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6 Reasons to Use Attendance Tracking Software for Your Summer Camp

If your side hustle is selling clipboards, close your eyes. This might hurt.

Taking attendance with pen and paper is all but obsolete. It’s just too error-prone, wasteful of time and resources, and incompatible with analysis and reporting.

Plus, it lacks all the time-saving features you get with its humble usurper—attendance tracking software.

In this article, we’ll tell you six reasons why you should switch to software as your main way of taking attendance at summer camp.

Automated Attendance Tracking Process

There’s something depressing about jotting down attendance on a sheet of paper only to have to go transfer the data into an Excel spreadsheet a few hours later.

It’s double the work, double the time, and double the chances of error.

Attendance tracking software, on the other hand, automates the attendance process, drastically cutting the work involved.

From your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, you can take attendance with your finger (once!) and then be done with it.

Source: Regpack

All the attendance data goes directly into a searchable, filterable database, where you can easily find whatever information you need in a second.

Unsure if bunk 24 is empty for a reason or if there was no one there in the first place? Just look it up on your smartphone app and see if the owner of the bunk is absent.

No more searching through piles of paper or going back to the office to find that Excel file. If you need to find a camper’s attendance information, just type their name into the database, and there it is.

You can even run reports to find attendance trends for sessions, age ranges, years, or particular campers. And you can do it at the click of a few buttons.

Because attendance and registration are so interconnected, many camp managers use camp registration software that comes with automated attendance tracking, like Regpack.

Source: Regpack

In sum, the right attendance tracking tool will help your team save time, make fewer attendance errors, and track campers on the go from your mobile device.

Simplified Payment Management

Attendance tracking software also typically allows you to track and manage customer payments as well as your camper’s enrollment.

One of the best benefits of a payment management tool is the ability to offer parents personalized payment plans, like the ones shown below:

Source: Regpack

This helps increase enrollment, as parents can then select the one that works best for them.

From then on, parents will pay through recurring billing, meaning they’ll receive an invoice around the predetermined dates.

Or, if they selected autopay, their payment method will be charged automatically whenever a payment is due. This prevents those pesky late payments that hurt cash flow.

From your payments dashboard, you’ll be able to see when a parent is behind on their payments, and who is all paid up.

Source: Regpack

With this increased visibility, you can recoup the money you’re owed more easily. And you’ll gain more time back in your day that you can then devote to improving the camp experience.

Increased Camper Safety

Camper safety is essential and top of mind for many parents. In fact, 43% of parents in the Mott Poll Survey rated general safety policies as a leading factor in choosing the right camp for their kids.

They look for things like the following:​​

Source: Camp Evergreen

Attendance tracking software can help you increase camper safety, which you can then highlight in your marketing materials to parents, thus increasing enrollment.

The first way this software helps is by enabling your staff to monitor your campers more effectively.

Counselors can easily pull up attendance information on their phones whenever they need to, so that they always know which campers are and aren’t around.

This prevents mishaps like assuming the bus leaving a field trip is full when, in reality, one of the campers is still using the bathroom in the museum.

Attendance tracking software also helps you protect campers at pick-up. Many tools allow you to store photos of their verified parents or guardians.

This way, at pick up you can look at the photos to ensure that the person letting the child into their car is the person who’s supposed to be picking them up, not some nefarious stranger.

Lastly, tracking software helps you identify trends of absenteeism, so you can alert the parents and implement any changes in your program.

In most cases, parents will say, “Yeah, we know,” and then explain why their kid is rarely at camp.

But every once in a while, you might catch a parent unawares. Then they can take action to ensure that their kid isn’t doing anything dangerous when they’re supposed to be at camp.

In sum, when you use software to track campers’ attendance, you’ll have an easier time checking that the campers are where they’re supposed to be.

Streamlined Communication With Parents

Attendance tracking software comes with email communication features that make it easy to inform parents about their child’s attendance record and absences.

This saves you time and keeps parents happy, as they love to be in the loop. Plus, it allows you to automate some aspects of writing.

With most attendance tracking platforms, you can quickly send attendance emails to parents by creating a new email template and adding special tokens to it (shown below in purple), which will auto-fill the email with personal information — like a camper’s name, for example.

Here’s an example (it’s a payment invoice email, but you get the picture):

Source: Regpack

This personal information, originally sourced from the registration form, is taken automatically from the platform’s database.

After creating the email template and choosing what personal information you want to include in it, you can filter through the parents to select the one you want to send the email to.

Though this sounds like many steps, the process is actually over in a matter of seconds, especially once you’ve gotten the hang of your platform’s email feature.

The great part is that when parents receive the attendance email, it’ll be personalized and appear to be written by a person.

Technically, you will have written most of it, but you only had to write it once. After creating the initial template and adding the tokens, you can send it out within seconds to parent after parent.

Most tools come with other automation features as well.

For instance, you could set up trigger-based automation, where an attendance email goes out to parents if their child has been marked absent in the system three days in a row without notice.

Enhanced Marketing Effectiveness

Need some data to back up your marketing claims? Attendance tracking software can supply it. These tools allow you to identify attendance patterns that you can share with your audience.

For example, let’s say you created an advertisement boasting that your campers love your camp so much that they come back year after year.

On its own, it’s a solid message. But some quantitative proof would make the message more persuasive, and therefore, more effective at generating new customers.

For example, we use data from our clients on our client spotlight page:

Source: Regpack

To acquire these statistics, you could run a report in your attendance tracking platform to identify the percentage of campers who come back after their first year.

Let’s say that the return rate is a whopping 85%. Throw that number in the ad and now you have a much stronger message. A parent will see that and go, “Wow, kids must love this camp!”

Attendance tracking software supports marketing in another way as well. It allows you to track data about your campers, from their camp attendance to their age range and interests, sort of like a CRM would.

Then, you can use this information to craft personalized marketing emails for these families.

Let’s get back to our example of a child with a lot of absences. You could reach out to the parents and ask if there’s a problem.

They might then tell you that their child is unhappy with their group. With this knowledge, you can now address the issue by removing them from that group and placing them in another, and retain the customer.

Improved Decision-Making

With attendance tracking software, you can easily run attendance reports and use analytics that provide insights that inform your business and camp management decisions.

For example, you could generate a roster report to uncover some ways to increase attendance.

Or could run an attendance report to identify absentee campers who need some love, or to investigate your suspicion that a certain cabin is experiencing a lot of absenteeism, which could indicate that the counselor there is doing a poor job.

Often, it’s best practice to use your attendance reporting to answer a specific question, like “Which sessions and days of camp receive the lowest attendance?”

Armed with the answer, you can select strategies that will effectively increase registrations and attendance for those lagging sessions.

Improving your camp just becomes easier when you can get fast answers to the attendance questions that are holding you back from taking action.


Attendance tracking with manual methods like paper and pen is time-consuming, not to mention unactionable.

The data captured on the page can’t be used to generate a roster report or to automatically craft an attendance email.

And it’s much harder to keep track of than a mobile device, which, for better or worse, is on us at all times.

For these reasons, and the ones covered above, it’s worth considering making a move to automated attendance tracking for your camp.

At the very least, it’ll save you time that you can then devote to more pressing matters, like thinking up camp enrollment strategies or helping a camper get through their bout of homesickness.

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