Staying Relevant Online in Shoulder Seasons
We’re always looking for ways to keep our online presence relevant during the summer camp “off-season.” This has been especially true in a year with even less traditional content, where we may have had smaller, shorter, altered, or no summer camp programming.
Though camp seems like a seasonal business from the outside, all directors know that the “off-season” is a myth! We’ve been working on showcasing more during these non-summer months, and are taking notes from camps who do a great job staying relevant all year. Here are some things I’ve seen camps do to keep their online presence current:
Updating camp websites with different photos or refreshed descriptions
More frequently updated web pages are more likely to come up in Google searches. A free way to increase your chances of being found by a new family or staff member!
Showcasing the changing seasons
We come into the office every day and may take the beautiful changing scenery for granted, but campers have never seen fall leaves or snow at camp! Camps have been posting some stunning photos of the natural beauty at their camp during each season.
Reach out to veteran staff or alumni to create a “where are they now” series.
Sharing plans for the upcoming summer
It’s fun to hear what camps are planning for the new year! Whether it’s a new activity/program, adding more buildings, or updating existing facilities, this is always exciting to see.
Having parents/campers/alumni guest write an article
Let someone else do the work! But seriously, some of my favorite articles about the camp experience have been shared by campers and staff.
Fundraising for campershipsIt’s a good time of year to raise money, and some camps are doing a great job taking advantage of this by making the push to get more kids at camp.
Continuing to host virtual campfires
While the amount of virtual activities from camps seemed to largely decrease after the summer, some camps are still hosting online events/campfires/zoom reunions to stay connected with their camp community.
Hosting virtual “holidays” for camp families to participate in with the rest of the camp community
Another great way I’ve seen camps interact with their communities is making up camp-themed holidays to celebrate together. We could all use more reasons to celebrate!
Posting “then and now” photos from the camp archives
When you don’t have current content, feature some old content from the camp archives! Old camp letters, maps, photos, gear, and memories from alumni are fun to see.
Podcasts, videos, and alternative media
Some camps are raising the bar by hosting their own podcasts, releasing video series that showcase their programs in detail, or even exploring lesser-used social media platforms. Sharing media in all forms (written, audio, visual, etc.) is a great way to diversify communication, even if the content is similar.
These are all ways I’ve been inspired by other camps to stay relevant online between summer seasons. I’m excited to continue reading/watching/hearing all the fun camp community updates throughout the year!