself a Better Camp Director

Travis: www.camelcamelcamel.com - Amazon price tracker
Dan: Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zomorodi
Matt: The Better Board - Message Matt for a more detailed explanation
Joe: Google Photo Scan - iOS - Andoid

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What Are You Doing Differently? - CampHacker #96

What are you doing differently THIS SUMMER?

Happy January and happy 2017! If you're anything like Joe, that means that the summer of 2017 is already preparing to sneak up on you. It's a New Year and people all around the world have made (and possibly already broken) New Year's Resolutions for themselves. These changing of the calendar prompts people to "shake things up" a bit in their lives. As Camp Pros, we don't need a prompt. We live the life of resolutions for our camps in an effort to grow, maintain, gain and/or reach more people.

This episode is all about one resolution that is likely more uncomfortable, but also more achievable than "eating more veggies" - Be Different This Summer.

The best part about this resolution is that you already know what you have to do. Just like the campers that we serve, our camps need to grow. It is essential that our camps, programs and even our mindset towards the organization grow by consistently asking ourselves, what can we do differently that will help us to best serve our camp and our campers. Take note that we're not asking you what you're going to do "better", because you're already going to do that. What this episode is interested in is how you're going to shake things up, rattle the cages and roll out something, well, different than you've ever done before.

CampHackers Travis Joe and Gab are joined by Neva Batzell from 4-H Florida to share not only how they're being different this summer but how you can do it too. This is a great episode to put your "what if" hat on and we hope you enjoy it.

Maybe your different is looking at the limitations of your site or program and flipping the script and making those limitations into your biggest area of growth; the story of Paperfuge that we mention on this show is exactly this idea. Also see - A Beautiful Constraint.

So whether it's your philosophy, your staff structure or your program (or all 3 and beyond), we wish you the best and encourage you to make 2017 a year of great, different camping! Also, know that you're not alone as your thinking differently. The CampHacker and Go Camp Pro team have your back if you need that extra spark of inspiration or kick in the pants.

Because we're nosey...ahem...curious...what are you planning on doing differently this summer? Let us know in the comments below!

Tool of the Week – Make Yourself a Better Camp Director

Travis: Service Fanatics - James Merlino  - (also used books on Amazon) 

Joe: Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss - A book containing the best purchases, ideas and thoughts from leaders around the world. Also, from Tim's Blog: Testing The “Impossible”: 17 Questions That Changed My Life

Gabz: Unsplash - Free "do whatever your want" high-res images

Neva: My Fitness Pal - Health, food and exercise tracking app

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Budget and Pricing of Camp - CampHacker #95

Living, Breathing, Budgets & Camp Pricing

Podcast: Subscribe in  iTunes    |  Stitcher

Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes Stitcher

Open Excel, dig out your calculators, and put your number-crunching hats on!

Let's get real here. Budgeting definitely isn't one the glamorous parts of Camp Directing. Besides cleaning out a septic tank, it may be the least glamorous. Even so, your budget may in fact be the most important thing your camp can invest time into this fall and winter.

Your camp's budget is the foundation for both your short and long-term plans for the coming year. As well, you, as one of the most "on-the-ground" people at camp need to be involved in creating, understanding, and keeping the budget updated. A detailed, updated budget will allow you to make informed decisions on where your money is going to go and how much you need to bring in. With the budget's information under your belt, you can make well informed decisions on things like your camp's pricing!

On this episode of the CampHacker Podcast, the "Business Brain Trust" (aka - Travis, Joe, Johnathon Lee and Sarah Kurtz McKinnon), have re-assembled to talk all about their best budgeting practices and how the budget can paint clearer pictures when it comes to looking at your camp's pricing. As well, tune in to hear about the host's philosophies when it comes to setting your camp's fees to reflect a professional, competitive business.

Tool of the Week – Make Yourself a Better Camp Director

Travis: Twenty Ads that Shook The World - James Twitchell 

Johnathon: Dewalt Drill/Driver 

Sarah: TurboScan App -  iOS II Android

Joe: Levenger Pocket Briefcase

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Bonus Content! - Because people who read our blog posts are the best.

CampHacker's Life Cycle Plan - Free spreadsheet to help you create some capital plan for buildings on your site.

The Business of Camp - CampHacker #92

One of the biggest parts of camp that your staff don’t get to see. 

    Podcast: Subscribe in  iTunes    |  Stitcher

    Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes Stitcher

Finance, capital planning, budgeting, donor relations, business strategy – and remember, we’re not on the 123rd floor on Wall St! This is camp! 

All of the things that we know and love about camp – campfires, singing songs, high-ropes, canoeing on a lake are all incredible, but they all won’t exist in a camp that is mismanaged from a business standpoint. For most full-time Camp Directors, this big-picture thinking about camp as a business is absolutely critical to create a sustainable and thriving place that will be around for future generations of campers.  

As you may have heard Travis say, “Money moves the mission”.  

We’re all here for the campers. It’s why we do what we do, but being a business-minded director doesn’t mean that you aren’t any less camper-minded. Being business-minded, at least some of the time, means that you are taking on the responsibility of ensuring that camp is just as awesome, if not even more awesome for many years to come.

On this episode of the CampHacker Podcast, Travis and Joe are joined by Johnathon Lee, Co-Executive Director of Camp Kintail, and Sarah Kurtz McKinnon, Camp Consultant and Go Camp Pro partner. Tune in to hear these four camp pros share some of their best business practices and philosophies that allow their camps to thrive and will surely spark some new ideas for this upcoming year.

Want to get stared? Joe recommends the book Basic Camp Management for some fall professional development.

Welcome back to the CampHacker Podcast! We can't wait for another great season.


Tool of the Week – Make Yourself a Better Camp Director

Travis - Seth Godin’s altMBA - https://altmba.com/ -  if you apply, use Travis’ code: Leap now - [Travis Allison]

Joe - Marshall Goldsmith - Triggers 

Sarah - Roger Fisher - Getting to Yes 

Johnathon - MS Excel

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Rate and Review the CampHacker Show in iTunes 

(Thank you!)