There are so many moving pieces when you run a camp for kids. Organization is extremely important in order for you to be a successful camp owner. When you first start out, you might think that spreadsheets and lists are all you need to keep track of everything. However, as you grow, relying on manual means for organization is less efficient, more frustrating, and ultimately, can be dangerous for your campers.
Utilizing a camp management software solution is the key to saving time and money for your kids camp. With the right software, your camp can run smoothly and safely. In this guide, the team at Sawyer has outlined everything you need to know about camp management software solutions so that you can make the right decisions for your camp.
Looking for more support? Check out our ultimate guide to starting and running a camp for kids.
- What is camp management software?
- How does camp management software work?
- Benefits of camp management software
- How to find the right camp management software
What is camp management software?
Camp management software helps owners and staff keep track of everything that they need to know to successfully run their camps before the session starts, during the session, and after it ends.
For example, camp management software programs help camp owners and staff with the following items and so much more.
- Registering campers and creating rosters
- Building schedules
- Gathering important personal information for campers like pronouns, nicknames, and birthdays
- Keeping track of medical needs, allergies, and medications for each camper
- Getting necessary waivers and forms signed
- Taking payments
- Organizing contact information for parents and guardians
- Taking attendance and signing campers in and out
- Reporting and analytics in real-time
- Communicating with customers
- Managing waitlists
- Running promotions and applying discounts
- Offering and utilizing gift cards
How does camp management software work?
Camp management software works with the camp owner and staff to organize all aspects of running a camp as well as the full lifecycle of a camp customer:
- It starts by providing the camp listing, showing prospective families everything that they want to know about the camp.
- ~Camp dates and times.
- ~Booking options like full session, by week, or even by day (drop-in).
- ~Information about the camp experience (for example, what does a typical day at camp look like?)
- ~Customer reviews.
- Then, families can sign their child up for camp and submit their payment via credit card or ACH (direct deposit) through the camp management software.
- During the registration process, families will answer questions determined by the camp to help set their child up for success during the program.
- ~Preferred name and pronouns
- ~Age and birthday
- ~Allergies, medical conditions, and medications needed at camp
- ~Information about family members and guardians cleared to pick up the camper
- ~T-shirt size
- ~Level of experience with certain activities (Are they a beginner? Will they need extra support?)
- ~Any other information that parents think would be beneficial for camp staff to know
- Families will also sign any waivers and other forms needed by the camp (for example, liability waivers, photo consent forms, etc).
- Camp owners can use the camp management software to communicate with families in the lead-up to the camp session. Families can learn important information like what to pack for their child as well as schedule changes and other necessary items.
- Finally, after the camp session, families can leave reviews on the camp management software and let others know about their experience.
Benefits of camp management software
There are so many benefits of camp management software for camp owners, staff members, and even campers and their families. It helps to solve so many of the common challenges for kids camp owners as well like roster management, waitlists, and more.
Camp management software is more efficient
When everything is organized, camp owners can spend more time doing what they love: creating the best possible experience for their campers. Rather than relying on spreadsheets and keeping track of camper information from phone calls and emails, camp owners can know that everything is in its rightful place within the software. In fact, camp owners who use Sawyer as their camp management software save 28 hours per month on administrative work.
Camps are safer when using camp management software
One of the other benefits of camp management software is that camp owners can feel more comfortable knowing that important information is kept safe. Camp management software keeps track of payment information, camper personal data, important medical and allergy information, and much more that comes from custom forms. Similarly, rosters generated with the software keep everything in one place so staff members can easily access this important information at the drop of a hat.
Camp management software can help camps be more profitable
When camps use camp management software, they can increase their revenue and make more money. Millennial parents are looking for ease of use when making payments and accepting payments directly through the software can be a deciding factor. Likewise, offering early bird offers, gift cards, free trials, and more can act as revenue drivers for camps during the off-season. With real-time reporting, camps can stay on top of their finances and make decisions that help them grow.
How to find the right camp management software
Now that you know how important it is to use a camp management software for your business, it is time to choose the right one. Here are some questions to ask yourself and features to look for so you can find the best camp registration software for your business.
- What is your main goal for using camp registration software?
- ~Do you want to improve staff experience by freeing up your team’s time to focus more on connecting with students?
- ~Do you want to appear more professional to your customers and provide an easier way to register?
- Are you looking to process payments or dive deeper into business analytics?
- What are other people saying about this software?
- ~Check reviews on sites like Capterra to hear firsthand from camp owners about their experience with certain softwares.
- Do they have great customer service?
- ~As a new business starting on a platform, customer service is an incredibly important part of your success. Look at their website to see what they offer.
- ~Do they help with onboarding and continued education?
- ~When can you reach out to the customer service team?
- ~These are important questions to ask when considering a registration software.
- Can they help you grow?
- ~Do they have features and options that will help your business grow and scale?
- ~Do they accept customer feedback and make changes so that they grow with you?
- ~You don’t want to be stagnant and neither should your software.
Check out our guide to learn more about how to find the perfect registration software for your camp.
Convinced that a camp management software can help you run your camp more effectively, efficiently, and safely? At Sawyer, we think so, too. With our suite of tools, like custom forms to record allergies and t-shirt sizes, flexible payment options like gift cards and installment plans, and seamless scheduling and registration on any device, Sawyer saves camp owners 28 hours per month. If you are ready to spend less time on admin and more time doing more of what you love, see how Sawyer can help with a free trial or demo.