Non-Profit Camp Registration Management with Camp Del Corazon

by Asaf Darash,
non-profit camp registration management

Regpack and Camp Del Corazon have been working together since November of 2013! They are an amazing non-profit camp that puts on a summer program in August for kids with heart disease. They are able to give these kids who have very serious medical conditions a chance to experience summer camp with their peers.

Before Regpack, Camp Del Corazon was mostly registering via paper. This just wasn’t cutting it anymore, and they came to Regpack for help.

I chatted with Samantha Lappin, the Assistant Program Director and Assistant Camp Director at Camp Del Corazon. She talks more about how they are using Regpack to manage their multi-stage application process and all their reporting needs!

Tell me a little bit about yourself and Camp Del Corazon.

My name is Samantha Lappin and I’m the Assistant Program Director and Assistant Camp Director for Camp Del Corazon. We are non-profit camp for kids with heart disease exclusively. We are a fully functioning non-profit, so we have a very small staff who works year round. We fundraise, we have a few other programs for our families and we have a young adult leadership program.

Our main program is our 3 week summer camp at the end of August. We take about 350 kids over 3 sessions to Catalina Island. With a fully volunteer cabin staff, activity staff and medical staff. We have multiple doctors on site for every session. We give these kids a camp experience. Oftentimes it’s the first time these kids have been away from home because a lot of them have very difficult medical issues and take a lot of medication. That’s all part of the design we create at camp and we make it a really special and nice place for these kids to be around other kids just like them.

What registration system was Camp Del Corazon using before you started using Regpack in 2013?

We had a custom, sort of online registration thing through our website. It was really hard to manipulate and manage. We had one developer who was the only person who could make any changes to it. The reporting was a nightmare. We had a whole bunch of mail merges in place of any reporting features. And only half of our kids, families and doctors used it. Most of the forms were still hard copies. And between all the information we needed from the parents and all the medical information, it was a lot of pieces of paper.

Camp Del Corazon is a non-profit camp, so money is always a consideration. Were you actively looking for a software to manage your registration and how did your budget come into play when evaluating different options?

Right, that is why we had that quasi online system before Regpack because it was the cheaper option. We are a very small non-profit so money is usually the first question. When we do spend money on things that are not directly related to the camp program, that’s a big choice.

So we found Regpack, and it was the most cost effective option. There were other programs that offered a lot of options and features, but they were way outside of our budget. Regpack was enough but not too much that it was out of our price range. We wanted to make it work and the biggest decision in terms of investing the money was understanding that Regpack was really willing to work with us.

We had some tweaks and used the system a bit differently than most people. We use all of our doctors and nurses as Assistant Admins, for instance. They can go in and fill out camper’s forms online too. That wasn’t initially the set-up Regpack had for us, but Regpack worked with us and helped us a lot to make it accessible and fit with our process. And once I started understanding how Regpack worked, I felt Regpack would be a really good fit for us.

How does Regpack make your unique process of parent registration + medical forms completed online by the child’s doctor work?

We get a lot of initial information from the parents, particularly medically, because a lot of these kids have a lot of really intense medical issues. We can handle these at our camp, but we need to know what they are first.

The process overall is: the parents register through our site and sign a bunch of forms and waivers. From there, one of the things they put in is their child’s Pediatric Cardiologist. For every Pediatric Cardiologist we have in our system, we also have their email address. We set them up with an Assistant Admin account. 

We filter our users by the status, the parent part being complete, and ready for their physician sign off. The doctor’s can see their patients only. We use a lot of filters and assistant admins in Regpack, for sure!

So after the parent part is complete, we change their status and it becomes available to their cardiologist. Then I send out emails to all the cardiologists that have patients waiting for their forms to remind them to login to Regpack and complete the forms.

Over the past 4 years, the number of doctors who use the system has grown exponentially. They have found it easier than hard copy form. They really like using Regpack and it’s easy for them to use.

The next step even after that, our other assistant admins are our medical leadership team. They volunteer year round to review every single application that comes in. So once we get the doctor’s form, I change the status again and our nurses go in and review the camper’s application. They complete their own form, and then can approve that application so they are accepted to camp.

Regpack has streamlined our process and given us an easier vocabulary to talk about things.

In what ways are you using Regpack’s reporting tools and how do they help you?

The reporting features are awesome. My favorite part is that they are so customizable. I can make any report I want. What I use most frequently is looking at how many boys and girls we have coming each session since we have a capped number of beds in boys camp and girls camp. I am, about once a day, using reports that I’ve made and refined to get the information I need.

I also love the handy statistics views with all the pie charts and the graphs. I love statistics! I can see overall how many campers have applied, the age they will be on the first day of camp. Most important is sessions, how many spaces we have available. Then I can combine the number of kids in each session with their status. So I can say, we have 140 applications for session 2 but only 50 of those are actually complete.

As a non-profit, our goal is to accept every camper we possibly can, so that information is invaluable. And the fact that it is so easily accessible really saves me a lot of time and makes it really easy to do my job as a whole. I can serve as many families as we can.

In addition to those reports, the excel documents we can create are invaluable for our staffing and our cabins as well. Not to mention, mailing lists and email contacts and all that. We pull reports that directly become our staffing roster and our cabin roster. I have reports on requested sessions, how old campers are, if they are a new camper, cabin mate request. So when we’re making cabin requests, we have all the information right there as we’re doing it. And that’s streamlined things exponentially.

And like I said before, we all just have the same vocabulary to talk about where the information lives, and that is invaluable to the amount of time it takes and the quality of our work.

Would you recommend Regpack, and why?

I would recommend Regpack because it’s customizable. You have so much control over how it works for you. It really does work for you. And Regpack works for us too. If something new comes up that we need from the system, the support team is always there to help and there’s always new features coming out. I’ll go to look at something and realize it was something I had wanted to do in the past and couldn’t. But now I can.

The evolution of Regpack, and the science of Regpack is really conducive to our size as a small camp trying to figure out the quickest and simplest way to get things done effectively.

 

 

I also absolutely love that it’s online. I access it everywhere. When camp is in session, I have it on my phone sitting in my car in the parking lot, making edits for the next session. It’s simple and easy and straightforward and it’s there for me. Regpack has really elevated the way we work with our camper families. And elevated the way we contact them, with emails that we can automate based on changing a status for example.

We have better communication with our families as a whole. That is really the #1 thing it’s about. The more we can be in contact with our families, the better the relationship is. The more they send their kids back to camp and the more they stay with us.

The fact that our data system and registration system helps us do that is really outstanding and that’s probably my favorite part about it.

 

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About The Author

Asaf Darash

Asaf has extensive experience as entrepreneur and investor. Asaf has built 3 successful companies to date, all with an exit plan or that have stayed in profitability and are still functional. Asaf specializes in product development for the web, team building and in bringing a company from concept to an actualized unit that is profitable.