Do This Now To Set Your Summer Camp Staff Up For Success - CampHacker #108

You may be in the thick of things, but your staff are ready, and they need you.

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Hello Camp Pros!

Well, it's late April/early May, and you know what that means.

EVERYBODY PANIC!

No no, only kidding! But likely, it can start to feel like it at this time of year.

As we finish stretching to prepare for the sprint that is camp, we can't forget that the race we are about to run is not a solo event, it's a relay!

For many of us, our staff are either starting to think about coming, or are starting to trickle up to camp. While it's sometimes stressful when people are adding to the mix of your daily workflow, it's important that we step back and remember that these are the people that will carry out all the marketing and selling you've done since September. Their energy that you had when you were 17 is just waiting to be unleashed and it's important that you take the time to begin to harness that energy and point it in the right direction.

Last episode, we covered some broad ways that you can support staff by creating and sustaining a culture that focuses on mental wellness (which was an eye-opening episode and if you haven't listened already, please do!). This time around, we've brought the team and some friends in to talk about some of the practical steps that you should take NOW to help your staff get ready to unleash their awesome this summer.

Joining Travis, Dan and Joe to share their best practices and ideas are Ange Atkinson, Camp Director at Camp Lantern Creek and Patti Sampson, Camp Director at Coastal Roots Camp, and host of the Podcast: Rec Heads and Camp Nerds

Enjoy!

What kinds of things are you doing right now to set your team up for success? Let us know in the comments!

Bonus Resources - Because people who read the show notes are the best people.

Travis' Bonjoro Link:

Dan’s Dan Pink Episode

If Slack isn't for you, give Flock a peek!

Tool of the Week – Make Yourself a Better Camp Director

Travis: Oxford At-Hand Note Carrier 

Dan: The Emergent Task Planner

Joe: Tempered Glass screen covers for phones

Ange: Use Facebook Live to add some zest to your marketing smorgasbord! 

Patti: Gratitude Journaling

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Supporting Staff Mental Wellness - CampHacker #107

Your camp staff's mental wellness is a priority. Period.

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How many of our camp brochures or websites preach that our camp teaches kids about grit and resilience?

Okay everyone, put your hands down. 

Now, home many of us can say that we put that same effort into fostering grit and resilience with our staff? Sure, we may have staff check-ins and encourage staff to write motivational notes to each other, but although those are great, the times when just that was enough are likely coming to a end.

Before we continue, let's check ourselves remember that the world that we grew up in, in the 70's, 80's and 90's is very different than the one where our staff are growing up in now. The pressures of the world combined with the increased expectations of parents and peers, all lumped in with a toxic social media culture, makes for one of the most tumultuous times to be a youth.

We've grown and changed as an industry in so many ways. Now, when it comes to addressing the mental health of our staff, it's time to grow again. We would never leave our campers who are missing home and mentally struggling, so why would do it to our staff who are missing home, camp and mentally struggling in other ways?

This is a challenging episode, and honestly, it might be one of our heaviest yet, but we hope you'll stick with it and let this sink in.

Joining Travis, Dan and Gab in walking down this road is the fantastic Amanda Grassick from Camp Woodeden. Amanda has been working hard to make their staff's mental health a priority at Woodeden, and after a tough start in their first year, Amanda is starting to see some results thanks to what they've put in place.

This is more than a "get a pen and paper" type of episode. It's a "get a pen and paper, and ready to grow" type of episode. We know you'll enjoy it.

What are you doing to look after your staff team's mental health? Let us know in the comments below!

Bonus Resources

Mental wellness isn't something we can just "figure out" on our own (like you "figured out" how to jerry-rig that leaky toilet, you genius you!). Get professional training and approach this issue like a professional. These links will get you started.

https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org

http://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.ca/en

Tool of the Week – Make Yourself a Better Camp Director

Travis: The Power of Moments: Chip & Dan Heath

Dan: Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

Gab: Find someone to talk to that’s not family or friends also this book  Loving someone with Borderline Personality Disorder

Amanda: Smartsheet

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Proven Summer Camp Marketing Methods - CampHacker #106

Marketing That Gets The Bums In Bunks

   Podcast: Subscribe in  iTunes    |  Stitcher

   Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes Stitcher

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: https://readwise.io - 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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(Thank you!)

 

Building Relationships with Camp Alumni - CampHacker #62

Super Summer Camp Support

Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes Stitcher App

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Although we have talked about Camp Alumni on Episode 25 (listen here) it made sense for us to tackle the topic again.  Now that I look back at it it WAS 3 years ago…

I’m so grateful to Theresa and Rebecca for joining the show again.   I really like the ideas that they have at Cairn and at Kintail.

In particular, I think Kintail’s Cake by The Lake event (which attracts camper and staff alumni from as long ago as the 30’s and 40’s) fits today’s topic perfectly - building those relationships between the generations.

What do you do at your camp to keep strong ties with your alumni?

Tool of the Week – Make yourself a better Camp Director

Travis - Carhartt Quilted, Lined Duck Bib Overall 
Gab - Canon Powershoot G16
Joe - Book - The Generosity Network - New Transformational Tools for successful fund-raising. 
Theresa - Switch by Chip & Dan Heath 
Rebecca - PicMonkey’s Dropbox integration

Your Hosts:

Rate and Review the CampHacker Show in iTunes 

(It helps! It really, really helps!)

Thanks for the evening, friends.