A New Way To Connect
Mukwonago, Wis.—iPad apps are not necessarily a new concept, but apps created specifically for parents by the folks who run children’s camps are, says Brad Robinson, manager of customer experience and marketing for B’nai B’rith Beber Camp, a coed, nonprofit Jewish overnight camp for children ages 7 to 17. Staff members spent three months crafting the content for their app, which serves as a portal for parent information, summer photos, email, and social networking. The “Beber Camp App,” available on the Apple App Store, extends the summer experience.
“We knew there was definitely interest for an app, not only by our parents, but also in the camping world,” Robinson says. “Now that we have this tool, it’s something we can pull out at a conference or during a professional networking opportunity and show others in the industry what we do. The app really shows our camp experience and the quality of products we provide.”
Crafting the perfect camp app requires some work, but it is effort well spent.
“We view feedback as a gift and we created the Beber Camp App in response to what we have been hearing from our families—that they want to be connected year round and they want it to be easy and user friendly,” says Executive Director Stefan Teodosic. “This tool is the first of its kind and we are proud to continue to add as much value as possible to the Jewish summer camp experience.”
The Beber Camp App is a digital version of the “Parent Packet,” which allows parents to complete forms, connect with camp throughout the year, and fill out post-summer surveys. Parents can use the app to log in to their personalized CampMinder account, read the nightly “Director’s Corner” blog, and send emails to their camper.
Giving Consumers A Choice
Poway, Calif.—It feels good knowing a percentage of your purchase helped out a charity, but it feels better when a larger portion goes to the charity of your choice. Jeff Basford, president of PahaQue outdoor adventure gear, reflected on the goodwill of giving back and decided to extend it to consumers.
PahaQue announces that from every sale of the Cottonwood LT 10x10 Pink Charity shade shelter, $100 will be contributed to one of three charities of the buyer’s choice. The charities are St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, working to find cures for children with cancer; Rescue Task Force, alleviating suffering and providing support worldwide, from tsunami-ravaged Thailand and Sri Lanka to hurricane-stricken communities in the United States; and Surfers Healing, a foundation for autism.
“I volunteer a lot, particularly with law enforcement in San Diego,” Basford said. “We really kind of struggled with the economy and we’ve been fortunate things now are starting to turn around. When the (January 2010) Haiti earthquake happened, we were approached by the Rescue Task Force asking if we had any spare tents around that they could purchase. Around 1,300 tents went to Haiti and finding out that these tents were going to mothers and their children and that lines of people were formed going down the street waiting for a tent, was just very gratifying. It wasn’t necessarily our tents in Haiti, but it was our efforts that got the tents there.”
The reaction prompted Basford to think further about how PahaQue could give back. Phone calls were made, meetings were held, and it was decided that a new version of the popular Cottonwood shade shelter would be sold solely on the website at the normal retail price, but with a kickback to charities from every sale.
The Cottonwood is a quick set-up shelter, made with heavy-duty polyester fabrics, and a strong, lightweight aluminum frame. It has a peak height of 8 feet, weighs 16 pounds, and packs down to an ultra-compact size. To learn more, visit www.pahaque.com .
An Easy Way To Find And Reserve Campsites
San Diego, Calif.—Active Network, Inc. has made reserving campsites a cinch.
The media company launched free iPhone mobile applications for ReserveAmerica.com and Recreation.gov. The apps allow users to find and reserve campsites at national parks, forests, campgrounds, and other recreation facilities.
With the ReserveAmerica.com and Recreation.gov apps, users can:
∙ View descriptions, details, and photos of the campground
∙ Browse campsites nearest their current location with built-in GPS
∙ Filter and find a campsite based on city, state, or zip code, specific arrival and departure dates, type of campsite, and offered amenities such as pets allowed or hook-ups. Users can also save frequently used search settings to simplify future searches.
∙ View campgrounds on a map or toggle to a list, get driving directions, and bookmark favorites.
∙ Complete reservations online or by phoning the reservation call centers.
The ReserveAmerica.com and Recreation.gov apps are available on the Apple iTunes store.
Help For Kampgrounds of America Care Camps
Billings, Mont.—Cabela’s staff recently presented Kampgrounds of America (KOA) President Pat Hittmeier with a check for $15,000 to help support the work of the 44 KOA Care Camps for children with cancer.
KOA Care Camps provide a camping experience to children throughout the country who are either undergoing cancer treatment or in recovery from the disease. The camps are staffed with medical professionals and cost $1,500 to $5,000 per camper per week. The camps are free for participating children and their families, thanks to KOA’s support, as well as support from sponsors like Cabela’s.
