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Hosting an Outdoor Camp

free resource programs Mar 30, 2021

by Adam Parman


As martial arts school owners look for opportunities to generate much needed revenue while mediating risk of COVID in order to ensure customers feel safe, hosting an outdoor spring break camp can be great option.  Working parents need trusted solutions for their children where they know their child will be safe and have fun.  Often, these parents look to businesses that provide camps where they have already developed a relationship with the staff – like your martial arts school.  Offering camp services allows school owners the opportunity to diversify their business while providing additional revenue streams.  Many schools in our industry found summer camps and digital learning camps essential to their survival when opening back-up after months of being shut down.  Whether it’s a single day camp or a week-long camp, here’s a few steps to ensure success! 


Step 1:  Always theme your camps.  By theming your camp each time, it adds to the excitement each week while making it easier for your staff to promote and increase participation.  Additionally, it offers your campers a different experience while helping to disguise repetition.  As you begin to spend more time on embellishing the theme through the activities you play and the martial arts you teach, you’ll begin to notice how the value and participation of each camp will begin to increase.  This will allow you to charge more money, increase profitability and maximize profitability for your camp services. 


Step 2:  Incorporate and highlight the martial arts you teach into your camps.  Your biggest asset and attraction for your camps is the fact that you incorporate martial arts classes into your camp - so make sure you advertise it!  Often, I see school owners highlight every other aspect of their camp while overlooking what makes them standout the most from other camp experiences.  By focusing on daily martial arts classes, your camps will attract participates interested in learning more about your evening programs.  Consider advertising your camps on social media and other platforms to attract more non-students.  Then use your camp to build excitement for your martial arts classes by hosting a Zoom classes on the last day of camp that parents can join to see their child perform and earn their white belt.  Explain to the parents of any non-student participates that if they into your evening program you’ll credit what they paid for camp that week towards their child’s registration and first month of tuition.  This will create a call-to-action and reason to enroll immediately into your classes. 


Step 3:  Create greater excitement into your camp by providing field trips.  The two most marketable aspects of your camps will always be the theme and the field trip.  We have some campers that pick our camps just because of our amazing fields; however, if you don’t have a means to transport children that doesn’t mean you can’t offer this service.  Consider offering “in-house” field trips that incorporate activities that come to your studio instead of you going to them.  We use this strategy to reduce staffing, liability and headache when it comes to camp.  Pick field trip activities like the gaming truck, portable rock wall, inflatables or petting zoo.  All of these activities can come to you without the liability or expense of providing transportation creating additional value in your camp! 


Step 4:  Educate customers on the steps youre doing to stop the spread of COVID in your facility.  To aid in educating customers and others in the community, we created a simple landing page with a series of videos explaining what our policies and procedures were for camp services in regard to COVID-19.  If you’re in a city or state with limiting restrictions for inside training, you may want to consider an outdoor venue such as a local park or set-up a training area in front or beside your martial arts school.  Make sure to provide shade for your campers with easy access to water and restrooms.  Set-up temporary barriers or fencing to keep children in your designated training area so it is easier to watch them while outside doing camp activities.    


Step 5:  Always put safety as your highest priority.  While camps and other such services can provide amazing revenue opportunities, they also bring huge liability concerns and potential problems.  Make sure your staff is trained on your safety procedures and know what to do incase of an emergency.  Contact your schools insurance company to ensure you’re properly covered for outdoor training and camp services.  Additionally, have policies and procedures in place for medication, lotion or sunscreen application and food or environmental allergies.  When dealing with children, it’s always better to be over prepared for any situation than not prepared at all.   


By applying these simple steps, you can maximize profits while creating unique and meaningful customer experiences with your camps.  What are you waiting for?... start planning your next amazing camp experience today! 

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