Family Camps and Adult Campers
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
I was doing a demo the other day with a camp and we were chatting about how much camps have adjusted and changed over time. For many camps, it used to be just 7-8 weeks in the summer and their structure did not change at all…ever. For some camps, this remains true. For so many, they have adjusted in numerous ways: now offering family camps, shorter sessions, winter camps, March Break programs, women’s and men’s weekends, etc. What used to be one camp with a few sessions is now many camps with many more sessions.
Along with these changes, note that adults are attending camp more often now….as part of their family or perhaps to a weekend getaway by themselves. In the registration world, this has pretty significant ramifications. If you know that it is only kids that will be registered for a session, that is one thing, but when you need to consider adults as well, there are other ramifications to be considered!
Some of those considerations include:
- The amount of information you collect will likely be less (they are not minors)
- The instructions you provide and the way you communicate will be different ( i.e. you won’t be addressing them as parents of kids but directly as customers coming to camp)
- The structure of the process will be unique (e.g. probably not collecting “parent info”, grade, etc.)
Based on the above, you will not want to simply run adults registering for a weekend retreat through your usual summer camp registration process! Instead, you will want a separate process tailored to them. We have always tackled this issue by identifying with the registrant right away as they login what they want to register for: summer camp, family camp, adult retreats. In this way, you can send them down a unique registration path appropriate to them and the camp/session.
In our web version, we went one step further and allowed camps to indicate whether their online processes should allow adults to register or not. So, if it is a youth summer camp situation, then the parents do not appear as possible registrants. But, if it is a family camp situation, then all the members of the family are available for registering.
Imagine how easy it is to register for family camp when you can select all family members and register them all together in one step. Sweet! See “The Art of Registering Multiple Campers”.
Imagine how different the registration process is for mom when she is registering for the women’s weekend retreat vs when she registered her kids for summer camp sessions. Same camp, different events, different registration processes.
Note that we may be talking about different registration experiences for the parent depending on the event but we are NOT talking about different internal records for the family. We want to present the camp appropriately according to the event online but we do not want to mix up records in the background. So, as a system user, you can see that mom attended family camp, women’s weekend and that she sent her daughters to camp – all in one household record. In other words, mom can be “mom” to her kids and she can be an actual registrant herself.
Any suggestions out there to make it better?
Love your Software,