Promotional Products & Apparel

“Another thing we think about when we’re purchasing is that you have kids at camp that range from 7-17, and a seven year old is not going to like the same things a 17 year old would,” says Torkelsen.

Camp Packages

Kevin Mayne, executive director of Laity Lodge Youth Camp, Leakey, Texas, sends a crew to the Dallas market to research both apparel and promotional product trends. Laity Lodge has also taken a new step in its sale of camp store products.

“We had just developed a Web site through NuMedia, and decided we needed to give our parents more camp news, pictures, and the like. We also put our camp store on-line and developed one-day care package delivery, no shipping,” explains Mayne. “We put all of our apparel and developed a line of products that we only sell on-line.”

Mayne says the camp’s goal was to sell 250 care packages. The final result was about 1,900 care packages.

“This year, we went to a fully-functional camp store that provides the full shopping cart options; it’s an Amazon-type store. You can buy photos on CD, download hi-res photos, buy all the shirts and everything else we sell on-line, and look at photos and streaming video,” says Mayne. “We’re on track to sell 2,100 to 2,200 care packages. We’re selling a lot more merchandise on-line than we ever did than when we were not on-line.”

Mayne says the most popular items include sweat bands, head bands, glow sticks, blankets, pillowcases, laundry bags, stationary, cameras, Frisbees and some food items, like chocolate.

Since the majority of on-line product sales are sold as care packages, Mayne says parents will usually get a few smaller items — like glow sticks and chocolate — along with a bigger item, like a t-shirt.

The typical sale begins when the parent goes on-line, chooses the items they want to include in the care package, and hits the submit button. Laity Lodge processes and prints the orders out by 9 a.m. each day. Those orders go to the camp store, where the staff hand-decorates the containers and personalizes them.

The orders are filled before 1 p.m. and distributed through the camp. The camp store staff will either hand-deliver the packages to the cabins or place them in the mail distribution area for the counselors to pick up.

“What I’ve discovered is that you can more than pay for the Web technology through Web sales. Every year we continue to add layers, like an alumni site we added this year. We only have about 250 people registered on it, but that’s 250 people from the past that I didn’t know where they were that we can use to contact, fund raise and just keep in touch with,” says Mayne.

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