The Day Camp Pod - From Go Camp Pro

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This is the Day Camp Pod, from Go Camp Pro bringing you the best ideas, strategies and discussions in the Day Camp Industry.

Episode Date
2019 Winter Conference Takeaways - Day Camp Pod #10
01:04:35

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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Mar 12, 2019
Day Camp Staffing - Part 1 - Day Camp Pod #9
01:10:43

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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Thanks to our wonderful sponsors who help make this Go Camp Pro podcast possible:

Feb 26, 2019
Parent & Family Visits - Day Camp Pod #8
58:13

Puttin’ on the Ritz for Day Camp Parents & Families

When it comes to marketing your camp, there’s no better strategy than to get people on the property. We take a lot of pride in the site and the work that we do and we know that getting people on site is the way to get them to buy in to your culture and see the true value of their money.

Whether you do it in the spring, summer or year-round, it’s so important that when you can get families in the door, that you are being extra intentional with the time they have with you. From the welcome, to the activities, to the presentations, to the departure, every moment should be considered to help parents understand why your camp is right for their child.

Seem a little daunting? Have no fear, The Day Camp Pod is here! For this topic, Andy, Ehren, Sam are joined by the mysterious “H” Rothenberg from Camp Coach and Triple C Day Camp to give you the inside scoop on how to get the “yes” and the “wow” from families at your visiting day.

Tune in to this episode to find out about:

  • Why do these visits? What’s the point?

  • How can you make these happen at different points of the year?

  • How do you manage the visit if they happen mid-camp day?

  • What are some tips to put your best foot forward when parents are on site?

  • What are the nitty gritty details that you might not think about, but what you need to do?

How do you wow your families at visitor days? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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

  • Andy: Ugly Shorts Day with special rituals for winners!

  • Ehren: Involving parents and visitors with Colour War

  • Sam: Sponge-strip balls for water dodge balls

  • H: Rock-throwing range

 

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Thanks to our wonderful sponsors who help make this Go Camp Pro podcast possible:

Feb 12, 2019
Free & Unstructured Play - The Day Camp Pod #7
01:07:01

Why Free Play at Day Camp Makes Sense

One of the challenges of a typical day at day camp is trying to pack every single moment with magic and fun. The consequence of that is that they whole day can become very regimented and schedule driven.

Now, please put your hands down. Yes schedules are good. Yes you need to know generally what happens when. We aren’t going to ask you to get rid of your schedules in favour of free and unstructured play.

However, take a second to consider this. When we turn over the responsibility of the fun-creation to the campers, we get to truly engage their creativity and help them work out the part of their brain that they desperately need for the future. If we regiment every single moment, we don’t allow for a the moments of magic that you, as an old (okay, more experienced…) camp professional could have NEVER thought of!

To help us give some concrete ideas, to a jello-like topic, Andy, Sam, Ehren, Michael Brandwein (again!) are joined by Dr. Kelly Jones, co-founder of Outpost Summer Camps. Outpost Summer Camp is focused on relationship building around unstructured play and they make free play work well with 150+ kids. WOW.

Tune in to this episode to find out about:

  • Why do Free Play? Why do kids need it?

  • What are some of the unfounded fears that people think about when it comes to free play?

  • What kind behaviours do you want your staff to show to get the most out of unstructured play?

  • What are some different ways that camps implement free and unstructured play?

  • How can you begin to implement free and unstructured play THIS SUMMER?

How are you going to bring in some free play to your program this summer? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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

  • Michael: G3 - Great Greeting Group - Create a council of 2 or 3 staff who create a creative greeting every day.

  • Andy: Three Team Colour War

  • Ehren: Safari - Kids get to be both the animals AND the tour guides

  • Sam: Think Outside the Tie-Dye Box

  • Kelly: Group Sneaking - Surprises & Hilarity Ensues

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Thanks to our wonderful sponsors who help make this Go Camp Pro podcast possible:

Jan 29, 2019
Intra-Camp Communication - The Day Camp Pod #6
01:07:13

Michael Brandwein Thinks You Can Meet Better

We get it, your day camp is busy. You’ve got busses coming in, going out, kids going left and right, meals to cook and knees to un-scrape. The last thing you want to do is book time for a meeting with your staff.

And you know what? If your meetings are only about going to be about giving information, or telling the staff where they need to improve, then we wouldn’t want to be there either!

Say it with us, “WE CAN BE BETTER”.

