Several years back, I was talking to a camp mom about her efforts to encourage her children’s friends to come to camp. She was a particularly enthusiastic recruiter, so I asked her why she spent so much time and effort on it.
“Of course, I love what camp has done for my kids,” she started. “Both my son and daughter think of Camp Champions as their second home and they say that they love who they are at camp. As a result, I want to share that with my friends’ children as well.
“But I also have a second reason. Going to camp is not like ordering take-out pizza.”
Somewhat puzzled by this zen-like response, I asked her to explain.
“When you order take-out pizza, you do not care who else is ordering pizza from the same place. You just care that it tastes good. Contrast that to a dinner party. A dinner party is about more than just the food. Sure the food needs to be good, but a great dinner party depends on the quality of the company. The party is defined by both the food and the people with whom you share it. Camp is like a dinner party. Of course, the activities must be fun and safe and the counselors exciting and cool, but it matters who the other campers in the cabins are.
So I feel like I am helping make camp better by recruiting other families that I think are great.”
I think she makes an important point and since then I have encouraged our families to help us find other families who will enhance the joy and fun of camp.
Of course, we love it when parents share their enthusiasm for camp with their friends - it helps make our community even better. Our full time team (Susie Ma’am, Moak Sir, Ashley Ma’am, JB Sir, Kate Ma'am, Erec Sir, and me) spend countless hours improving the facilities, creating new programs, choosing our leadership team, and recruiting our counselors. Each of these components helps make Camp Champions an extraordinary place.
We also spend a lot of time meeting potential campers and their families in an effort to find good “fits” who will appreciate our community as well as enrich it. While we put a huge amount of effort into these meetings, you still know your friends better than we do, so your thoughts and suggestions are deeply appreciated.
If you are interested, here is how you can help.
Most importantly, please give us the names and contact information of anyone you think would enjoy Camp Champions. We will reach out to them, let them know you suggested we contact them, and invite them to different camp gatherings. We would also love to give them a call. Please feel free to email their contact info to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Second, if you have a substantial group that you would like to tell about camp, we would love to do an Information Party at your home. These are perhaps the lowest pressure events ever (the polar opposite of a time-share sales pitch). We bring games for the kids and either Susie or I will talk to the parents about camp, our mission, and our values. BTW, as a thank you to our party hosts, we give them seats in the front 2 rows at our Closing Ceremony.
Finally, invite friends to one of our Champions reunions. We will be coming to Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Midland in the fall to hand out camp yearbooks and we would love to meet your friends there.
If any of your friends choose to join us, your camper will become a member of the Tiger Club - a group that recognizes campers (and families) who have helped to make our community even more special.
We sincerely hope this will help us make next year’s “dinner party” the best one yet for your camper!
Susie Ma’am and Steve Sir