With January weather all around us, summer warmth seems forever away. But, when it comes to owning a dance studio, you know that it’s never too early to start planning your seasonal offerings – especially for summer camps.
Here are a couple of things you can do to help you get a jump start on summer dance camp planning.
1. Summer Camp Themes
Get the excitement flowing with a fun summer camp theme! One of the best ways to spread the word about your summer camp is by finding a theme that appeals to all ages.
Keep your eye out for dance or general pop culture trends
What are your dancers watching on television? Is anything trending in the dance forums? Do you have a camp theme that constantly sells out at your dance studio? By keeping a pulse on what is exciting, you may be able to reuse a trending topic for a dance summer camp theme.
Host separate summer camps for different ages
If resources allow, hosting various sessions of dance summer camps for an array of ages would allow for different themes. By doing this, it may be easier to come up with age-appropriate themes rather than coming up with one blanket summer camp theme.
Ask your dancers
If you’re coming up blank when trying to decide on a theme, ask your dancers! Leave a sheet by the front desk for them to write down an idea or ask around after class. Taking a poll from those who will be attending the summer camp is the best way to make sure you’re offering something exciting.
2. Hire Engaged Summer Camp Staff
Your current staff is usually ideal when it comes to staffing a summer camp – they already know policies and procedures and the students they’ll be interacting with. If you don’t have enough staff available to assist with summer camps, consider hiring part-time staff that you know will be good educators, willing to learn, follow the curriculum you provide, and will be engaged with students during camp each day.
A good place to start when it comes to hiring is former dancers from your studio or student teachers. Post flyers in your lobby, around the community and spread the word through social media. Utilize background checks and conduct interviews to make sure you employ the right people for the position. After all, good experiences at dance summer camp are a great way to enroll new students and ensure student retention for the following school year!
3. Decide On Summer Camp Logistics
Before you begin planning the tiny details, you need to figure out the big picture. Here are some ideas of things to consider:
- How long is your summer camp going to be?
- Are you going to offer more than one session?
- What should the price be?
- What is the best time during the summer months to offer your camp?
- What kind of waivers or legal agreements do you need?
4. Focus On Summer Camp Promotion
If you’re opening up your dance summer camp to students outside your studio, chances are you want to grow your student count. In order to do that, you have to promote!
Where do most of your registrations come from? Your website, social media, word of mouth, email, or something else? Update all of these platforms with information on your dance summer camp. Add a pop-up notification with information on upcoming camps to your website. Give flyers to your students to hand out to their friends and create an incentive for the student who has the most sign-ups. Consider partnering with a local business.
Whatever your tactics, make sure you are promoting in advance so parents and students have time to plan it into their busy summer schedule.
5. Utilize Technology For Summer Camp Registration
Technology will make the chaos that can ensue during the summer a little bit easier. Whether you utilize a wide variety of technology or you like to stick to ole faithful, make sure you have the correct technology to seamlessly plan summer camp at your studio.
Create an online registration process. Instead of tracking everything through email or handling piece after piece of paper, track registration and revenue generated by summer camps in one spot. This ensures your parents sign waivers, pay fees, and fill out the correct paperwork needed. It’s a win-win!
Use a dance studio management software that allows for all of the above – an extra plus, if they offer an app for your studio. This way, you can alert parents to schedule changes, t-shirt pick up, or an unpaid balance through push notifications.
With dance summer camp season on the horizon, it’s never too early to start preparation. You will thank yourself for the forethought in a couple of weeks. If you find your tech plan leaving something to be desired, you have more than enough time to investigate a better option. Take a tour of Jackrabbit Dance and see if it may be the answer to your problems!