How to organize a sports summer campus?
When the school year ends, the children finish classes and summer arrives. It’s time to disconnect, studies are over, sports are over. Good. Not quite.
It is now when parents consider what they can do for more than 2 months with their children. Holidays, grandparents, a little study … there are alternatives. And don’t be surprised by the fact that campuses are one of the main alternatives. In Spain alone, 44,720 camps were counted last summer.
There are thousands of campuses, there are thousands of children wanting to join the campuses, there are thousands of parents wanting to pay for the campuses. So let’s get down to business.
On which campus will parents want to enroll their children? In yours, of course. We have put together this post and an eBook entitled ” How to Create a Successful Summer Campus ” to explain how you can organize the best sports campus there has ever been and will ever be. Do you want to know how? Keep reading …
It is normal for parents not to leave their children anywhere. As the organizing body for summer activities (let’s say you have a sports club), you should take advantage of the resources and facilities available. You have to offer activities that go beyond the usual ones.
Camps are an activity that never goes out of style. A campus is usually the great salvation for those parents who either do not have time to spend with their children due to work, or need a few days of disconnection.
Summer campus is a great opportunity to grow your club. It offers a multitude of activities for children to enjoy the outdoors practicing sports, develop their skills and socialize with more children. And, across the board, you will add great value to the club, which may have an impact on an increase in membership, greater impact and notoriety.
From the point of view of club management, the organization of a campus allows many of the members not to leave in the summer, not to mention the extra income that is achieved.
That being said, there is no reason not to organize a summer campus at your club. We are going to give you some tips so that you know where to start:
1. Set a clear goal
First of all, you should be clear that, unless it is a campus very focused on sports performance, education must be more important than sports practice itself. Even on summer camps of professional clubs, the transmission of values and working on other skills tend to prevail. Sports performance itself is in the background.
From here, you have to define the objective of the campus. As I was telling you, it is important that the objective takes into account giving children a range of possibilities to develop their social and educational skills.
You must define well the profile of children you want to attract. Who loves a lot, covers little. Therefore, be specific to your audience. Define the age, the purchasing power of the families, the special needs or any attribute that serves to segment the profile of the people you want to reach.
For example: “The objective of the campus is to promote the practice of soccer in the locality, offer added value to current athletes and attract new athletes between 6 and 12 years old”
2. Decide the characteristics of the camp
When I talk to you about characteristics, I am not just referring to the sports modality. This point is quite broad, since you can play with different types of sports modality. But you also have to take into account other features of the athlete’s profile, language or type of campus (part-time, all day or overnight).
2.1 Choose your sport modality
Although your club usually competes for a specific sport, the summer campus does not have to be for that same sport. In fact, it is very common to organize a multisport campus. Don’t forget that the main objective is for the children to have fun.
2.2 Is your summer campus only for members or is it for any child?
Not everyone who wants to join the summer camp is a member of the club.
Therefore, not everyone has the same skills, so it may be a better option to offer multisport mode, adapting it to all the children who sign up. If you decide on a specific sport, a good option to be flexible is to choose to offer different schedules for ages and levels, from beginners to advanced.
2.3 Have you considered doing a multilingual summer campus?
You must decide if you will offer multiple languages in the camp or not.
On the one hand, it is an attractive alternative for most parents. Since your children will not only have fun and exercise, but they will also work another language.
This decision, however, will depend somewhat on the level of the monitors and the preferences of the parents themselves. Remember that we already described the profile of our athletes in the first section.
2.4 Morning summer campus or full-time summer campus?
Another interesting option is to give the option of a full day, including lunch, morning classroom and even a pick-up service.
Typically, campuses are part-time. Most of them in the morning. Offering an all-day campus, even one or several weeks, is a very important value proposition for parents. By offering more value, parents are sure to be willing to bear a higher cost.
Anyway, in return, you have to take into account the resources of the club itself. You have to have monitors ready and available for longer days, facilities and logistics that cannot be prepared in two afternoons.
3. Choice of place: Own facilities or do you have to move?
To determine the activities that you will carry out on the summer campus, it is very important to take into account the place where you are going to celebrate it.
We recommend that you do an analysis of the possibilities offered by your usual installations. You have to observe the places around you. Both to be able to determine the excursions or complementary activities that are carried out, and to analyze the possible dangers for children.
The ideal is to have a site with a pool or that the facilities are near the sea, a river or lake to cope with the summer heat and be able to carry out sports activities, which children like so much.
If you do not have your own facilities to carry out the activities you have planned, there are two very interesting alternatives. On the one hand, you can move the camp to another place (in your own locality or in another). Or you can carry out certain activities in your facilities, and travel to do those that require equipment or a different environment.
4. You already have the site. Now it’s time to decide the schedule
You have to have well-organized and attractive schedules for all children and, above all, for parents.
The hours are determined by the availability of the facilities and monitors. But normally, you can have the flexibility to adapt them to the needs of the summer campus itself. Although the ideal would be to know how many children we will have and from there organize groups and schedules, I regret to tell you that to attract these children, the schedules should be published in advance.
It is very important that you have a list of provisional activities in case a scheduled activity cannot be accomplished, thus avoiding improvisation.
If the summer campus is full-time, you will have to take into account the breaks to eat and rest, since the rest of the time must be occupied by activities or games.
