The questions you ask and the format of your camp application (get a free sample camp application here) or camp registration form serve a few purposes for you and the importance of your application shouldn’t be overlooked!
Most importantly, your application gives you the answers you need to adequately judge and review potential campers. You can learn about who they are, where they come from as well as details that are important for every day camp management, like food allergies or medications to be aware of.
Your application is also a window for parents into your camp. Is your application professional? No, well then your camp might not be either. Is your application easy to understand and to complete? Is it intuitive?
These are questions that parents ask themselves when filling out applications, whether conscious or not. The impression parents get from your application can often set the tone for their opinion of your camp.
So what questions should you ask? And how can you ask these questions to show off your camp best? Below are some general guidelines to help you out.
This should be a separate section than camper information where you gather the information on both parents or guardians, including names, address, phone numbers and email addresses. This makes the parent feel valued and important to the process but it is, of course, vital information to have in case of emergencies.
Depending on the age of campers, this information is also integral to your marketing since you will most likely be emailing updates, newsletters and other marketing material to parents, not campers. If you need help in upping your communication game, check out this helpful, and free, eBook all about client communication or this one full of free email templates!
Terms and Conditions in your Camp Application
You should include at least one contract like document for parents to sign to cover your legal bases. This can include a health declaration in addition to a general form that states the camper and parents will abide by camp rules and protect your camp in case of medical issues that could crop up, etc.
If you have a lawyer, it’s best to check with them on what kind of declaration would work best for your specific camp as well as to evaluate potential legal issues you could encounter so you cover those in your application.
Easy Payment Options
If you aren’t using an online payment solution (read 5 reasons why online payments are worth it here), having your application include an easy way for a parent to calculate the cost they owe and then pay you the correct amount is the most important thing to “get right” in your application.
If parents are confused about how much they owe and it isn’t clear or easy to pay you (by check, credit card form, etc) you’re causing a host of problems for you as well as lots of frustration for parents.
Check out our handy sample camp application to get a better idea of how to frame your application and what questions to ask.
Our biggest piece of advice to both make your application process easier for you and for parents, as well as improve your “image” with parents is to move your application online.
A streamlined camp registration software allows parents to spend less time filling out your application and allows you to instantly have all your data available to manage, run reports and quickly find the information you need. An online software also makes evaluation forms and surveys simple, and allows you to take advantage of common procedures, like waitlisting, and make it work for you!
Learn more about creating a custom camp application for your campers with a free demo!