The Power Of Partnerships

In a three-way partnership, Rolling River Day Camp, Peninsula Counseling Center, and local merchants teamed up to provide children with a safe, enriching summer experience at no cost to the family.  Photos Courtesy Of Rolling River Day Camp

In a three-way partnership, Rolling River Day Camp, Peninsula Counseling Center, and local merchants teamed up to provide children with a safe, enriching summer experience at no cost to the family.

Photos Courtesy Of Rolling River Day Camp

While employed as a marketing professional, I had grown accustomed to facing difficult corporate business problems. However, as I sat at my desk on a cold November day in 2009, it was an issue within my parents’ small business that really had me perplexed. As owners/directors of Rolling River Day Camp (RRDC) in East Rockaway, N.Y., they described a problem with meeting financial-assistance requests for the upcoming camp season. My father, once a scholarship camper himself, often provided families in need with generous grants since he understood the value of the camp experience. However, due to the recession, these requests were at an all-time high, and increased operating costs were making it difficult for my parents to continue giving back alone. As the camp serves as an essential outlet for children to socialize and learn new skills, it was necessary to find a feasible solution … and that answer was realized through the power of partnerships.

Forming Partnerships

Partnership, in this context, can be defined as a mutually beneficial relationship that requires sharing resources to fulfill needs. Look closely and you will find that successful partnerships exist in all aspects of society. Countries form partnerships through trade agreements. Individuals foster life-long partnerships through marriage. In the business world, corporations, such as Verizon and American Express, spend millions of dollars each year for the opportunity to partner with or sponsor sporting, entertainment, or charitable events. Businesses essentially trade the ability to reach millions of people in exchange for the creation of more exciting consumer experiences.

Through creative and thoughtful approaches, the concept of partnering can also be successfully applied to smaller communities.  Consider the example of Rolling River Day Camp:

  • RRDC wishes to provide more children with the camp experience, but needs to cover costs to continue operating.
  • Parents want their children to learn valuable life-skills at camp, but do not have the steady income needed to afford tuition.
  • Businesses want to earn more profit, but need more consumers to buy their products.

By evaluating each partner’s needs and conducting extensive research within the community, the camp determined how resources could be shared, and ultimately developed a partnership called The Campmates Program.

Looking At It From All Angles

Launched in 2010, the program created a three-way partnership that benefited the community on several levels. RRDC teamed up with PeninsulaCounselingCenter–one of the largest, licensed mental-health counseling facilities in NassauCounty–to select deserving children for camp grants. To raise additional funds, local merchants were encouraged to provide these tuitions by receiving exclusive access to RRDC families and staff by sponsoring camp events, promotions, and other networking opportunities. The result was an innovative solution–local businesses obtained a unique marketing platform to grow sales while parents could now provide their children with a safe, enriching summer experience at no cost to the family.

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