Not only can we make our meetings better this summer, but if we want our camp to be a place where everyone is on the same page, the Day Camp Pod is here to help you completely revamp how people talk and listen to each other at your camp.

Joining Andy, Ehren and Sam is the one, the only Michael Brandwein! Michael has literally written the book on leadership, camp management, staff training and equipping all levels of staff with skills to make the camper experience the best it can be.

We are so grateful to Michael for taking the time to share his best info-giving practices to the entire camp world. You do not want to miss what he has to say. Thank you, Michael!

Tune in to this episode to find out about:

  • What’s the whole point of meeting, if not just giving information?

  • What can you do to make your meetings more intentional?

  • How do you model your meetings to not only give information, but teach and lead by example?

  • What tech/non-tech solutions do you do to keep everyone in the know in the day to day?

  • How can you incorporate things like rituals, teachable moments, segments and theatrics to make your meetings (and information) memorable?

You can do it! We can’t wait to hear about the awesome things that you are going to do when it comes to communication this summer. What are you going to do? What do you already do? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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

  • Andy: Tug-of-war in a new medium, every year (mud, pudding, jello!?)

  • Sam: Funyak, Power Paddlers, Corcls - Kid-friendly Kayaks.

  • Ehren: Music Clump - Scattergories, but with songs!

 

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Sponsors:

Thanks to our wonderful sponsors who help make this Go Camp Pro podcast possible:

Jan 18, 2019
Day Camp Inclusion - Day Camp Pod #5
01:02:40

Because every child deserves a camp experience

Would you agree that the world would be a much better place if everybody went to camp?

Of course! We know what camp does for kids. To have a place among a positive community is something that every single kid, no, person desperately needs.

Now, when we say EVERY kid, we mean it! No matter a child’s ability, background, race, gender, sexual orientation, personality or whatever else makes them unique, they deserve the transformative power of a camp experience.

Inclusion programs are becoming more and more prominent in the Day Camp industry, but we need to make sure that we’re doing it right. An inclusion program that is intentional, well thought out and comprehensively welcoming is not easy, but it’s not as hard as you might think.

Cue the Day Camp Pod! On this episode, Andy, Sam and Ehren are joined by THE Sari Grossinger from Camp Robin Hood. Together these Day Camp Pros offer advice, tips and tricks to both the prospective and the full-on inclusive day camps.

Tune in to find out about:

  • Why do, don’t and should camps have an inclusion program?

  • What are the benefits of an inclusion program?

  • How do we hire and train staff to have be inclusive and work with campers with differing abilities?

  • How do we work with families who may know a lot, or a little about their child’s needs at camp?

  • What are the small, easy, adjustments that you can make to make your camp more inclusive?

We hope that this episode empowers you to get your inclusion on this summer! What do you do (or want to do) this summer to make your camp more inclusive for all kids? Let us know in the comments!

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

 

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Bonus Content - Because you read the show notes, and you’re awesome.

Sponsors:

Thanks to our wonderful sponsors who help make this Go Camp Pro podcast possible!

Jan 07, 2019
Day Camp Special Events - Day Camp Pod #4
01:05:41

Go Big And Campers Won't Want To Go Home

Camp is full of WOW moments. From drop off to pick-up, we do our best to inject that WOW into every part of the day. However, we, as camp pros, know where we can dial it up to 11.

Special Event Day. Evening Program. Special Afternoon. Whatever you call it, what you do in this 1-7 hour time block can really make that camp session memorable.

Joining our triumphant trio, Andy, Ehren and Sam is the man, the legend, Curt “Moose” Jackson from summercamppro.com to share his insights from pages and pages AND PAGES of blogs and roundtables from him, and other camp pros. Tune in to hear about:

  • How easy it can be to program for 300+ kids

  • How to start the magic of a special day as soon as kids step on the bus

  • The best prizes to give for special event days (psst. the best prizes don’t cost money!)

  • Getting the whole staff team involved

  • How to do ALL of this and not break the bank

You better believe that this episode is chalked FULL of nuggets. Have a pen and paper handy, because you’ll need it!

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Did you get something from this episode? It’s all about sharing! Let us know in the comments, and please, make sure you give credit to those who are being radically open with their ideas.

 

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

  • Andy: Look-a-Like Contest

  • Sam: Everyday Heroes!

  • Ehren: Diorama Delusion

  • Moose:  Hide the Smurf! - Stump the Counsellor

     

 

Bonus Content - Because you read the show notes, and you’re awesome.