Kampgrounds of America, with 484 campgrounds in North America, is celebrating its 50 th anniversary this year. Care Camps is a nonprofit charity of the KOA Owners Association that helps send children with cancer to special camps where they can enjoy recreational experiences. The KOA Care Camps Program was created in 1984 to assist in providing financial support to qualified special nonprofit cancer camps for children, according to www.koacarecamps.org .
For more information, visit www.KOAcarecamps.com .
Save The Date: Alberta Camping Association’s Annual Conference
The 2013 Alberta Camping Association’s Annual Conference will take place April 10-11 at the Crowne Plaza Edmonton-Chateau Lacombe in Edmonton. The hotel offers comfortable meeting rooms for conference sessions and is also centrally located. The Chateau Lacombe created a group online reservation page for members of the Alberta Camping Association. Visit www.albertacamping.com for more information, or, make your room reservations Monday-Friday by calling 800-661-8801.
Word on the Web
On Blast From The Past “Buddy Up!” CB March/April 2011
This article regarding the “Blast From the Past” with the buddy system was used by my father, who worked at Camp Hazen in Chester, Conn., back in the early 50s. He was the waterfront director at this YMCA camp for 19 years. A few times, swimmers forgot to turn over their buddy’s chip, which indicated that he/she was still in the water. So at the meal, he would ask if this person was at supper. Of course they did a real search, but it was to prove a point. He was also a Red Cross Camp Waterfront Certifier, in which he traveled New England and did waterfront certifications. Unfortunately, the Red Cross has lost a lot of the programs they used to offer camp directors in certifications.
-- John Taylor
Director of Recreation
On Dave Bell’s Week-Ender column “Facebook Made Me A Bad Friend”
I think that’s a great exercise – very relevant to camp directors who have hundreds of former staff and campers on their “friends” list. That’s what the Subscribe button is for.
The other thing I’m thinking is to dump all of the pages that I have “liked” along the way – that’s what I find clogs up my newsfeed.
The flip side – having those camp alumni as friends and changing the settings so I don’t see their updates has meant that I have gotten two or three photo jobs a year. They see the photos I am posting and want me to be their wedding photographer.
-- Travis Allison
Summer Camp Leadership and Marketing Consultant at Walking Maverick Consulting
On Ron Ciancutti’s Week-Ender column “Be Careful With Heroes”
I felt the same way after watching the show (American Masters/PBS). My husband and I talked about his life. He (Johnny Carson) may have had a fun life on camera and gone to some fabulous parties, etc., but his personal life was sad. He didn’t spend time with his family and I think that was his big regret. In the end, a career or job can’t hug you and love you. He had America’s love, but not the kind we want – the personal kind of love from a spouse and children. It was apparent that he wasn’t involved in his kids’ lives. The ex-wife(wives) raised those kids. I was in the audience for his show in 1981. What a fun guy. He had Ringo Star, Michael Landon and Lauren Tewes from the Love Boat as guests.
-- Barb Burkholder
We should never be surprised that (1) money cannot buy happiness or fulfillment. It buys things. And, (2) the funny man is always the one crying inside and uses humor to hide that pain. Think of the two masks of the theater. Anyone married so many times is searching aimlessly for inner peace but looking for it outwardly. In humor there is always pain to be found underlying it. I admired Carson for his wit, but always sensed that he was not a happy man. So many other great comedians too had similar issues. Imagine if those comics found happiness, how many would have been able to make us laugh at or with them? That’s the tragic nature of comedy.
-- Joseph Panza
Professor, Southern Connecticut State University
President and CEO, HumanAction Associates
I don’t believe everything I read or everything I see on TV. I remain a Johnny Carson fan even after his passing. His private life is not my business and I do not allow a posthumous report to taint my respect and awe for his talent, his accomplishments, and any part of his public life as a professional entertainer. Mr. Carson lived a life just as real as you or your dad’s friend at Ford. It was a very different life, but real and not deserving of your pity, any more than your life would be by Mr. Carson.
-- Keisuke Hoashi
Director of Communications
New York Summer Music Festival
7-8 ACA Keystone Regional Conference, Hershey, Pa.—Hershey Lodge; www.acacamps.org
7-9 ACA Heart of the South Fall Conference, Burns, Tenn.—Montgomery Bell State Park; www.ACAHeartoftheSouth.org
14-16 ACA Rocky Mountain 2012 Fall Conference, Florissant, Colo.—The Nature Place; www.acacamps.org/rockymountain