By the time the spring hits, camp professionals are so busy preparing and managing summer camp programming that some key opportunities for growth and improvements can slip off the radar. As we enter into a new year, consider setting some resolutions to help you meet your camp’s goals. Here are some ideas.
1. Apply for Grant Funding
Want to kick off a capital project? Need to repair or replace a facility, add a program, hire more staff, help more kids attend camp or do all of the above? There is funding for those things available to non-profit summer camps like yours! Researching and applying for grants is time consuming when done properly, but the rewards can make a huge difference for your camp’s annual funding goals. Make the time for it this year! Read this list of Grants and Funding Sources for Summer Camps to get started.
2. Make a Healthier Camp Menu
It’s easiest to put out chocolate chip cookies for every bedtime snack. While camp is a treat, it’s important that the kids attending are getting nutritious meals and snacks, especially with childhood obesity on the rise. Try replacing those cookies and brownies with fresh fruit and cheese. Swap out a pizza or chicken finger meal for homemade soup or taco salad. Learn how to make food and nutrition fun at camp!
3. Start Marketing on Social Media
If your camp isn’t already on social media, you are well over due. Not only can you reach your campers and their families, social media channels offer affordable and effective advertising options too. Make sure you create a social media policy for your staff who will be running your pages and make sure you are active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at least! Learn how your camp can be utilizing social media.
4. Show More Appreciation for Donors and Volunteers
You should be thanking your donors and volunteers both informally and formally. If you are not writing thank you letters to every donor of money and time, then you will start losing donations of money and time. You can also start hosting an annual appreciation event, like a banquet or family day, to show your supporters your gratitude. Learn about writing a good thank you letter.
5. Tackle Small Repair Jobs
Every camp has at least one building that is in dire need or repair or upgrading. Whether you need to paint the barn, re-shingle a roof or give the inside of your cabins a fresh coat of paint - don’t put it off for another year. Pick one or two projects and host a work bee to get them done. You can also source materials for these smaller projects from your community of supporters. Learn more about planning a work bee.
All of us at the Alberta Camping Association wish you all the best this holiday season and a very happy, productive and successful 2017!