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Is Your Summer Camp Registration System Ready for Next Season?

Nic Lyons

June 22, 2023

School’s out and summer camp season is in full swing. Is your program dealing with last-minute registrations, changes, or cancellations? Are you stuck managing a complicated camp registration system that overwhelms employees and frustrates parents? Is your team wasting a ton of time chasing down payments, consent forms, or other essential documents? Are you paying a monthly subscription fee for a program you only use six months out of the year? 

If you answered yes to any of those, you might dread camp registration season. But there are actions you can take to simplify and streamline your system and process for next time. It’s never too early to start. 

Make It Easy for Parents to Find Your Camp Programs

Before a parent can register their child for your summer camp, they need to know it exists. Word of mouth and repeat business may account for many of your registrations. Others come from social media or advertising. But your website plays a big role in whether those interested parents actually register their kids. 

Help parents find your programs by: 

Making your website and camp listings mobile friendly

Google is the most popular search engine in the world and they’ve switched to mobile-first indexing, which means the mobile friendliness of your site has a big impact on whether your website shows up in search.

Optimizing for “near-me” searches

Parents probably aren’t looking for a summer camp 400 miles away. They want a camp their kids can easily access. Optimizing your camp listings for near-me searches can help local parents find your program. 

Using searchable keywords

Your program pages should include the words and phrases parents are likely to use when searching for a camp like yours. Maybe they’re looking for a summer camp with swimming lessons or a performing arts summer camp. Tools like Google Trends can help you find the right words. They might even help you decide whether a new program or activity is in demand.

Making your site searchable

Parents aren’t just looking for any summer camp, they’re looking for one that will fit their child’s needs and interests. If you offer more than one program, make your site searchable by age and program type. That way parents can easily find what they’re looking for. 

Offering a simple, searchable, mobile-friendly online experience makes it easier for parents to find the information they need. 

Download our free summer camp registration system checklist to make it easy for parents to find your camp programs, simplify summer camp registration systems and processes, and offer the registration tools parents want.

Simplify Summer Camp Registration Systems and Processes

Even if a camp program is the perfect fit, you can miss out on registrations if your process is cumbersome or difficult to understand. Here’s how to simplify your camp registration system:

Offer online registration

Parents expect to complete the registration process completely online. If you’re asking them to print and mail forms or make phone calls, they’re likely to procrastinate. Busy parents don’t have time for those kinds of complications. Give them the tools to complete the entire registration process from their mobile phone, tablet or computer.

Ask for the right information

There’s some information you absolutely need and other info that would be nice to have. Then there are details you need from some campers but not from all of them. For example, you might need to know a little more about cabin preferences for overnight campers but that’s not relevant to the day campers. With the right software, you can customize registration forms for each program you offer.

Share policies and essential info

Remember that your registration form isn’t just a way to collect information. You can use it to share essential details with parents as well. Include a link to policies, health and safety information, or other important details. Customized registration forms come in handy here too, since they let you include only those details relevant to the program selected. 

Take online payments

Asking parents to pay by check creates a bottleneck that slows down your registration process. Offer secure online payment to streamline this step. 

These simple changes in your summer camp registration system can make a big difference for parents, which can result in more registrations for you. 

Offer the Registration Tools Parents Want

The right tools make a job easier. That’s true whether you’re making friendship bracelets in the craft tent or signing kids up for summer camp. Two registration tools can make the job of registering kids for classes a lot easier.

  • Group registrations. What’s more fun than going to camp? Sharing the camp experience with your friends. Make it easy for parents to register siblings or friends by offering group registration. 

  • Payment plans. Camp can be a major expense for families. You can make it more accessible by accepting payment plans. Of course, managing payment plans the old-fashioned way is a headache. It often involves spreadsheets and multiple phone calls to each registrant. Look for camp registration software that offers automatic payment plans. Everyone involved will thank you. 

The Summer Camp Registration System Your Campers Deserve

If you’re thinking, all of that sounds great but our system can’t do that, it might be time for an upgrade. Start with CourseStorm. Our registration software is perfect for summer camps. We offer online registration, secure payment, customizable registration forms, and more tools to make registration impossibly simple. And since there are no monthly subscription fees, you only pay for the registrations you actually get.

Don’t spend another summer managing registrations with spreadsheets and tools that don’t quite work for you. Get your CourseStorm demo today.

Nic Lyons

Nic is skilled in scaling start-up edtech and education organizations to growth-stage success through innovative marketing. A former journalist and copywriter, Nic holds a postgraduate certificate in digital and print publishing from Columbia University School of Journalism's publishing course.

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