Adieu To Traditional Overnight Camps

CB1113_Brouillet_FrenchImmersion2after investigating further. The impact of a well-developed and targeted campaign was immediate. With Google, we have been able to reach families from all corners of the province, families that never would have found us otherwise. The key was to hire a highly knowledgeable specialist to help build and manage campaigns. We also incorporated e-newsletters, using a reputable company to manage and maintain our contact list, which has also helped us keep in touch with campers’ families, as well as to increase the rate of returning campers.

Camper/Counselor Relationships

Another critical factor in the success of the overnight trips (as well as the camps in general) is the quality of camp counselors. They are selected very carefully, and most are teachers during the school year. They need to be dynamic, able to gain respect from the campers, willing to be on call 24 hours a day (although that is rarely necessary), open to new adventures, willing to live in youth hostels, open to new foods and, finally, fun to be around. After participating in three trips, I can honestly say it is the counselor/camper relationships that make the biggest difference in trips being enjoyable and memorable for campers.

Expanding The Product Base

Among the benefits of building overnight trips are the following:

  • They contribute to a higher degree of credibility in terms of positioning the camp as a total-solution provider for developing French outside of the classroom in an English-speaking province, from regular day camps to overnight adventures.
  • They give campers a goal to look forward to when old enough to participate in these trips.
  •  They provide an incentive for parents to remain on the mailing list, even after the decision that day camps are not what their children want; parents and children look forward to seeing what new trips will be available in the upcoming year.

These trips are definitely a great deal of work and not particularly profitable, but they are well worth the effort because of the impact they have for the image of the organization as well as the incredible linguistic and cultural growth we provide for these campers.

Martine Brouillet is the founder and owner of Camp Tournesol Inc. Reach her at martine@campt.ca. For more information on Camp Tournesol, visit www.camptournesol.ca.

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Related posts:

  1. Crafting Smiles
  2. A La Carte Camping
  3. Counselor Query
  4. Partnering With Parents
  5. From the Counselor

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