When comparing summer camp software, the list of features can seem too long not always applicable to the things you really need. Comparing the feature list of one company to another they offer, sometimes feels like you’re comparing apples to oranges and not apples to apples.
You can see a full comparison of the most popular summer camp software here or below. There is a list of commonly requested features and which companies offer it in some way, or not.
A common mistake camps make when looking for software is thinking that if they want feature a, and the software doesn’t say they offer feature a, then they don’t offer what they need. Often times what you THINK you need and what you ACTUALLY need differ (read this post to learn more about this).
That is why finding a software company who knows your field can be so helpful. Explain to the account manager what you need the software to do for you, and allow them to show you which features they offer that can address that need. Then you can decide if the solution they offer will solve your problem. It’s all about solutions, not features!
This post will look specifically at Active Camps and Regpack and the camp management software options they provide.
Below is a side by side comparison Regpack vs. Active Camps. The list of popular camp software features, including pricing, payments, family registration, automated communication tools and reporting tools, can be found on the left and the companies compared on the top.
The biggest difference between Active Camp and Regpack is the ability to embed registration on your website.
This is actually a unique feature in the camp registration software space. As you can tell from the full chart up at the top of this post, only Regpack and Regpoint offer this feature.
Embedding your registration allows you to place the registration forms and process payments, right from your website, instead of directing them to another website. This means applicants stay on your website and your registration process is consistent with your branding.
Embedding the process doesn’t cost extra, and you can still have Regpack or Active host your registration on their website if you don’t have one or prefer it not sit on your URL.
The basic idea behind conditional logic is it sets up a logical flow of forms and questions for every individual applicant. For example, if you have a camp that offers before or after care, you might ask “Do you wish to enroll in Before and After care?”. If the answer is no, then the flow continues to the next form. If the answer is yes, another set of forms will be added for the parent to select which aftercare options and complete any paperwork specific to this program.
This makes the registration process flow perfectly for every unique family. A family not doing after care will have a shorter process and won’t be shown any forms that don’t relate to the program they are registering for. This makes registration easy to follow and understand.
Regpack takes conditional logic a step further and activates it for filtering and reporting on applicants. Essentially you can allow conditional logic for any data point, including forms, products, payment plans and more. With Regpack you can also stack conditions on top of each other. For example, if you want to see all campers who have completed an after care form, who are male, and havenoto yet paid their full balance, you can do that with Regpack!
This is a very powerful tool that makes managing registration, campers and payments MUCH easier. It helps to build a big picture of all your data, including demographic information and financials.
Comparing Pricing: Regpack vs Active Camps
Active Camps doesn’t publish their pricing so it’s hard to compare.
Regpack has plans starting at $89 per month. You can view pricing here.
Monthly Contracts vs Annual Contracts
While Active Camps doesn’t publish their pricing, it is known that they require contracts.
Regpack does not require any contract beyond 30 days. You can pay month to month, and cancel or suspend your account anytime. This is a great model for camps as many camps don’t use their system year round. It is more cost effective to pay for the time you need the system, and not pay when you aren’t using it. Regpack does, however, offer annual plans which give a discount on the overall price. This can be great if you use your system year-round, or use the system for other projects beyond camp registration. Regpack can be used for staff applications, events, surveys and more.
Active is known for also signing up YOUR applicants to THEIR Active subscriptions and newsletters. While this might not bother some camps, other camps do not realize this happens and then deal with complaints from their applicants about why they are signed up for Active services. If you would like to use Active Camps and do NOT want them to solicit to your applicants, ensure you discuss this with your Active project manager.
How do I narrow down my options?
First create a list of the things you NEED out of a software. If you are coming from another software, what is it you like and don’t like about your current system. If you are coming from using a paper system, what capabilities of an online camp software made you decide to search for software instead of continuing with your current process?
Then, once you have your list, compare your list to our chart to help you get a few companies that seem like a good fit. Then reach out to them for a demo. All companies should offer you a free demo so you can see how their system works and pair you with a sales rep who can answer questions specific to your needs.
Here are a few good questions you can ask during your demo:
- What is the cost of the system? Upfront, each month, each year, etc. This post is really helpful in guiding you to price evaluation.
- What kind of contracts do you offer? Many camps don’t need access to their system year round, so a software that offers month to month pricing can save money since you don’t pay when you don’t use the system.
Knowing what you NEED from a system ahead of time will help you to narrow your choices a lot. Then once you have a small list, you can set up demos, ask all of your specific questions and these answers will help you make a great choice- a system that offers solutions to your problems and at a price you can afford!