This-N-That

Use Facebook To Give Your Camp A Marketing Boost

What’s your status? Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are wonderful marketing tools that, thanks to their popularity, reach just about everyone around the globe.

In an article posted on CampHacker.org , Travis Allison recommends the following tips for camp leaders looking to boost their marketing presence on Facebook:

1. Make sure that your landing page includes a Welcome video, preferably from the campers

2. Include a picture in every post. This will make you stick out on people’s newsfeed

3. Allow Fans to sign up for your newsletter directly on your Facebook Page

4. Post and tag alumni photos weekly

5. Use Facebook ads to draw attention to your camp

6. Most people are on Facebook in the afternoon. Schedule your updates then.

7. Claim your Place. This feature allows you to add where you are to anything you post

8. Ask a question twice a week. A good question about people’s camp experience will draw them back to your page

9. Add the Reviews Application and ask camp families to review you

10. Have a tab that allows people to request more information about camp. This will allow you to gather the information of people interested in sending their kids to your camp.

Free Time: Recommended Reading

Looking for a good read that is both inspiring and entertaining? Pick up Nancy Kyme’s debut novel-memoir, Memory Lake: The Forever Friendships of Summer , a winner of the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award recognizing authors and publishers of independently published books in 60 different categories.

After attending a camp reunion and reflecting on her five pivotal summers at Leelanau for Girls, Kyme was inspired to share her experiences and learned life-lessons.

“Thirty years had passed since my camper days, so I could see very clearly from a point of mature wisdom how the experience had changed the form and direction of my life,” Kyme says.

“Memories came flooding back, in amazing detail, from my years as a teenager in Northern Michigan. For seven weeks at a time, over a five year period, camp had been a home away from home. The friendships made, and the camp’s challenges, had helped me formulate a vision of the adult I wanted to be. I knew I had to write about it.”

Memory Lake hit book stores in July 2011 and became an e-book last January. The book has handily outsold one of Vantage Point Books’ USA Today bestselling authors, says President David Lamb.

Kyme won first place in the “Inspiration” category of the Next Generation competition and gave her $100 awarded cash prize to the Leelanau and Kohahna Foundation.

Inside the front cover of Memory Lake , readers will find a black and white photo of the novel’s nine main characters, who Kyme says have not been together at one time, in the same place, since the photo was taken in 1976. Visit nancyskyme.com .

The Legend of the Bully Slayer

Statistics from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children show that each day in America, thousands of children refuse to go to school because they dread the physical and verbal aggression of their peers, and many more attend school in a chronic state of anxiety and depression.

Bullying is not constricted to the perimeters of a school building—children at camp can get picked on for any number of reasons, from being shy to overweight to being uncoordinated.

After having worked in law enforcement handling crimes against children, T.S. Romney began to see and understand what young people had to face when it came to bullying and online harassment. During this time and later as a columnist for a local newspaper, he began working on a book to relieve stress.

The Legend of the Bully Slayer: The Dishonor Roll follows the unfortunate day-in-the-life events of students Alex and Nic, the targets of dodge ball attacks, toilet swirls, name calling, and other hideous methods of bullying.

The plot quickly changes after Alex sees an ad on the back of a school toilet advertising the services of a bully slayer. Alex calls the phone number and a wise-talking third-grader arrives, engulfing Bully Slayer readers in a humorous, yet compelling story that builds confidence and provides the tools needed to deal with bullies.

Written for children, but enjoyed and recommended by adults, The Legend of the Bully Slayer: The Dishonor Roll , is perfect for the camp library.

In A Camp Story: The History of Lake of the Woods & Greenwoods Camps , author David Himmel writes, “… I grew into my skin as I browned it on sailboats on Lake of the Woods, and I got used to the way it fit. I became me at camp. All my confidence, my attitude and my aptitude were found and figured out because of all of those summers and all of those people and all of those friends.”

Throughout this entertaining and witty read, Himmel shares many more heartwarming morals and messages surrounding the opening of a summer camp in southwestern Michigan.

Himmel, an author, essayist, playwright, and editor, spent 10 summers at Greenwoods Camp as a camper and counselor. His poignant and hilarious account about the ultimate camp experience—how it touches so many people and how it continues to shape so many lives—will not disappoint.

