Looking for the latest news, trends and advice about running and growing your summer camp can be a challenge. The existing network of professional camp owners and managers is tricky to find but, once you do, the information and advice at your fingertips is unparalleled. The best place to start? The world of summer camp blogs.
Read our list of the 7 best summer camp blogs out there:
From coming up with new program ideas to management tips and much more, summer camp blogs are a great resource for industry newcomers and veterans alike. Let’s face it: The day-to-day operations of your typical camp depend on organizing and optimizing a lot of different variables. Insight from respected professionals and other industry experts can help you avoid common mistakes while also helping you grow your camp and program registrations over time.
A bonus is that many of those free online resources also cater to parents. Sending your child to a summer camp, previous experience aside, can be an emotionally difficult time that requires a lot of research, planning and attention to detail. Families who are new to the summer camp experience would be particularly well-advised to look at some of the blogs below, as they can save you time and headaches before the seasons change and drop-offs begin.
Let’s jump right in and shine a spotlight on the cream of the summer camp blogging crop:
I’ll kick things off with one of the industry’s biggest names, the American Camp Association (ACA). A community of professionals that has been around for over 100 years, the ACA has proven time and again to be a great place where camp professionals and enthusiasts alike can up their knowledge in areas like character-building, skill development, and healthy living.
The great thing about ACA’s website is that they have separate blogs dedicated to the professional side of summer camps as well as the parenting side. This way, no matter what learning opportunity you’re after, the wealth of free, detailed blog posts at your fingertips is pretty much unparalleled. Especially if you’re new to the world of summer camps and want in-depth advice and tips, ACA’s blogs are a fantastic place to start.
A summer camp manager’s dream, GoCamp Pro’s blog gives you insightful, easily digestible blog posts that will both educate and inspire. From tips to optimize your camp’s website (a topic I’ve also covered on the Amilia blog!) to getting the most out of your staff during the upcoming summer season, you’ll quickly bridge any industry knowledge gap and come away with practical advice you can implement right away.
A potential downside is the frequency of new updates – GoCamp Pro seems to blog on a once or twice-a-month basis, so you might be waiting a minute or two for the next post to go public. That said, it’s never a bad idea to dive deep into a blog’s archives when you have a minute – after all, great ideas have no expiration date and that’s especially true of this online resource.
The Camp Experts have positioned themselves as a great place for parents to educate themselves and even start discussions about the ins and outs of the summer camp lifestyle, which makes their blog a must-read for families who are thinking enrolling their kids in a program. It’s a long, surprisingly time-consuming process if you’re unsure where to start or where to look for answers. Thankfully, this blog takes much of the guesswork out of that journey.
It’s not just for really young children either – there are plenty of blog articles dedicated to the older side of spectrum and the benefits of sending your teenage son or daughter to a summer camp. A lot of their posts deal with issues that will hit close to home, such as preparing an anxious kid for a sleepaway camp. For parents, resources like this are extremely valuable not only as an educational tool but as a stress reliever as registration periods comes into focus and planning needs to be done for next season.
Don’t let the streamlined layout fool you – The Summer Camp Society’s blog packs a huge punch knowledge-wise and even features some nice touches that similar online resources lack in a big way.
The most noticeable of which is video content. I’ve talked at length about the importance of video content as a tool to boost online engagement with your brand, so it stands to reason that blog posts that feature YouTube or natively-hosted embeds can be an excellent learning opportunity for those who consider themselves more visual learners.
Be warned: There is no discernible filter for the blog posts, such as categories or subject tags, so you’ll be at the mercy of the infinite scroll if you’re perusing their site. However, The Summer Camp Society’s collection of blog-style knowledge is one of the industry’s internet gems.
The USA Summer Camp blog houses posts on a variety of topics, mostly focusing on the preparation and management aspects of camp organizations from a staff point of view. However, there’s a unique angle here, with most of the content geared towards young adults who are looking to make the most out of their summer job as a camp counselor in their community, a blog aspect you won’t find in many other places.
With short, to-the-point blog posts that are personable and relatable, USA Summer Camp’s knowledge base is easy to connect with as a reader. In addition, buttons on each blog post’s preview image makes sharing insight that you read on Facebook or Twitter a quick and simple process. If you’re looking to start your career as a summer camp professional or want more information about exactly what goes into being a camp counselor, this site is a solid starting point.
As a camp employee or manager, you’ve more than likely been faced with the scenario where you feel more than a little short on new programming ideas. In fact, the best summer camps in North America are often those who can bring fresh ideas to the table each year instead of relying on old, somewhat cliched program choices. If you’re looking for some much-needed inspiration, Summer Camp Programming’s dense collection of blog posts should be at the top of your reading list.
The site has other valuable articles in its archives as well, including ones detailing blindfolds for camp games and even picks for the best summer camp movies. Pop culture fun aside, I’d highly recommend their programming tips, a section of the blog that is full of not just ideas that could give your organization’s services a vibrant, revitalized feel, but also practical ways to implement some of those changes, as written by experienced professionals.
With so much information, it’s hard to go wrong with Summer Camp Programming’s site.
Finally, we have Social Summer Camp, a blog dedicated to an oft-forgotten but very important aspect of any business or non-profit organization these days: digital marketing. Whether we’re talking about advertising through Google or Facebook, generating some buzz using the latter or other social media accounts, or how to nail that first interaction with potential clients online, this blog has you covered from top to bottom.
This summer camp blog is particularly helpful when it comes to Facebook as both a marketing and advertising platform, breaking down aspects like organic reach and audience in language that is easy to understand for any camp professional who wants to boost their online traffic. As a bonus, the blog posts here are also quick reads, which means you can increase your knowledge in key camp areas without having to carve out lots of time in your busy schedule.
For any summer camp, connecting with families and making sure parents or guardians have all the information they need before drop-offs occur are both critical to your organization’s success. Ensure that your camp communication strategy is up to par by checking out our FREE eBook on this important topic – download it now!