Going to Tri-State? Come See Us at Booth #538!

For the 3rd year in a row, MySummerCamps.com will be attending the ACA Tri-Sate Camp Conference! Come by and see us at booth #538 where you can:

  • See our new site and plans for 2014-2015
  • Get a FREE gift
  • Score exclusive Tri-State Conference deals
Here's a floor plan of the conference and where you can find us:

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To make schedule a meeting with us, e-mail Blake@mysummercamps.com
We look forward to seeing you in Atlantic City, NJ!

Marketing for Your Camp: How to Get the Attention of Parents

When marketing for your camp, the most important thing to keep in mind is your audience- parents! While your campers are an important focus, the people that ultimately give the green-light to attend your camp are the parents.

Here are some questions to ask yourself, and tips to consider when developing your marketing strategy:

 

Think about what your audience wants. Parents are short on time and need things to be wasy and accessible. Easy registration process, current prices and dates listed, and other related information about signing up or planning for camp are important. Also, it's a good idea to put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself: What information do I need to choose a camp? What would make me want to send my child to this camp?

What is unique or new about your camp? Creation of a new tree house or water slide at camp will alert parents that you're concerned about updating, and improving the experience that their kids will have at your camp. Parents like when their kids are given the latest and greatest.

Savings: Do you have special discounts? Early bird registration and sibling discounts are common incentives that camps offer to attract parents.

greenrivercamp.jpgFun: This is one of the highest criteria for camp selection. Having fun is essential, when kids are happy, parents are happy. Be sure to show your campers having lots of fun with photos and videos!

Results: Your camp is only as good as the results it produces. Those results are the skills that your campers learn and successes they achieve at your camp. Highlight special skills that you expect your campers to come away with at the end of camp.

Strong online presence. Most parents go to the internet to search for camp, so make it a priority to have a strong online presence. Improving your listing on MySummerCamps.com, having a Facebook page, online ads, and camp website will make you come up in more search results and expose you to more parents. Contact your MySummerCamps.com account executive to learn how to increase your online presence at info@mysummercamps.com.

13 Summer Camp Movies That You Must See

We all know what a fun, exciting, rewarding experience summer camp can be- even Hollywood can't ignore it! Movies about summer camp inspire us to reminisce about summers past, and also get us pumped up for summers to come.  While some might be a little far-fetched, they all depict an experience that has become a rite of passage for all. Check out this list of summer camp movies- can you find your favorite?

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7 Tips for Improving Your Listing

While you might not have a huge budget, there are a few ways you can improve your camp listing and get more parents to check out your camp!


1.  An eye-catching logo: Having a simple, clear, relevant logo works best.


nikelacrosse2.jpg 2. A video from your camp:show parents exactly how fun your camp is! They will be more convinced that their kids will be happy if you show them other kids in-action having a great time.

 
3. Use all your available picture slots! Just like the video, evidence of smiling faces gives parents the assurance they need to book with your camp.

 

4. Valid links: Make sure that all of the links to your site on your listing are working. If a parent can't access your site, they certainly can't sign their kids up to spend the summer with you.

 .     

campphoto.jpg5. Keep information updated: Having current information pricing, location, camp dates and likewise is important for the parents to make an easy, informed decision. The less they have to hunt for, the more satisfied they are and you also leave them with a positive impression of your camp.

 

6. Original Content: It is important for your listing to have text that differs from any other page. After Google released their Panda algorithm, all websites with duplicate content (textual information in verbatim) were effected unfavorably. Having differential and relevant content can improve your SEO (search engine optimization) for your listing and your webpage considerably, which can lead to better traffic. So be sure to add any unique, special events at your camp!

 

7Lastly, double check all information is correct such as your location or activities. If your location or activities are misspelled or incorrect, you won't be able to reach those searching for camps with a specific location or activity in mind.

 

Overall, have fun and be creative when making or updating your listing! It will translate positively to your viewers the more you enjoy yourself and are passionate. Happy camping, everyone!



Want Some More S'mores?

S'mores have been a part of the American and Canadian camp tradition since the early 20th century.  The traditional recipe for S'mores is simple: roast a marshmallow and place between two graham cracker pieces with a piece of chocolate.  The three ingredients in this recipe provide a nostalgic flavor profile, often associated with being at camp. 

smoresbars.jpgThe Huffington Post offers 22 recipes that put a creative twist on the traditional s'more.  Recipes such as S'mores Macarons by Bakers Royale can be served as a "Thank You" to your hard working camp staff.  Simpler recipes such as these S'mores Bars by Pass the Sushi can easily be made for a larger crowd to feed your hungry campers.  This summer, try something new by creating a culinary delight that will be sure to satisfy taste buds while remaining true to the classic recipe. 

To get the full list of recipes, click here!







Photo from: Pass the Sushi               

Sun Safety

Being outdoors is a great way for campers and camp counselors to exercise and enjoy all that nature has to offer.  However, being in the sun can lead to painful sunburns that can cause permanent damage to the skin and body, including melanoma.  To avoid your campers and camp staff from getting sunburned, advise them of all the precautions that need to be taken to prevent excruciating, uncomfortable sunburns:

  • Put sunscreen on at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure
  • Be liberal with the amount of sunscreen you put on
  • Sunscreen should have a minimum of SPF 30 or 45
  • Wear hats and UV protected sunglasses
  • Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours 

For more detailed information on sun safety, read this article from The American Cancer Society.


Extensive PR Coverage for our Top Camp Cities Press Release

Last month, our team at MySummerCamps and KidsCamps came out with a press release about the top 20 most popular camp cities in North America.  Through MySummerCamps' data analysis, our team found that San Diego topped the list, followed by New York, NY and Champaign, IL.  Several media outlets were interested in our story and published it on blogs and websites of their own!

