High-Tech Training

Reason number one–easy pre-opening weeks. Knowing that staff is up to par on all the safety issues of the camp, with online proof that each member has passed important reviews of the information, has to go a long way to ease the headaches before opening day. You’ll save precious time if every staffer has gone online and passed each test. Plus, you’ll have a good idea of how serious first-time counselors are about your camp before the season starts.

The BIG reason to use webinar training–marketing. Did you think that we were going to get through an entire article without mentioning the “M” word? How could you?

The number one thing that almost all parents want in a summer camp is safety. They are entrusting their children to you for a number of weeks; they need to know that they will be safe while in your charge. And one of the best ways to show parents that the camp is taking safety seriously is through these online training sessions.

If you have been reading my articles regularly over the years, you recognize that this is really just the second part of what we have always called the “two-pronged approach” to marketing. While it’s necessary to excite the kids with a thrilling and visually compelling Web site, you also have to reassure parents that you take your responsibilities seriously.

Parents of a prospective camper are going to be looking at many different camps before choosing the one they feel is right for their child. They’re going to read many brochures, and visit several Web sites. While the kids are digging the pictures of the rock-climbing walls, the skate park and the archery range, the parents have only one thing on their minds: is this place safe for our kid?

So, you have parents looking over camp after camp, trying to choose the right one … with that safety question repeating in the back of their minds. They see pictures of infirmaries, and that they are clean. They read bios of camp nurses and directors, who seem like nice people.

And then they come to your Web site, with safety webinars … and they see that not only do you have a nice camp, but the entire staff has been pre-qualified in all matters of safety and health–even before the season starts. “Wow,” they think, “these people take safety seriously.” You’ve addressed the issue of safety better than all the other camps the parents have looked at–and you’ve won the battle.

With online webinars and review tests, you can prove to prospective parents that you do indeed take safety seriously. If you want, give them access to an overview page that describes each training session, and show that all counselors have passed the safety tests.

Of course, none of this replaces actual, hands-on, first-person training. But with the practical use of online training, you can shorten the time it takes for everyone to get up to speed before opening week–and create a unique way to separate your camp from all the others in the mind of parents.

Tim Diering is the Vice President of Marketing at Summer Camp Design, a full-service marketing and design firm dedicated to creating cost-effective marketing and design solutions for summer camps. He can be reached at (800) 957-7175, or at tim@summercampdesign.com or visit www.summercampdesign.com.

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  5. Online Compliance Training Courses

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