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Published 26 Jun 24

The Ultimate Guide to Running Summer Camps

  • Written by Anni
  • Tagged as summer camps

Summer camps offer children unforgettable experiences filled with learning, adventure, and fun. However, the booking process can be a little daunting for parents and camp organisers. At Bookwhen, our booking software is designed to streamline and simplify this process, making it easier for everyone involved.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to use Bookwhen to manage summer camp bookings efficiently, ensuring a seamless experience from start to finish.

1. Setting up your camp in Bookwhen 🏕️

The first step is to set up your summer camp in Bookwhen. Here’s how:

  • Customise your public page: Add a banner image, logo and any necessary information about your camp.

  • Customise camp sessions: Define the different sessions available by setting up your entries, specifying dates, times, and capacity for each session.

  • Add pricing details: Set up your pricing structure, including any early bird discounts, sibling discounts, or special offers.

2. Optimising the Booking Process 📝

A smooth registration process is crucial for both parents and organisers. Our software offers features to make this as simple as possible:

  • Online booking forms: Customise booking forms to collect all necessary information from parents, such as camper details, medical information, and emergency contacts.

  • Obtain consent: If you are a UK-based company planning on sending marketing communications to parents, we recommend gathering consent in the booking form to ensure you align with GDPR requirements. Regardless of your location, though, this is a great practice that optimises customer satisfaction ⭐️

  • Secure payment processing: Enable secure online payments directly through Bookwhen, allowing parents to pay quickly and safely.

  • Automated confirmation emails: Customise the emails your customers receive, providing them with all the necessary details and next steps. We (Bookwhen) will send automatic confirmation emails to parents upon successful registration/booking.

3. Managing camp capacity and waitlists 📋

Ensuring you don’t overbook is essential for a smooth camp experience. Our software helps you manage this efficiently:

  • Real-time availability tracking: Set capacity limits and monitor the number of spots available in each session in real-time to prevent overbooking.

  • Waitlist management: Enable waitlists for fully booked sessions, automatically notifying parents when a spot becomes available.

4. Communicating with parents 📢

Effective communication is key to keeping parents informed and reassured. Here are some best practices for communicating with your customers outside of Bookwhen:

  • Bulk email notifications: Export your attendee list and send important announcements and updates to all registered parents, but be sure to obtain consent before doing this. You can also utilise our reminder email feature, where we (Bookwhen) send automated emails to booked attendees about their upcoming events.

  • Customisable email templates: Use customisable templates for different types of communications, such as payment reminders (if you opt for offline payments), camp itineraries, and packing lists.

  • Parent portal: Parents can access the customer portal to view their bookings, make payments, and update information.

5. Handling Special Requirements 🛠️

Every camper is unique, and Bookwhen helps you accommodate special requirements:

  • Medical and dietary needs: Use booking forms to collect detailed information about medical conditions, allergies, and dietary restrictions during the booking process.

  • Customisable reports: Generate reports to ensure camp staff are aware of and prepared for any special needs or accommodations.

6. Tracking and Reporting 📊

Keep track of all your camp data in one place with our robust reporting features:

  • Attendance tracking: Monitor daily attendance to ensure all campers are accounted for.
    Financial reports: Generate financial reports to track payments, outstanding balances, and overall camp revenue.

  • Camper information reports: Access detailed camper information anytime, including emergency contacts and medical information.

7. Feedback and Improvement 🔄

Gathering feedback is crucial for improving future camp sessions.

  • Post-camp surveys: Send surveys to parents and campers to gather feedback on their experience. Please make sure you gather consent before you send any additional

  • Data analysis: Analyse feedback and booking data to identify trends and areas for improvement.

Managing summer camp bookings doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. With Bookwhen, you can streamline the entire process, from registration to communication and beyond. By following this guide, camp organisers can ensure a smooth, efficient, and enjoyable experience for both campers and their parents.

Summer Camp Spotlight: Sporty Stars ⭐️

Our valued client, Sporty Stars, is at the heart of our commitment to enhancing summer camp experiences. They are an award-winning provider of sports-based activity experiences for children aged 4 – 12, with a mission to inspire and deliver the best children’s parties, holiday camps, after-school clubs, and school events across the UK.

Like many growing businesses, Sporty Stars faced the challenge of managing an increasing volume of administrative tasks. When selecting a booking software, it was essential to them that, while streamlining operations, they could ensure that critical concerns, such as safeguarding children’s data and securing payments, were not compromised during the transition to automation.

Since then, they have successfully leveraged Bookwhen to streamline their registration process, manage capacities, and maintain effective communication with parents. By utilising our software's robust features, Sporty Stars has been able to focus more on delivering exceptional sports training and less on administrative tasks.

Here's what Danny, the Founder of Sporty Stars, had to say:
"It’s very easy to use and it’s changed my business, quite a lot actually, in terms of completely cutting out that time-consuming element of my job. I’d say it now takes almost a quarter of the time it used to take us, probably even less than that! This allows us to go and create different avenues and approach new schools."
Read more about Danny's Bookwhen success story.

By featuring Sporty Stars in our guide, we hope to showcase the real-world benefits of our software and inspire other camp organisers to streamline their operations and enhance the overall camp experience.

Intrigued by Sporty Stars and their dynamic range of activities? Visit Sporty Stars' website for more information and book an unforgettable summer experience today! 🌟

Ready to simplify your summer camp bookings? ☀️ Sign up for a free trial, or connect with us via live chat or email to discover how Bookwhen can streamline your camp management 🕺