Proven Summer Camp Marketing Methods - CampHacker #106

Marketing That Gets The Bums In Bunks

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It's that time of year again. Registration has been open for a bit, staff applications are rolling in and school groups are calling to book for Outdoor Education.

You've made that first big push. Way to go!

Now, let's get at it, shall we? 

Summer Camp is the main reason why most of us are here. We believe that every camper deserves a week at camp. We believe that every camp is great, but we're REALLY proud of our camp and we REALLY hope that kids will come.

Unfortunately, hope isn't a very high-yield marketing scheme. That's why in this time of year, you're going to be getting a LOT of emails from Camp Marketers (ahem...), who have an absolute bumper-crop of ideas to help you raise camper numbers for the summer of 2018.

While they (ahem...) may have a lot of great ideas, it can be a little overwhelming to not only implement them, but even just choose one in the first place!

Well have no fear, the CampHackers are here! Three of our regulars, Travis, Gab and Joe are joined by the meme-staff-hiring-posting-guru and all around great-guy Marc Cooper from Camp Tamarack are here to give you ideas that WORK.

Tune-in to hear these CampHacker's talk about their first principals, what their insider tricks are, what they are surprised to hear other Camp Directors aren't doing, and even more awesome tips for rocking registration this year!

These are easy to implement, or even better, easy to delegate to the rest of your team (board, staff, alumni, etc!). Get your pencil and papers out, y'all!

What are your Marketing miracles? What have you done that have really got registrations rolling? Let us know in the comments below!

Tool of the Week – Make Yourself a Better Camp Director

Travis: - Tie your Amazon and Kindle apps into a searchable database & email digest.

Gab: Pegboard for your office - Make your office space match the clean, excellent marketing you do. 

Joe: Klein Tools Voltage Tester - Because your camp likes you better not shocked to death.

Marc: Mematic app - Step up your staff hiring post game.


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Technology and Camp - Interview with Kevin Kelly

Technological Forces That Will Change the Camping Industry

It may be safe to say that we've started to reach a bit of a renaissance when it comes to technology at summer camp. If you've been a long-time lurker on the Summer Camp Professionals Facebook Community , you may have noticed that the conversations have started to shift from developing cell-phone policies and overall frustration with technology to a more acceptance/embracing (with a healthy dose of skepticism) attitude towards tech at camp.

According to Kevin Kelly, that progression is probably a good thing.

Kevin Kelly (Authour of The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future), joins Travis in this special interview edition of the CampHacker Podcast. Together, Kevin and Travis discuss his views on how not only the world as a whole, but our little camp world will surely be shaped by the integration of technology into the everyday.

Whether you're camp has a Pokemon Go-gettem attitude or if you are a camp still fighting for a true "unplugged" experience, this interview definitely has something for you to mull over.

We can't thank Kevin enough for joining us on the CampHacker Podcast. You should definitely head over to to check out more of Kevin's books, Cool Tools and other passion projects.

Thanks for listening, friends!

Stay tuned!

The next season of the CampHacker podcast will be coming soon!

Best of luck in wrapping up your summer and we'll see you in the fall.


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Marketing to Moms - CampHacker #47

Marketing summer camp to the decision makers: Moms

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As summer camp leaders we need to market to moms in order to reach the person in the house who has the greatest influence on purchasing decisions.

In this CampHacker Podcast we talk about ways that camps can be as effective as possible at reaching out to mothers of camp-aged children.    We addressed online tools such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and discussed some basic camp marketing strategies that have worked well for other camps.

Thank you to Jessica Smith from for joining us and adding so much to the discussion today.

Jessica was kind enough to send us along some Google Alert recipes for you to try:

  • "sleepaway camp" -camping  (to get Google alerts around news, blogs, and conversations for sleepaway camp but not camping)
  • "homesick at camp" (this will search for the phrase in quotes)
  • "packing for camp"
  • summer + camp (results will include both keywords)
  • sleepaway OR "day camp" (will search for either/or)

What do you know about who does the “buying” with your camp families?
Please leave us a note in the comments below or tweet us @CampHacker with your suggestion.

Tool of the Week – Make yourself a better Camp Director

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Thanks for the evening, friends.

New Sources of Revenue for Summer Camps - CampHacker #6

How do you grow your camp business in the non-summer seasons?

Happy New Year, Everyone!.  Dan, Joe, Gab and I talk this week about ways that camps can increase their revenue out side of the summer camp months.  It was great to hear each perspective: Dan's camps run year round with a major Outdoor Ed. component, Joe's camp uses rental group revenue to subsidize their summer program and at Gab's they ran Outdoor Ed. for 5 years and then decided that it wasn't the right program for Ouareau.

What does your camp do that no others do to bring in extra revenue?

Tool  of the Week - Something that you use to make yourself a better Camp Director

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And plus...

Thanks for the evening, friends.