Let’s face it: Camp parents are awfully busy, making it difficult to get their attention. And, for parents, keeping kids’ schedules and registrations sorted can be even more complicated. Howevr, you can become a better communicator with camp caregivers by incorporating different channels of communication into your daily routine. Here are three low-cost and low-effort ways to get you started.
Just Text Them!
I just switched dog groomers (stay with me, here!), and I set up both of my dogs with the new groomer simply via text. And you know what? It was significantly easier for me than calling. In fact, it was one of the easiest experiences I’ve ever had signing up for something new! With a preschooler, a baby, a job, and a small business of my own, I find it really challenging to make and receive phone calls during business hours. But the asynchronous nature of texting made getting Ranger and Marley into our new groomer really simple. It also meant that I had a written log of the details (cost, address, timing) that I could refer to closer to the actual appointment.
Take this idea from Larry’s Dog Grooming (thanks, Larry!), and text our campers’ caregivers whenever you can. Get a dedicated cell phone for camp texting, and use it! A quick text exchange beats phone tag any day.
Send Calendar Invitations
Smartphones have built-in digital calendars, so camper caregivers should be able to accept a calendar invitation. Did you know that you can automatically set up calendar invitation links for parents to add camp-related tasks to their own calendars without collecting a list of “attendees”? This is especially easy if you are a Google user (see instructions here).
Here’s an example of how this could work: Say June 1 is the forms deadline for your camp. You can set up a Google Calendar event for that date. Set up the invite so that anyone “attending” the event has a reminder one week before the deadline and one day before the deadline, then adjust the “notes” portion of the calendar invite to have a direct link and instructions for the forms. Using the method linked above, you can publish the Google Calendar event and share the link with parents when you email them, encouraging them to add the deadline to their own calendar. If they do, they will automatically get notifications to remind them of this important task.
You could create multiple different calendar invitations for camp occurrences, such as payment deadlines, drop off and pick up times for different camp sessions, special camp events like cookouts or special theme days (bring your swimsuit!), or registration for next summer. Let the calendar do the work of sending extra reminders!
Create an “Ask Me About” Board
What happens when a parent picks their kid up from day camp? A lot of the time, the parent will ask the kid, “How was your day?” and the kid will say either something like “good” or “OK”, without giving lots of details. Parents can have richer conversations with their children about the camp experience (and better understand it) if they have more specific questions to ask. Enter the “Ask Me About” board. Simply prop a physical whiteboard, chalkboard, or chart paper on an easel by camp checkout. At the top, write the title “Ask me about…” Before pickup each day, complete the sentence to give the parents a prompt that universally applies to all campers: “Ask me about today’s guest presenter!” or “Ask me about my swim check!” Now parents have a conversation starter and a better way of getting information from their kids about the camp experience—and all you had to do was write a simple sentence on a whiteboard.
ACTIVEWorks Camp & Class Manager Is Here for You
Whether you need to notify them of a change in schedule or send a reminder about filling out waivers, it’s easy with Camp & Class Manager’s built-in communications tools. Instantly send out texts about scheduling changes or camp and program updates or create email templates to speed up the process with the drag-and-drop builder. Simply select the design piece you need—whether it be a button, image, or text box—and drop it into the email. Learn more about all the ways Camp & Class Manager can help you streamline processes and give your staff time back in their day, then schedule a demo to see for yourself.