When and how you communicate has a big impact on your relationships. This rings especially true when it comes to communication with the parents of your campers. Keeping parents in the loop before, during and after camp is key to your camp’s success and to making sure parents and kids are happy.
We’ve got you covered with an overview of three phases of camp communication.
Phase 1: Before Camp
Probably the most crucial phase of communication because it sets you up for success, before camp communication consists of two key items.
1. Collecting information
Collecting information about your campers should go hand-in-hand with the registration process, because ideally your software can make forms mandatory before check-out. Some information you should collect during this time is: guardian info, medical info, camper preferences and skill-level, camper photos for IDs, and their transportation details.
2. Providing information
In terms of information that you can provide ahead of camp, it’s all about equipping parents so they can feel prepared and reassured to sign up and send their kids to camp, as well as manage their expectations of the camp rules and regulations. Some items you’d include in your communication plan during this period are: how to register, creating a parent’s guide to camp, sharing registration and withdrawal policies as well as invoices and payments policies.
Phase 2: During Camp
The second phase of your communication plan is for when your camp is in full swing.
1. Keeping parents in the loop
You’ll have already outlined how children and parents can be in touch via policies in the previous section, so make sure you are prepared to deliver on those promises during camp. Otherwise, posting regularly on social media, your blog and sending out emails are very important ways to give parents updates about their kids. Our number one recommendation to help you save time and give your campers an opportunity to learn? Have an activity where campers are regularly charged with taking photos or writing blog posts. With the guidance of a counselor, they’ll love the opportunity to express themselves online, and parents will be delighted by the technical skills they develop.
Something to keep in mind about this period is that it’s important to separate what information is ready for the public and what should be kept for parents alone. Email is the best option for private communication. In addition, a free option for creating a secure place that would host only approved guardians would be a private Facebook group. There you could update parents with changes to the drop off location, any health notices or safety reminders.
Phase 3: After Camp Communication
In this last section, it’s great to approach it by thinking about ways you can demonstrate all the value you have brought to your campers and their parents, because on top of bringing back fond memories, these are the first initiatives for encouraging loyalty to your camp.
You can bring back good memories by sending out a recap e-mail, writing a blog or social posts about fun events, or resharing old posts as throwbacks.
2. Surveys & feedback
In addition, you’ll want to encourage feedback from campers and parents via an email to which they can respond or even by creating a survey. You’ll want to ask them for their input while all the great memories are fresh in their minds – so don’t hold off on this one too long.
To get access to more best practices and an email template, download the complete 2023 Camp Communication Guide eBook.