The Day Camp Pod - From Go Camp Pro
Day Camp Social Media - Day Camp Pod #17

Day Camp Social Media - Day Camp Pod #17

June 11, 2019

The best social media strategies for your day camp

If you’re reading this in mid-June, we know you’re busy, so we’ll get right to it.

Social media is here to stay, at least for now. No matter what you personally believe about social media, it’s one of the easiest ways to reach out and directly engage both parents and campers.

It’s not that you should ditch your other marketing efforts, but if you aren’t putting some intentional time into your social media, you are potentially missing out on both new acquisitions and on keeping your current clients excited about next summer.

To help you start, continue or revitalize your social media presence, Andy, Ehren and Sam are joined by Adam Baranker from Jeff Lake Camp and two day camp social media coordinators, Blair from Camp Robin Hood and Shelby from Liberty Lake Day Camp. They are here to give you the e-kick in the pants that you may need to get started now on your strategy for this summer and next off-season.

Tune in to hear about:

  • Who is using what? Where are the parents and where are your campers on social media?

  • How to talk to your marketing department or social media team about what engages parents and kids the best?

  • How to use Instagram stories to sky-rocket your social media engagement

  • Why it’s so important to cultivate great photos and videos this summer

  • Facebook and Instagram are huge, is it worth exploring Snapchat and other platforms?

  • What camps are doing great things on social media and who should you follow?

What are you doing to engage your parents and campers on social media now, and during the summer? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Day Camp Tip of the Week!

Andy: Staff Weekly Reports - Get the inside scoop on what’s going on at camp. (check out this example from Crystal Lake - Thanks, Sam!)

Sam: Statue Tag

Ehren:  Weekly summary sheets that go out to parents to tell them what their kids did while at camp.

Adam: Switching up just the name of some camp favourite activities to keep things fresh!

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Staff Anxiety and Mental Health - Day Camp Pod #16

Staff Anxiety and Mental Health - Day Camp Pod #16

May 21, 2019

Mental Health and YOUR Day Camp Staff

As you prepare for your staff training, you no doubt have heard everyone and their aunt talking about mental health and maybe even mental health issues with camp staff.

If you haven’t, one stat should perk your ears up. About 32 percent of American teens between the ages of 13 and 18 have an anxiety disorder at some point.

Our Gen Z staff are growing up in an anxiety-driven world, with not many coping skills and then are put in to a hugely stressful environment at camp.

We need to help our staff this summer and the Day Camp Pod is here to help you, help your staff have the best summer they can.

We’re bringing out the big guns for this episode. The man, the legend, Bob Ditter, and the woman behind the mentally well staff at Liberty Lake, Cathi Fischer are here alongside Ehren, Sam and Andy to bring you the some very practical tips and training ideas.

Tune in to hear about:

  • Where this mental health crisis comes from?

  • Why camp seems to trigger anxiety and high stress in staff

  • How to educate staff to be able to be normalize stress and learn from stressful moments

  • Specific techniques on how to help a staff member in crisis

  • How to build in mental health supports into your staffing, training and camp routines

What are you doing this summer to help your staff be the mentally best they can be?

 

Want more ideas and inspiration on how to handle staff and mental health? - Dr. G is here to help!

 

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Day Camp Staff Training - Day Camp Pod #15

Day Camp Staff Training - Day Camp Pod #15

May 7, 2019

Getting the best out of your Day Camp staff during staff training.

 
It’s May and that means that it’s time to start thinking about staff training!

When it comes to staff training at day camp, we all know that time is precious. You have basically the same amount of training to cover as our overnight camping colleagues, but with maybe half the time!

On top of that, we are training staff members that are one or two generations away from us that learn, grow and bond much differently than you did back when you were a first year 16 year old counsellor.

It’s hugely challenging, but hugely important and the Day Camp Pod wants to help!

Joining Andy, Sam and Ehren is the brilliant “Professor Dave” Dave Malter who brings his vast camp, training and consulting experience to the pod to give you the inside scoop on how to level up your staff training.

