8 steps to a Successful Summer Camp at a Children’s Center

Summer Camp

Start doing them already in February so that your camp is not empty in the summer

Summer is a difficult period in children’s clubs. The most common idea for organizing work during this period is the opening of a city camp. But why do some clubs already in April have no places for the first summer shifts, while others in May timidly answer their parents by phone that in June their child will be expected by two more peers, one of whom is the child of the head?

The key to successfully filling the camp with children is advance preparation and well-organized sales.

In this article, I tried to lay out the main 8 steps to prepare for the summer camp, which you should start doing right now, in February. These steps will help you look more confidently into the future and set a strategy for moving the camp in the right direction.

Step 1. Consider dates, schedule, target audience and shift content

First of all, you need to decide in what time frame you will hold the camp. The duration of the shifts should not exceed two weeks, the timing must be clearly fixed, as well as the theme of each shift.

Based on the area and equipment of the room, the availability of a food supplier, beds for sleeping, you can already understand now how many children of what age and for how long you can take.

Why is clarity important? Why not declare a summer camp for the whole summer with a fixed cost per day and allow parents to join at a convenient time according to their schedule?

First, it’s easier to sell. Blurred product boundaries with incomprehensible cost and goals make it more difficult to position and promote it.

Second, it’s easier to buy! It is difficult for parents to understand what “Summer Camp for the whole summer” means. Additional questions always become an unnecessary obstacle in the buying process.

Thirdly, it is easier in terms of organization, since you will be able to estimate the maximum number of children per shift, the cost, the number of teachers and other resources to implement the idea.

Fourthly, you will be able to make a revenue forecast, and understanding the cost, you can accept money now, in February.

Step 2. Decide on a price

This step is important, and I suggest not relying on prices in nearby clubs when calculating the cost!

First of all, you need to calculate the cost of the service. The biggest costs are the salary of counselors, administrative staff and cleaners, rent, food costs.

You also need to be aware of the costs of promotion and the purchase of related consumables.

After evaluating the total cost of the camp and calculating its optimal occupancy with children, you can calculate the cost per child.

Next, you need to analyze competitors and lay your profits based on the analysis and your appetites.

Step 3. Prepare an offer

After the first two steps have been taken, a proposal can be clearly formulated, which will indicate the dates of the shifts, the duration of the stay, their topics, the age range of the children, the cost and result of each shift.

The results of each camp should be measurable and understandable.

If this is a camp of professions, then the children will learn, for example, 10 professions, earn “money” and be able to spend it.

If this is a vocal and dance camp, at its closing the children will show a concert for their parents.

During the theatrical shift, it is logical to wait for the premiere of the performance, and in the art camp – a diploma with a list of mastered techniques and directions.

The completed offer can already be prepared for sale.

Step 4. Develop a promotion strategy

I recommend organizing sales in three stages.

Presales . With a big “early booking” discount, you can offer to redeem your camp stay as early as February.

It is best to start pre-sales with your customers using the simplest and shareware promotion channels: e-mail newsletters, posts on social networks, organizing meetings and events on social networks, distributing information in the club, posting ads inside the club.

The main stage of sales starts from mid-March and lasts until mid-May.

For making a purchase decision during this period, you can also announce promotions and discounts, bonuses with a limited duration, but taking into account all the promotions and discounts, the cost of staying in the camp should already be higher than at the presale stage.

At the sales stage, you can connect paid promotion channels: contextual advertising, paid promotion in social networks, posting and distributing leaflets.

All advertising should contain information only about the camp, about a specific product.

During the “upsell” phase , which occurs at the end of May, you can advertise the remaining places at a price without promotions, but announce that an increase in price is planned after a certain time.

Step 5. Train the Sales Administrator

If the administrator is not told about the product and taught how to offer this product to customers, he will have to invent and fantasize. And it is not at all necessary that the administrator will do this competently and with an understanding of the matter.

Therefore, it is necessary to give him the tools: scripts, prices, sales strategy and a complete description of the product – everything that was prepared in steps 1-4.

If the camp will work in the club for the first time, then I recommend that the manager handle the first calls from potential clients on his own. You can ask the administrator to forward calls to you or ask the client for a phone number so that you call back.

During the first calls, you will be able to develop scripts for the administrator, including frequently asked questions and verified answers.

Step 6: Prepare Marketing Materials

Marketing materials will be required at the main sales stage. These are, as a rule, leaflets: one-sided A4 format – for sticking and placing in elevators or on stands at the entrances, two-sided A5 format for distribution at playgrounds, at schools, directly in the club itself.

All marketing materials must contain only advertising for a specific product – a summer camp. You should not disperse the client’s attention by listing all 20 areas of your club’s activities.

Step 7. Start looking for teachers to work at the summer camp

Both their employees and those attracted only for the summer period can work in the camp. Both options have their advantages, but in each case it is necessary to provide for the process of preparing the teacher for the new format of work.

It is necessary to fix the agreements with the counselors in advance: the schedule and mode, the level of wages, the age range of children, their number, and, most importantly, what is required from the teacher, what program he will work on, what results you expect from him.

Of course, these results should match what you promise the client.

It is better to fix agreements with your teachers right now, the search for new employees in the camp should also be started in advance.

Step 8. Select lesson notes for implementation in the camp

For both its employees and newcomers, this format will be new. The camp requires a very bright work that requires great dedication, involvement and the ability to “ignite” the children with their enthusiasm throughout the entire shift, every day.

Not all teachers have the strength and time to prepare the next day’s program in the evenings. Most often, the enthusiasm is enough for the first week, and then it turns into a routine and hastily invented tasks.

We recommend in the camp, as well as in the work of the club, to use ready-made notes, in which ideas, material for illustrations, and the sequence of work are already collected.

Notes will serve as a support, creative teachers can, having such a basis, supplement it with their ideas, and in the event of a sudden illness and other circumstances, you will be protected by the presence of a ready-made lesson program that will last more than one year and not only within the summer camp.


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