Being a summer camp director is being a jack of all trades, marketing, programming, budgeting, sales, customer relations, social media, counselor… The list goes on and on but what matters is we never get to all the projects we wish we could. One often forgotten resource this time of year is the summer staff. Many of us grew up as seasonal staff looking forward all year to coming to camp and constantly thinking about the summer. These staff members have incredible skills and incredible passion waiting to be tapped into and help camp. Here are 5 ideas to let your staff help camp for free this fall.
1) GET THEIR PHOTOS
If your camp is anything like mine you have a handful of counselors or leadership staff that took a million photos this summer. Get those photos and use them for social media, marketing etc. Take this one step further and ask campers for their photos as well. Frost Valley YMCA does an amazing job of getting camper photos for their photo of the day campaign.
2) HAVE A MEME CONTEST
Visual content is king on social media, but its hard to tell complete stories with single photos. One way to work around this problem is to use a a meme. Memes are a great tool to share a simple message in engaging ways. Run a contest for the best meme that tells the story of camp. You post 1 a day on the camp’s Facebook page. The winner is the meme with the most likes at the end of the month, they get a free t-shirt from the camp store (That you didn’t want anyway).
3) ASK THEM TO INTERACT WITH YOUR CONTENT
Simply ask your staff to to comment, like, share, and retweet your posts. The more engagement you receive the higher your pagerank and the more people will have a chance to interact with your content. Everything people do online is about how we want to look to the world and most staff don’t want to feel like they aren’t cool by always being online, but by simply asking you give them a pass to just click like or share content.
3a) Ask them to ask their parents to do the same
Staff parents are some of the biggest fans of camp and they often can tell our story the best, not only that they are friends with our target customers! Ask your staff to encourage their parents to interact with camp on social media as well.
Travis Allison at CampHacker.tv recommends using swipe files “You provide them with some pre-written tweets, instagram photos w. Text etc. They can modify to sound more like themselves but is less effort and so they’ll do more pushing your content for you.”
4) RUN A STORY BLOG WITH SUMMER CAMP STAFF AS WRITERS
Stories are the best marketing tool and our staff have the best stories of the summer, but getting them is hard. Most staff members don’t want to feel like they are selling out their stories for marketing (marketing sounds like the man), but they get blogging and social media. Call a few specific staff and ask them to write a blog post for you. Not only will this be great engagement on your site new content like blog posts help your SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
5) POLL THE SUMMER STAFF... BUT HAVE OTHER SUMMER STAFF DO IT
We all want to know what the best and worst parts of summer were. What we think will bring kids back or some of the major pain points in the schedule. But taking the time to call and have in-depth conversations with each member of our staff team would take a lot of time. Lets outsource it. Post in your staff Facebook group that you are looking for a few volunteers to contact every member of staff and debrief the summer. These volunteers will love calling their friends from the summer and reliving the best and worst moments. Give them a few questions and a quick training of what you want over google hangouts. After a few weeks meet back up over google hangoutsto discuss the findings.
What do your summer camp staff love to do to help out your camp in the fall/winter/spring? Leave us your answer in the comments or tweet us @campcoast2coast