Tune in to hear about:

  • How to best engage this generation of camp staff and get them to buy-in to what they’re learning. (hint - you need to ask them)

  • Different formats and scheduling ideas for training

  • What are the big ticket items and areas of focus to cover

  • How to be intentional about what you are including to maximize the little time you may have

  • How to foster and build community within the constraints of not being an overnight camp

Our industry is all about sharing, so let’s share! What is your #1 tip for selling your Day Camp? Let us know in the comments!

 

DCP - DAY CAMP PROGRAM IDEA OF THE WEEK - LEVEL UP YOUR DAY CAMP!

  • Andy: ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE! (see image below)

  • Sam: Home made stress-balls - Pom poms in balloons

  • Ehren: Creating a rope maze that teams have to use whacky languages to get out of

  • Dave: Lessons on self-awareness, chivalry (for men and women) and etiquette

 

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IMG_1453.jpg?format=750w

Zombie Apocalypse at Liberty Lake

 

More Bonus Content

Sam’s Training Schedule. Thanks Sam!

 
Day Camp Staffing Part 2 - Day Camp Pod #14

Day Camp Staffing Part 2 - Day Camp Pod #14

April 23, 2019

Retaining, Engaging and Training Your Day Camp Staff Like A Pro

So, we did one episode on Day Camp Staffing, and we said we were going to another one.

Let’s get real, the more Kim Aycock the better, right? How could it be any better?

How about we add in a little DR. G to the mix!

Oh YES! WE DID THAT.

As we inch (leap) closer and closer to the summer, staffing is surely starting to eclipse many of our other responsibilities. Consequently, this can be a little stressful because we may be balancing still filling staff spots while intentionally starting to create and foster community with your new hires.

To help YOU navigate this staff season, The Day Camp Pod’s triumphant trio (Andy, Sam and Ehren) are joined by the brilliant Kim Aycock and the one and only Dr. G!

Listen in to find out about:

  • How to keep staff on board and avoid being “ghosted”

  • Different platforms and methods to keep staff engaged as the summer gets closer

  • Creative ways to help staff get their paperwork and other business items in

  • How to use your returning staff to begin creating community with the new staff

  • How to begin to invest in your staff’s future and show that you really care about their growth

What are you doing this year to be intentional about retaining quality staff this summer? Let us know in the comments below!

 

BONUS RESOURCES AND ARTICLES - Because Dr G and Kim are great and they think you’re pretty neat.

Kim Aycock’s Resources:

Dr. G’s Rx for preventing stressed out staff:

Watch the video here

Find out more here

DCP - DAY CAMP PROGRAM IDEA OF THE WEEK - LEVEL UP YOUR DAY CAMP!

  • We’ll be back with the DCP next episode! (Seriously thought, did you check out those resources just above this one?

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Selling Camp - Day Camp Pod #13

Selling Camp - Day Camp Pod #13

April 9, 2019

Getting bums on the bus. Selling your Day Camp like a pro.

Overheard in your camp office:

“Hello? _______ Day Camp how can I help you?”

“Oh, you’re looking to register for this summer?”

“I’m so sorry, but we’re full for this summer. We’ve actually been full since April, but I can absolutely put you on our waiting list if a spot opens up!”

- scene -

How awesome would it be to hear that conversation come from the office?

Whether you’ve heard that in reality or just a far off dream, you know that the only way to make that happen is to put the work in and effectively sell your program. However, one of the tricky blessings that we have as camp pros, is that unlike Apple and Amazon’s army of marketing employees, we do it on our own, likely on an out-dated camp laptop and likely next to a STACK of other work we have on the go.

When it comes to selling your camp like a pro, it would be easy, and maybe even fair, to throw up your hands and turn to a higher power to fill camp. However, not that we can confirm nor deny that a higher power will or won’t help, it’s not as hard as you might think to dip our toe, leg or entire body into the marketing waters.

