As part of our intern duties, we have to read ACA articles about informational things. (And even though my brain is fried from the school year, it isn’t too bad.) The article we read last week was titled “The Argument We Must Learn To Make: Camp Creates Advantage” by Erec Hillis. It talks about how involved parents are in the decision of sending their kids to camp. Essentially, the parents are everything! The parents are the ones who pay, the ones who give permission, and the ones who transport! That’s why it’s important to grab their attention too.
Overall, you want the kids to have an amazing experience at camp and spread the memories to all of their friends. In turn, their friends will want to come with them next time! BUT, if the parents don’t see the importance of camp, then they aren’t going to send their kids and “waste” their time, gas, or money. So, we’ve gotta work towards selling the positive aspects of camp to parents as well!
The article expands on the idea that there are three Pillars of Hope within the camping industry.
- “Our intimacy with nature and ability to address nature deficit disorder”
- “Our opportunity to help kids make good friends and develop healthy relationships”
- “Our capacity to help children build confidence”
These are the three main aspects of camps that need to be sold to parents! Along with things like “grit, tenacity, optimism, and self-control”. These attributes may not be as tangible as the results from a sports camp, but in my opinion, they are more applicable and helpful to a child’s everyday life! And looking back, I would say that camp created/improved all these things for me.
All seven of the interns (Angie, Karli, Lynley, Clayton, Christa, Rony, and myself) grew up attending camps. When we were discussing this article as a group, it became really apparent that camp was a huge part of all of our childhoods. And personally, it was always my favorite part of the year.
The ACA has a large goal to “reach 20 million campers by 2020”. THAT SEEMS LIKE SUCH A RIDICULOUS NUMBER! But, with 11 million people already attending camp, it makes it seem a little more realistic. Just the first step to making that happen is convincing the parents. AND TELLING EVERYONE IN THE WHOLE WORLD HOW AWESOME CAMP IS!