Check out all of our releases here:
Just Mommies ,   Work-At-Home Moms ,    Smile Politely ,   Family Corner (Coming soon!) ,   Garden City, NY: Community Specific News, Milton, MA: Community Specific News ,   Fairfield, CT: Community Specific News ,  Yahoo! Finance , Silo Breaker , Movie Balla ,  RSS Hog ,  Financial EveryDay ,  I4U News ,  vox6 News ,  BWW Travel World ,  San Diego Loves Green
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FamilyCorner2.jpgGardencitypatch.JPGfairfieldpatch.JPGmiltonpatch.JPGYahooFinance.jpg
SiloBreaker.JPGmovieballa.JPG

RSShog.JPG             Financialeveryday.JPG      i4unews.JPG


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Online Video Offers Low-Cost Marketing For Your Company

Have you tried marketing with online videos? Online video is becoming a first stop for many customers. It is akin to what the Web page was a decade ago - something that can give early adopters an edge over competitors. It gives them a channel to talk directly to customers in ways previously accessible only to large companies that could afford TV advertisements.  

Quick Tips on how to make the most out of your video marketing campaign:


1) Look for creative ways to use video, such as demonstrating products or improving customer service.

2) Embed videos in your Web site so customers can find them without going to YouTube.

3) Use metrics to analyze the effectiveness of your videos.

4) Look for other platforms beyond YouTube where you can spread your content.

Browse the original article on "The New York Times"

 

 

 

Please Sue - The Guide to Safe Hiring and Firing Practices

It has now come the time to hire your staff for the coming season; do you have the right procedures in place?  Hunter Lott, HR Specialist, specializes in helping small business cope with HR regulations and compliance.  He is the author of  "Please Sue Me-The guide to Safe Hiring and Firing Practices for the Frontline Manager with a short attention span". 

 

Most suits can be prevented by a few simple precautions as in every lawsuit someone failed to do one or more of the following:

  1. Check your ego
  2. Send the right message
  3. Be consistent
  4. Document
  5. Think like an outsider

Want to learn more about this?    

 

Buy the book here

A Visual Feast: The Keys to Effective Summer Camp Photos and Logos

A Visual Feast: The Keys to Effective Summer Camp Photos and Logos

 

By Kanel Sous

 

Remember that a picture can tell a thousand words about your camp. Whether those words are good or bad is totally up to you. So to paint the best picture possible in the eyes of campers and parents, be sure your posted photos are eye-catching and captivating. Here are just a few photo-taking tips that will definitely make your camp stand out.

 
1. Get down to level / eye level

            - Get your knees dirty: since you're likely to post pictures of children at play, capture their faces with eyes and smiles right at their level

            - This creates a personal and welcoming gaze to the photo

 

2. Use a plain background

            - Don't clutter the background; keep the subject free from a busy looking background

            - This could be opposite if you want to emphasize a sense of activity and excitement, so be mindful of clutter

 

3. Use flash outdoors

            - Improve the campers' faces by using fill flash, it helps to lighten dark shadows when the sun is directly overhead or behind

 

4. Move in close

            - To emphasize subjects, move closer or zoom in on them so they fill the picture frame

 

5. Lock the focus

            - Focus like a boss! If you want to distinguish your subject from the background, focus on them to create a sharper subject.

 

6. Move subjects off-centre to create depth and drama

            - After focusing on your subject, move them closer to one of the corners of the frame to create a sense of size and depth.

 

7. Watch the light

            - Avoid overhead sunlight and back sunlight; as this gives your subjects harsh or unpleasant shadows.

 

8. Direct your subjects and compose the shot

            - Don't be a passive shooter! Create images that pop by adding props, moving your campers around, and try different angles. And it's always great to emphasize activity. A child shooting a basketball is much more striking than a child holding a basketball. Right?

 

9. Capture the landscape

            - If your camp is nestled in the grandeur of nature; make a statement by showcasing it. Show landscapes, snowcapped mountains, majestic trees,  and picturesque lakes.

 

10. Watch the skies!

            - Use the weather forecast to your advantage. It may help to wait for the post-rain dew to create dramatic images of your environment. Or if you want to emphasize children at play in the lake, maybe wait for a sunny day.

 

11. Be a PR person!

            - Since you're likely selling your camp to parents, images that calm any fears and assure parents that that their kids are in good hands and that they're sending their children to a safe, secure, fun environment always help. So:

·         Never show an empty camp

·         Show kids interacting w/counselors

·         Show kids interacting with each other

  

The key thing to keep in mind is to take stock in what your camp has to offer and what you'd want to showcase. If you're a Tennis camp situated in the Rockies, what better way to emphasize that by using photos of kids playing tennis against a majestic mountain backdrop. Got an animal camp? Get in close and snap an intimate moment between a lion's roar and a child's face.

 

Our website photo and logo guidelines

Lastly, know our requirements. No one wants to see an image that is either too big, too small, or too distorted, so remember to post images that meet our listing guidelines:

1.      MySummerCamps.com

a.      Photos

                                                              i.      400x300px max in size

                                                            ii.      JPG file format

                                                          iii.      Filenames should not contain any spaces or special characters

b.      Logo

                                                              i.      240x180px max in size

                                                            ii.      JPG file format

                                                          iii.      Filenames should not contain any spaces or special characters

2.      KidsCamps.com

a.      Photos

                                                              i.      300x250px max in size

                                                            ii.      JPG file format

b.      Logo

                                                              i.      120x60px max in size

                                                            ii.      JPG file format