Enter The Day Camp Pod’s latest guest pro, Laura “Twigs” Johnson! Twigs joins Andy, Sam and Ehren to share her stories and best practices from starting not just one, but FIVE programs all in very short order. Laura and her team work wonders to sell her Leadership Academy programs, and we are so grateful for her openness and willingness to share with all of our listeners. You ROCK Twigs!

Tune in to hear about:

  • How to take the leap if you’re thinking of starting a new camp or new program.

  • How do you do it on your own? If you don’t go the Not for Profit route, how does this help/hinder growth?

  • Treating your summer business like an e-commerce website to maximize exposure and engagement.

  • How do you onboard new customers and keep intentionally leading them to the purchase?

  • What you can do to simplify your marketing plan and not get lost in the weeds of marketing.

Our industry is all about sharing, so let’s share! What is your #1 tip for selling your Day Camp? Let us know in the comments!

 

Bonus Content - Get your Day Camp Pod swag!

Want to thank Bunkline for hooking us up with Day Camp Pod hoodies - you too are able to create your own Day Camp Pod swag! https://www.bunkline.com/category-s/566.htm  - ryan@bunkline.com

 

DCP - DAY CAMP PROGRAM IDEA OF THE WEEK - LEVEL UP YOUR DAY CAMP!

  • Andy: 4-Square and other “old school” playground games

  • Sam: “Pac-Man” Tag

  • Ehren: Tough Mudder

  • Twigs: Rock throwing- bought pots and pans, gave different points for different things - KIDS MADE THE RULES!

 

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Live From Tri-State - Part 2 - Day Camp Pod #12

Live From Tri-State - Part 2 - Day Camp Pod #12

April 2, 2019

EVEN MORE Live Interviews From the Tri-State Camp Conference

Tag team back again!

After Tri-State Andy and Ehren came back with almost 2 hours of footage from camp pros attending the conference so we’re giving you even more!

So here you are! More interviews from THE WORLD’S LARGEST gathering of camp pros.

Big ups to Max Claman, Matt Kaufman, Sam Borek, Scott Arizala and Lauren Brandt Schloss for speaking with us for this episode.

We’ll see you next week with a new Day Camp Pod

 

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Live From Tri-State - Part 1 - Day Camp Pod #11

Live From Tri-State - Part 1 - Day Camp Pod #11

March 26, 2019

Live Interviews From the Tri-State Camp Conference

We’ve got some more live conference footage for you!

Andy and Ehren were on scene at the WORLD’S LARGEST gathering of camp pros in the Spring of 2019. While they were there, they busted out the microphones, grabbed some nearby camp pros and started recording!

We’re very thankful to Adam Baranker, Professor Dave Malter Erec Hillis, Benjamin Esposito, Deborah Gilboa, MD, aka "Dr. G." and Dave Thoensen for speaking with us for this episode.

We’ll see you next week with Part 2!

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BONUS EPISODE! Live from the OCA Conference - Day Camp Pod #10.5

BONUS EPISODE! Live from the OCA Conference - Day Camp Pod #10.5

March 19, 2019

Interviews with Day Camp Pros at OCA 2019

A week early! What!?

That’s right! We’ve got a little something special for you on what would normally be an “off” week for us.

As Ehren talked about on episode 10 of the DCP, he attended the 2019 OCA conference held near Toronto, Ontario.

Ehren and our producer Matt had a mic setup, weere surrounded by Day Camp Professionals and they said, hey, this'll be fun!

We’re so thankful to Eric Shendelman, Robin Perlmutter, Ali Nagthall, Dara Kahane and Robyn Hochglaube for taking the time to talk with us.

Also, listen in to the end of this episode for a special musical performance!

We’ll see you next week!

 

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2019 Winter Conference Takeaways - Day Camp Pod #10

2019 Winter Conference Takeaways - Day Camp Pod #10

March 12, 2019

Day Camp Ideas and Takeaways from the ACA National and the OCA Conference

We’re nearing the end of conference season 2019. If you’re like many other camp pros, you come back from these conferences with pages of notes and a brain full of ideas.