 

Your Hosts:

Bonus Links & Resources! - Because people who read the show-notes are the best!

Sponsors:

Thanks to our wonderful sponsors who help make this Go Camp Pro podcast possible!

Dec 10, 2018
21st Century Summer Communication - Day Camp Pod #3
01:08:17

The Communication Today's Parents Need

No matter what type of camp you are, you want to move forward. Especially if it means providing an even better customer service experience for our parents, we need to always be re-evaluating even our most habitual practices.

Communication with our parents during the summer is definitely one of those things. As the boomers and the gen-xers are moving away from our core parent age, our millennial parents have different communication preferences that we should consider before simply saying “nope, we only call”.

One size definitely doesn’t fit all and especially when you consider WHO is making those calls/emails/texts and WHY you are making those calls/emails/texts, and WHEN you are making those calls/emails/texts, you have to do it strategically.

Sharing their way through this changing landscape is the brilliant Matt Kaufman from Camp Ramaquois. Matt joins Andy and Sam to share their techniques, best practices and strategies for in-summer communication. Thanks for joining us, Matt!

What do you think? Do you believe that a radical change in our communication strategy is in the works? Let us know in the comments below!

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

  • Andy - Puppy Program

  • Sam - Minute to win it

  • Matt - Service Projects For Campers

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Sponsors:

Thanks to our wonderful sponsors who help make this Go Camp Pro podcast possible!

Dec 10, 2018
Open Houses and Camp Tours - Day Camp Pod #2
50:28

Make your first impressions, your best impressions.

Welcome back to the Day Camp Pod!

Whether you’re joining us in our beginning season, or if you’re reading this in the vast nethers of the future, we’re so glad you’re here!

Open Houses are time and time again, one of the best ways to get the final “yes” from potential camp parents. If done well, parents will register their child, if done REALLY well, they will tell their friends, family and friend’s family that your camp is the place to be this summer.

However, the intentionality required to pull off a great camp open house should not be underestimated. Here to help you steer the ship toward the shores of success are our Day Camp Pod Pros, Andy, Ehren and Sam! Tune in to this episode to hear answers to:

  • What’s the goal of your Open House?

  • What guideposts do you use for your open houses? Camp Fairs? Price Breaks?

  • How can you make an Open House an event all in itself?

  • Who are you marketing your camp Open Houses to? How can you specifically recruit them?

  • What are you going to do to make your tour stand-out?

  • How do you train your staff to give the best tour ever?

  • How do you intentionally end your tour?

  • What is your client follow-up process like?

Get your pens, paper and Evernote documents out, because this one if FULL of ideas you can implement this season!

Do you have any Open House hacks? Let us know in the comment section!

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

  • Andy - Learn to Ride Bike Elective

  • Ehren - Sing your Heart Out Staff Event

  • Sam - Service Projects For Campers

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Sponsors:

Thanks to our wonderful sponsors who help make this Go Camp Pro podcast possible!

 

Dec 10, 2018
The Day Camp Spirit - Day Camp Pod #1
59:04

Welcome to the Day Camp Pod!

Welcome to The Day Camp Pod! A podcast that focuses purely on the best practices of the Day Camp Industry.

On this first episode of The Day Camp Pod, we start with a sampler of the types of questions that matter to the Day Camp Industry. This episode we’ll hear great questions (and even greater answers) to topics surrounding capturing the overnight camp experience, into our day camps. You’ll hear more about…

  • How to get past the “excuse” of not being an overnight camp

  • How can we embed traditions into our Day Camp Programs? What traditions would you create if you started a camp from scratch?

  • How do we introduce “Free Play” or “Free Choice” into the short days of day camp

  • What are the big special moments or programs do you inject into your programs?

These ideas, and more, all from your Day Camp Pod Hosts, Andy Pritikin from Liberty Lake Day Camp, Ehren Gluckstein from Camp Robin Hood and Sam Thompson from Crystal Lake Park District!

We hope you enjoy this NEW Podcast, brought to you by Go Camp Pro.

 

What do you think? Have an idea for another show? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Idea of the Week - Level Up Your Day Camp!

  • Andy - Bees at Camp!
  • Erin - The Bus Challenge - An every-day challenge on the bus ride to and from camp.
  • Sam - Fear Factor Challenges

Your Hosts:

Bonus Links & Resources! - Because people who read the show-notes are the best!

Sponsors:

Thanks to our wonderful sponsors who help make this Go Camp Pro podcast possible!

Dec 10, 2018