Marisa Samek

Recent Posts

Stop All Hell From Breaking Loose During your Camp's Registration Period

Posted on May 5, 2016 3:30:00 PM by Marisa Samek

When kids arrive at camp, most of them haven’t got a clue of what it took to get them there. For parents, choosing a camp is nearly a full-time job as a Camp Intelligence Agent. They open 20 tabs on their browsers, scan through the “About Us” blurbs, the camp’s Facebook page is open on screen two, reviews on screen three, and a group chat with other parents on screen four. Once they’ve done sufficient due diligence (a few phone calls with Camp Directors, endless consultations with parental advisory committees, and finally the executive decision has been reached with the Board of Children), they dive into Phase 2: The Registration Process. This phase requires filling out at least two and sometimes six different forms, attaching photocopies of this and scans of that, until they finally receive a confirmation e-mail with the instructions for the next mission, Phase 3: The Send-Off. All the while, camps are going through the same thing: E-mails are pouring in, the printer is over-heating, Staff are highlighting, stapling, filing, and typing at light speed to enter everything into "The Spreadsheet" and, you haven’t seen the office floor in weeks because every inch of it is covered with forms, files, and coffee mugs.

Read more

What Would Dale Carnegie Say About Your Customer Experience?

Posted on Apr 21, 2016 4:00:00 PM by Marisa Samek

Dale Carnegie (famed speaker, trainer, and author of the classic "How to Win Friends and Influence People") established the guidelines on delivering an unbeatable customer experience. While Carnegie never sold his classes online—or anything else online for that matter—his teachings on creating an authentic and effective customer experience in-person still hold profound wisdom for delivering an unbeatable customer experience online.

Read more

Do Your User Accounts Help Your Members Win?

Posted on Apr 14, 2016 2:30:00 PM by Marisa Samek


If you run an organization that offers classes and memberships, especially for children, think about how many pieces of paper you create. Between the sign-up forms, the waivers, attendance sheets, notices, invoices, and schedules, there are piles and piles of sheets that you need from your members and that your members need from you.

Read more

Is Your Checkout Process Scaring Customers Away?

Posted on Apr 7, 2016 3:00:00 PM by Marisa Samek

After watching Step Up 2, Anne finally decides she is going to fulfill her lifelong dream of learning how to pop’n lock. She arrives at your dance studio, Pop’n Lockerz, and timidly approaches the front desk to ask for more information about your beginner classes. What makes the difference between Anne leaving your studio empty-handed and Anne bounding out of the studio, signed up for an entire session of classes without even a trial class?

Read more

3 Reasons Why Your Camp Should Continue to Ban Mobile Devices

Posted on Mar 26, 2016 3:28:23 PM by Marisa Samek

Many sleep-away camps pride themselves in offering an “unplugged” experience to their campers. The benefits of spending just one week to an entire summer without technology’s constant chatter seems obvious but, no matter how many times camps reiterate the “no mobile devices” rule, kids still arrive at drop-off with phones, tablets, and laptops tucked away in their duffle bags.

Read more

What's on Every Parent's Mind During Your Camp's Open House

Posted on Mar 14, 2016 5:20:24 PM by Marisa Samek

What is the single, most important thing parents want to know when they come to an open house at your camp? 

Trust me, it’s not the fancy water slide you've purchased, the counsellor who's a national swimming champion who you’ve hired, or the elaborate Inside Out theme day you’ve organized. The one thing parents care about above and beyond anything else Every single parent is sizing up your staff, your schedule, and your resources, with one thing in mind: Can these people take care of my kids?

Read more

23 Things Parents Need to Know Before Camp Starts

Posted on Mar 7, 2016 12:52:10 PM by Marisa Samek

You did it. The registration blitz for the first month is over. The kids are signed up, bunks are being assigned, and you’re on the very last round of hiring. While the process seems clear on your end, parents who have just registered their children for camp are brimming with questions: What time do I need to drop my child off again? Do I need to sign another waiver form for that rock-climbing outing during week 2? Will my son or daughter be allowed to have their phone with them?

Read more

Parents' Top 5 Concerns You're Not Addressing in Your Camp's Newsletter

Posted on Feb 25, 2016 1:14:23 PM by Marisa Samek

Camper-parent communication. Now there's a hot topic. Each camp has its own policies when it comes to camper-parent communication: some camps oblige their campers to write home and encourage parents to keep in touch while others mandate just the opposite. But what about camp-to-parent? There's a topic with a lot less interest but, for the sake of your camp's success, a lot more importance. 

Read more

Paper Forms Are Costing You More Than You Think

Posted on Feb 8, 2016 3:03:51 PM by Marisa Samek

It’s time for community-driven organizations—swim schools, gymnastics clubs, dance studios, the Association of Stamp Enthusiasts—to let go of their “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality when it comes to paper forms. Nowadays, even parents groan loudly when their children are required to physically sign a waiver form or worse, when they receive the form by email and are required to print it out, then sign it. Can you imagine anything more archaic, inefficient, and frustrating?

Read more

10 Fantastic Halloween Costumes You Can Put Together the Day of 

Posted on Oct 22, 2015 9:00:00 AM by Marisa Samek

Between swimming lessons, skating, ballet, and karate, where was the time to go shopping for a shiny, new Halloween costume? Here are 10 DIY costumes that are easy enough for a Saturday crafternoon with the kids or that you can put together yourself just in time for Trick-or-treating!  

Read more