Category Archives: Gary Forster

A Basket Full of Ideas

Every month, I compile an e-newsletter and invite camp directors to submit information to be included in the publication. It’s seen as an honor for their ideas to be used, so I thought I would share some programming tips with the readers of Camp Business. Hope it helps add creativity and fresh ideas to every camp lineup! T-Shirt Mining “Several years ago I was cleaning out my closet and pulled out a couple dozen old campT-shirts, most dating back from … Continue reading

Posted in Blast From The Past, Camp Business, Columns & Features, Gary Forster, Issues, May/Jun 08, Programming | Leave a comment

Designing A Camp Program

This past summer I sent out a new curriculum for camps to consider. It included activities for counselors to help campers learn and practice the skills required to make friends. The concepts were well received. I learned which activities were judged the easiest to implement, and which were viewed as too complicated. I was shocked, however, by the most common remark of the camp directors I interviewed: “We can’t tell our counselors to do specific activities.” My first thought was, … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Gary Forster, Issues, Mar/Apr 08, Programming | Leave a comment

A Shrinking Window

Last May, a camp director called me in a panic. “We’re way behind in registrations, and I’ve tried everything! I don’t know what to do!” While we talked, I pulled up his Web site. I asked, “Are you aware that your Web site still has the 2006 dates and says ‘2007 registration coming soon’?” Hmm. Tried everything? When you hear “camp marketing,” what do you think of? Direct-mail brochures, postcards, Web pages, newspaper ads, camp fairs and an equally demanding … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Gary Forster, Issues, Jan/Feb 08, Technology + Marketing | Leave a comment

Put Your Camp Store To Work

Almost everyone thinks it would be fun to “run a store” for awhile. The store manager orders some merchandise, stacks it in nice piles, and starts selling. But at the end of the summer, the money coming in is less than the money spent. That’s the story of 90 percent of the new businesses in this country, and probably an equal number of camps. Wouldn’t you rather be part of the 10 percent? There are many reasons to have a … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Departments, Facilities + Grounds, Gary Forster, Issues, Nov/Dec 07, Writers | Leave a comment

Avoid the Big Mistakes

I visit about 60 camps each year, so I often get this question: “What are the biggest mistakes you’ve seen camps make in their facilities?” We’ve all seen the mistakes our friends have made, and when we put our egos aside, we know that if it happens to them, it could happen to us. Camps are building all the time. The most common projects are camp offices, dining halls, expensive high-ropes towers and maintenance shops. Sounds like fun! But the … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Departments, Facilities + Grounds, Gary Forster, Issues, Sep/Oct 07, Writers | Leave a comment