A Simple Solution to Organizing Emails from Parents during Camp

Are you looking for a quick and easy way to receive and sort emails from parents during the summer? There are a variety of services (such as ours) that will provide this ability for a fee (either charged to you or your parents). But, let’s assume you don’t want that for now.

I was chatting with one of our camps a couple years ago (sorry, I can’t remember which one – otherwise, I would give credit where it is due!). We discussed receiving emails from parents in the summer and here was their system (it may be more detailed but this is what I recall!):

  • They provided parents with their child’s cabin name just prior to their session
  • They told parents they would be able to email their campers if they put the camper name and cabin name in the subject line and sent the email to a specific address
  • They used MS Outlook’s “rules” to categorize the incoming emails into folders that were created for each cabin e.g. as long as the parent put “cabin 1” in the subject line, the email went to that specific folder (and not to your main inbox); if you have never used it, the “rules” feature is easy to setup
  • Once a day, they opened the folders and printed the emails (which are already organized by cabin and name) and handed them out to campers

Pretty simple and quite effective.

A few drawbacks (compared to a more “professional” service):

  • It’s nice to get one pdf per day with everything already sorted perfectly rather than each email individually
  • It’s harder to monitor any limits you have set (e.g. 1 email per week or 3 per session)
  • It’s a little more awkward for parents to “share” email “credits” with friends and family
  • It’s not tied in with your management software system

None of these drawbacks are huge and there is something nice about just telling parents to email this account and put “XYZ” in the subject line. No credits to purchase, nowhere else to log in. Depending on your situation, maybe this system works perfectly for you – particularly, if you are looking for something quick and easy for this summer!

Any other simple ways you have found to organize incoming emails during the summer?

On a somewhat related note, I discussed online photo galleries earlier if you are looking for a quick and professional solution.

Love your Software,