5. Organization of human resources
From an organizational point of view, you have to decide the responsible people and their functions for the summer camp. In general, there are usually at least 3 positions on summer campuses:
5.1 Campus coordinator
He is directly responsible for the organization of the campus and supervisor of the other areas. It must coordinate with the sports management all the procedures related to the proper functioning of the summer camp, as well as the well-being of the members.
5.2 Pedagogical area
In this area will be the monitors in charge of determining the objectives and activities, anticipating alternative activities as well as the organization of the schedules and participants so that everything goes successfully. In short, they are the ones who will have the most direct contact with children.
5.3 Administrative area
This area is the most independent and is the part in charge of managing the treasury, the quartermaster, health and other administrative procedures. In theory, it will take care of the general well-being of all children, but without having direct or daily contact with them.
6. Take out insurance
Well, once you’ve thought about all the above, comes the formal part. Hiring insurance in summer camps is essential and essential, especially for parents when hiring the camp for their children.
Good insurance will give more security to those somewhat suspicious or protective parents. The insurances are as much for the children as for the monitors and staff of the camp, since anyone can suffer an accident. We advise you to inform yourself well in a consultancy and do not make a mistake choosing. The legal issue is also a very important part to take into account.
7. Recruitment of children for the summer campus
To get noticed and attract more kids, start with your current partners. Take advantage of your loyal customers and encourage them to invite their close acquaintances by offering discounts or incentives both for them and for each friend they bring.
Second, focus on the people around you. If you organize it in an urbanization or beach town, you can take advantage of it to promote your summer camp, since many vacationers are going to spend their vacations on the coast. You can also contact the neighbors, they can give you a cable.
Another option is to talk to entities to promote your summer campus, such as city councils, sports associations, schools and others. If the facility is foreign, talk to the facility owners and post posters and advertisements in nearby areas. If they are your own facilities, do the same in yours.
As always, we remind you not to forget your digital presence and have your corporate website updated, with information about the campus (date, hours, prices, etc). You should not leave out social networks, especially in summer when they are most active. Many people google “summer campus in Seville”. Position yourself well with keywords that attract attention to appear in the first results.
8. Manage your summer campus registrations
Make registration registrations as easy as possible with a form on your website. The easier they are, the better, and the more chances you will reach more people. If they have to go to the headquarters, pick up a piece of paper, fill it out, scan it, send it by post or return it to the same facility… it is not optimal or easy for the customer.
Think of a process as easy as possible for parents, since they do not have enough time to complete so many procedures. In this way they will thank you a lot and it will be more likely to reach a greater number of registered. At a minimum, we recommend that you use a Google Forms form, although the ideal is to use your own forms, with integrated payments or that calculate different prices, with discounts included. This way you won’t have to do a multitude of accounts and have one pass you by.
Maybe you can have a first installment for children who have signed up for other years or partners, and then you open the registrations to everyone, thus ensuring a place for your loyal customers. You can also play with the price, offering a discounted price if they sign up before a date. In this way, you will generate a feeling of “urgency” and they will want to sign up as soon as possible.
9. The time has come to charge the registrants of your summer campus
The most anticipated part for the club has arrived. The collection of fees. These can be fixed or variable, depending on the number of days, weeks, the services chosen, etc.
You can consider charging an extra price for the sports equipment or for the contracted services, such as the pick-up service, the dining room or the morning classroom. Many parents need it more than the campus itself.
Another option is to include discounts for booking several days or weeks, or also discounts per member or number of siblings.
With Clubtis you can customize all the requirements to set up the summer camp and adjust the registration for your summer campus, and it will automatically calculate the total price that each family will have to pay, with discounts and extra services included. In addition, charges will be created automatically for parents to pay at the same time online, being able to send periodic notices and reminders so that they do not have to constantly be aware of payments.
10. Everything is ready. Now you just have to start with your summer campus
Everything essential is here. Now is the part of resolution of doubts and reception. The first day they will have many questions, being there so that parents know everything is essential to give a good service and create a good impression on parents.
This is very important, as there is only one first time to make a first impression. Prepare everything and make a list of all the possible doubts that parents may have. This will prevent improvisation and poorly crafted responses.
11. The summer campus is over. Everything is ready? No! Now is the time to prepare the next
Surely you think it is too early, that there is one year to the next … ERROR! Now is the perfect time to write down what went well and what didn’t. This way you can correct everything that did not work and enhance what went well.
It can also be interesting to gather information from all parents to tell us what they would improve. Send them a final survey about the camp where they can give their personal opinion. They are the first to detect those errors that we do not see, and they will appreciate our willingness to change and improve it.
You can also send a satisfaction questionnaire with a rating scale, so that they are not just personal issues but somehow we can more objectively measure campus performance and explicitly tell us which issues we should improve. p>
In Spain there is a formidable offer of camps of all kinds. Those of a specific sport are increasingly common, and have become niche markets for some companies.
In any case, for the correct organization of a summer camp, you should reflect on what you want to offer and be very clear about this when structuring it, since the choice will determine many of the aspects of the itself, such as the date, place and hours.
The organization of a summer campus for children is a task that requires great planning, as well as the appointment of a perfectly structured work team , and specialized monitors .
Once the previous management work is done, and having the necessary people and tools, you will surely make your campus stand out from the rest. It is nothing more than having clear ideas and striving to do things well.
Don’t forget to download the eBook to Organize a Successful Campus. Where I deepen all the points that I have told you here. Good luck with your campus!