Feb 18, 2022

5 Things to Consider When Planning a Summer Kids Program

5 Things to Consider When Planning a Summer Kids Program

From day programs to weeks–long stays, camps are a big part of the summer for kids all across the country. And they’re also big business, forecasted to have a market size of over $3B in 2022.

Are you thinking about becoming part of this booming industry and planning a summer kids program? The following considerations can help you set up your program for success.

Follow These 5 Steps to Develop Your Summer Kids Program

Going through these steps will give you the firm foundation you need to launch your camp.

1. What’s your idea?

It may seem obvious, but start by detailing your idea.

First, you’ll want to document your core competencies —the talents or resources that will support your camp program and differentiate you from other choices.

 Four young summer campers are outside looking at bugs within a glass jar.

  • Are you a science teacher with access to a classroom or lab you can use over the summer?
  • Do you have a property or know someone with a property that you think is the perfect location with the right amenities?
  • Are you a coach who wants to encourage more children to learn or improve their skills in a certain sport?

Determining your core competencies will help you focus on your strengths and advantages.

Next, develop your mission statement for focus. Ask yourself:

  • What does my camp do?
  • It offers science courses
  • It offers a week-long experience with water sports, archery, horseback riding, and hiking
  • It offers soccer training
  • How does my camp do it?
  • By providing access to resources and information
  • By providing access to activities
  • By providing superior instruction from former athletes
  • Why does my camp do it?
  • So that middle schoolers can foster a love of learning
  • So that children can enjoy water sports, archery, horseback riding, and hiking while learning new skills, building confidence, and making memories
  • So that middle- and high-schoolers can increase their sports skills

Now create your mission statement by putting all three together:

  • At my camp, we offer science courses in a research lab taught by local college professors that will encourage middle schoolers on a path to learning more about and fostering a love of science.
  • At my sleepaway camp, we offer K-12 children the opportunity to enjoy water sports, archery, horseback riding, and hiking while learning new skills, building confidence, and making memories.
  • At my sports camp , we offer 5th–11th graders the opportunity to increase their soccer skills to the next level by working with former pro soccer stars.

2. Develop a business plan.

Now that you know the type of camp you want to offer, start building your comprehensive business plan. Of course, a program taking place at a school versus one that’s a residential stay at a lake will have different degrees of planning complexity and requirements. Regardless, you need to:

  • Research your market—make sure there’s a need and audience for your camp
  • Pick a location (renting or purchasing) and flesh out your theme
  • Plan your budget to start up and operate your camp
  • Document, price, and schedule any location renovations
  • Develop programs, schedule, camp structure, price, and registration
  • Determine staffing (counselors, instructors, nurses) and hiring process (including background checks), training, and policies
  • Get a website for online presence, credibility, registration functions, and social media support
  • Get business licenses and permits at the local, state, and federal levels
  • There are different requirements for summer kids programs and summer camps
  • Meet with local fire and police departments to develop emergency plans
  • Document supplies and prices (including for furniture, sports equipment, and office equipment)

3. Develop a marketing plan and materials.

How will you get the word out about your camp?

  • Using social media , at the least establishing Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts and pursuing Google ads and SEO
  • Placing ads in school or camp directories, in parenting magazines, or on parenting websites
  • Signing up to appear at camp and school fairs
  • Working with a complementary program , such as asking a cooking program if they’ll advertise your arts and crafts program and vice versa, or partnering your soccer camp with a baseball camp
  • Placing flyers in co-op direct mail programs or local medical (pediatric) offices

4. Protect yourself, the camp, and campers from potential risk with insurance.

You will want to work with an insurance agent or broker to get the right business insurance plans in place, which may include General Liability, Property, D&O, auto, workers compensation, health insurance, and other plans. One area you shouldn’t overlook is participant accident insurance that protects campers from the medical costs of injury.

A-G Administrators has been providing this kind of valuable risk protection for nearly 40 years. When someone is accidentally injured, our participant accident insurance pays the out-of-pocket costs, such as copayments and deductibles, that primary health insurance doesn’t. Or, in a situation where the camper may not have primary health insurance, at least some of the medical expenses can be covered, and the family won’t have the entire bill to pay. Either way, our participant accident plans can play an invaluable role in helping to remove financial risk.

Another role insurance plays is to help protect your camp from litigation if families are unhappy that the camp didn’t provide financial support when an injury occurred. It can also help diminish reputational noise in those situations.

Insurance options can be customized to camp needs, with:

  • Mandatory plans , where parents must have the coverage and they pay the premiums
  • Compulsory plans, where the camp program covers the premium
  • Voluntary plans, which the parents have the option to purchase

With these three options, A-G can design a perfect plan for your camp and budget to protect children and families from the medical expense of an accidental injury. And when you work with A-G, you don’t need to worry about being overwhelmed by paperwork. Our industry-leading claims technology, EGBAR, handles it all.

5. Have fun!

Starting a summer kids program is a dream that you’ve probably had for a while. Whether because of your own camp memories or because you have a passion you want to share with others, developing and running your program will be challenging. But it should be fun too. Don’t lose sight of your dream.

Starting a Summer Camp Can Be Easy When You Follow the Steps

Although there is a lot to do, following these steps can help get you from camp idea to opening day. And, at A-G, it’s simple to get the right participant accident insurance coverage in place for your campers and your camp’s accidental risk protection. Talk to us to find out more. We look forward to connecting soon.

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