What We’ve Learned

A market survey conducted by Active Network found that parents are placing greater importance on their children building skills at camp. This finding, along with other garnered data, sheds more light on the process parents go through to find, register, and send their children to camps, and ultimately allows camp leaders to better serve their customers, says Stephen Branstetter, general manager of the Active Network Youth and Education Division.

Here are some more findings from the survey:

▪ A decade ago, camp would go for several weeks at a time, but now almost all programs are for one week with specialized, educational offerings like computer programming or basketball point guard camp. The educational camp category saw the greatest increase, according to survey results.

▪ Children these days are supreme multi-taskers. Day camp enrollments are increasing significantly, as compared to sleep-away camp, due to the number of extracurricular activities children are involved in, i.e. swimming, baseball, dance, art classes.

▪ Cost isn’t the deciding factor. In fact, the survey found that parents are most interested in their children learning new skills and getting the best possible camp experience, rather than the enrollment fee.

▪ Nearly 90 percent of parents planned to spend about the same or more on camp last summer. Mom and Dad are also budgeting in advance—the survey found that nearly half of its responders start planning for camp costs more than four months out.

Word On The Web

On Dave Bell’s Week-Ender column “Bullying Prevention This Summer” Editor’s Note: Dave Bell’s column stemmed from the bullying of a bus monitor by middle-school aged students in Greece, N.Y.

What happened is a systems-problem. The boys were behaving in that manner because they knew there were little to no consequences and this woman was powerless to handle them. The woman had no training or skills in working with this type of situation, and lacked the authority to escalate the infraction. Meaning, suspension, parent call, etc. These are OK kids and their parents were surprised at their behavior. This stuff happens at camps (school) with staff like cafeteria workers, teacher aides, Counselors in Training, etc. where the campers / children see through the actions of other staff that these people are on the bottom of the totem pole and are treated poorly by other staff, and have no ability to hold these kids accountable.

If you want to change the behaviors, change the system. Show respect to ALL staff, and as a director ENFORCE respect for all staff and use language that reinforces this. Train staff (members) how to speak and (have) a progressive discipline action for these behaviors. If you hear any staff member talking down to any other staff member, STOP IT and let everyone know this is not OK at camp (or anywhere else). Boys and girls at that age have a poor understanding of long-term consequences; they are and will be fine. It is the adults’ job to handle this and show respect and let everyone know how the camp operates.

-- Michael Cardus

Team Building Leadership, Inc.

Buffalo, N.Y.

From Our Archives:  “Sailing the Seas” By Rodney J. Auth

I was a camper at Sea Gull at the pre-camp for girls back in the early 50s when Seafarer was just a dream. I was a camper for 4 or 5 years and then was a CIT. Wyatt Taylor and his wife, Lillian, were the directors. One of my fondest memories was the womanless wedding and Leonard Kamsler, a rather large guy, was always the bride year after year. I am now 72 and wish I could go back to those happy, carefree days. Still have many of my camp pictures. Hope to visit one day. Have enjoyed looking at the website and dreaming.

-- Margaret Clark McRae

From Facebook

We asked users, “What’s the best way to beat the heat at summer camp?”

Camp Simcha , a medically supervised overnight camp for children battling cancer and other hematological illnesses, wrote:  “Water. Drinking it, swimming in it, boating in it, fishing in it…We have what are called “Water Breaks.” We even have a song: “Wa, wa, wa, wa, water break, water break…”

We asked users about their Facebook policies.

"Ours is essentially "only with parental consent". We ask staff not to initiate friend requests with campers, but they can choose to accept them. Many staff choose to make separate profiles for their camp persona using their camp nicknames." –Kevin Lam

From Twitter

JA Dawson & Co., Inc., playground contractor, playground equipment, park and recreation products

(@JADawsonCo) writes:

“It’s been a hot and sunny summer. Is your camp providing enough shade? In the July/Aug issue: www.northstarpubs.com/articles/cb/shade-structures

John Duntley, senior camping specialist at YMCA of the USA

(@JDuntley) writes:

“Great summary Dave on bullying. Thanks”

Calendar

November 2012

7-8 ACA Keystone Regional “The Sweetest Conference Ever”

Hershey, Pa.—The Hershey Lodge; www.acacamps.org/keystone/hershey

7-9 ACA, Heart of the South Fall Conference

Burns, Tenn.—Montgomery Bell State Park; www.acacamps.org/heartofthesouth/events/fall-conference-2012