For those of you who weren’t able to make it to some conferences this year, first of all, get it in your budget for next year, then second, tune in to this Day Camp Pod episode!

Andy, Sam and Ehren attended the American Camp Association (ACA) National Conference and the Ontario Camps Association (OCA) provincial conference in the past couple of months. Back with some game, changing ideas, the hosts were chomping at the bit to share with all of you.

Listen in to hear more about:

  • Why go to these conferences? Why wouldn’t you just get this information online?

  • The Day Camp Cafe with Michael Brandwein

  • Inclusion ideas and practices

  • New ways to engage staff, campers and families with online survey and polling tools

  • Emerging medical concerns and practices in the camp world

  • New marketing tips, tools and strategies

  • More staff recruiting and retention techniques

 

Did you attend any other conferences this winter? What did you take away from them? Let us know in the comments!

 

Bonus notes! Because those of you who scroll this far deserve a high-five…and more resources! Thanks for these, Sam!

Sam’s Notes - Awesome Camp Pros to reach out to!

Things we do well:

  • smariebrickley@indyymca.org  

Sophie does a great Accommodation Process Form

  • rdesmond@brightschool.com

Does wonderful camp programming for early learners, 3-8 year olds

  • lsomogyi@girlscoutsgchwi.org

Has great ideas for environmental and conservation stewardship efforts. Such as a Butterfly garden and a compost bin.

  • Laurel.zitney@ymcacharlotte.org

Has a camp songs and more resource: ultimatecampresource.com

  • shoule@cotesaintluc.org

Does a fun theme day every Friday instead of weekly.

  • hammoc@uw.edu

Chad does a lot of online training before camp starts.

  • drdebjohnson@gmail.com

She is with Camp Courage USA in Owasso, OK. She incorporates mental health therapy- social/emotional skills, either one on one or in groups with the campers.

  • Google bus services in your area or ask principals for contacts for bus options.

  • jpoole@secondcity.com

Runs an inner city camp, focused on drama and performing.

  • mgilson@girlscoutsww.org

Is willing to help first time day camp creators.

  • Some outside ideas for a camp on campus for nature are: Project Wild books is a resource for camps with limited space.  Geocaching, a different science lab on campus each session.

 

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Day Camp Staffing - Part 1 - Day Camp Pod #9

Day Camp Staffing - Part 1 - Day Camp Pod #9

February 26, 2019

Staffing Your Day Camp Like A Pro

Where are the camp staff?

It’s a question that a lot of camps find themselves asking in the Winter and Spring of 2019. With reports on Generation Z working less and less in high school and college, it seems that the summer camp world is not invulnerable.

That being said, our industry is full of ingenuity. This apparent staff shortage is a new opportunity for the camp industry to lead the way and recruit the best that this generation has to offer.

To help YOU find the best staff this summer, The Day Camp Pod’s triumphant trio (Andy, Sam and Ehren) are joined by the brilliant Kim Aycock and the ingenious Will Pierce from Pierce Country Day Camp. This episode will definitely give you some new ideas to think about and will help you up your staff recruiting game this summer.

Listen in to find out about:

  • How to effectively cast the net to catch quality candidates?

  • What are some ways to think outside the conventional employees and conventional hiring methods?

  • How can we incentivize staff recruiting other staff?

  • What internal methods are you doing to “grow” staff starting at a young age?

  • How do we work with the current generation of staff to help them see themselves working at camp?

 

What are you doing this year to be intentional about recruiting quality staff this summer?

 

DCP - DAY CAMP PROGRAM IDEA OF THE WEEK - LEVEL UP YOUR DAY CAMP!

  • Andy: “For Those Who Work at Camp” incentive shirts (paperwork and orientation attendance)

  • Sam: 3rd year jackets, My boss thinks i am kind of a big deal.

  • Ehren:  “Gluck Bucks”

  • Kim:  Appreciation Envelopes for Staff (5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace)

  • Will: Iced Coffee and Light Breakfast for the staff in the AM

 

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