How Camp Mobile Apps Transform Engagement with Parents

The title of this post on the left on a pink background and an image of campers having fun in a green space on the right.

Most businesses and other organizations need the support of an outside party to be successful. For example, nonprofits need to steward donors to ensure their continued support. Businesses must create innovative products or offer services that their customers enjoy. And camps need to build their community and secure the interest and engagement of parents.

There are a variety of strategies camps can implement and various tools to invest in to increase parent engagement, including a camp management software solution. However, an often overlooked engagement tool is the mobile app. Cellphone users look at their phones 144 times a day on average, and a camp engagement mobile app allows you to keep parents up to date on your activities wherever they are.

But if you’re not convinced, let’s take a closer look at why your camp should consider adding a camp mobile app to your tech tool lineup.

Why is engaging with parents important?

You may be thinking: I know that engagement is important, but I thought it was more important to engage campers while they’re at camp. Why should I focus on engaging parents?

While camper engagement is crucial to your camp’s success, parents should not be overlooked. Although your goal should be to provide the best possible experience for campers, your campers are not the only ones deciding which camp they’ll go to. The bulk of that decision lies in the hands of their parents.

It’s not enough to rely on your campers to convince parents that your camp is worth registering for. Take matters into your own hands and form connections with parents, showing them that you value their opinions and are dedicated to creating an enriching summer for their children. By engaging with parents and campers, you’ll create a stronger community strengthened by the positive experiences you facilitate.

Top Engagement Features of Camp Mobile Apps

Just as nonprofits strive to retain donors, camps need to engage parents to keep their families coming back year after year. Now that you know why it’s so important to keep parents in the loop, let’s take a look at the camp mobile app features that make them a great choice for increasing engagement.

1. Branding and Personalization

Presenting a cohesive brand identity is a must for camps. According to Fifty and Fifty, branding plays a crucial role in building an organization’s credibility. Additionally, 81% of consumers say that they need to trust a brand to consider buying from it, and strong branding has proven to increase revenue by up to 23%.

A robust camp engagement mobile app solution will allow you to brand the app to your camp, including elements like the:

  • App icon
  • Brand language
  • Language (e.g. English, Spanish, etc.)
  • Colors
  • Typography
  • Camp images

Parents can download your app from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, allowing them to interact with your camp before their children even head off for the summer. With cohesive graphics and branding, you’ll establish trust with parents and reassure them that they’ve made the right decision to send their children to your camp.

2. Real-Time Updates

Summer camp is bittersweet for parents. They understand that they’re sending their kids to gain new experiences and have a fun summer, but they also know that they’ll miss and worry about them. With a camp engagement mobile app, you can alleviate their concerns with real-time updates.

Keep parents informed of camp activities with your mobile app’s:

  • Updates. Post quick daily updates to inform parents about what happened in camp that day so that they always have a general idea of what their children are doing.
  • Newsletters. In addition to daily updates, you might choose to post weekly newsletters with that week’s highlights. For example, you could say that campers participated in a capture-the-flag tournament or camp singalong. Include images of the campers as well to show parents the good time that they are having.
  • SMS and push notifications. Let parents know whenever you’ve posted an update or newsletter with SMS or push notifications. That way, they can immediately click on the notification and view your update without any delay, staying in the loop with the fun times that their campers are having.

On top of engaging parents during the camp season, updates and newsletters are a great tool to keep your camp top of mind even after summer is over. You can use this feature to inform parents of upcoming registration deadlines, new activities coming to camp next year, and your fundraising campaigns. By doing so, you’ll remind parents of your dedication to creating a great camp experience for their children, increasing the likelihood that they re-enroll.

3. Photo Galleries

Photo galleries are another mobile engagement app feature you can leverage to maximize engagement with parents. With them, you can post high-quality photos of campers having fun and participating in camp activities. Parents can view the galleries and see their children in action, reinforcing the value of your camp experience.

Additionally, some solutions offer additional features that enhance the photo gallery feature. For example, CIRCUITREE’s camp software includes facial recognition software that parents can opt into. If they do, they’ll receive a notification every time photos of their camper are uploaded to the gallery. That way, they know exactly when to check the app to see their child’s smiling face.

4. Communications with Campers

Most camps don’t allow campers to use technology, as they are electronics-free. However, it can be difficult for campers and parents to go without communicating with one another for the entire session. Some camps offer a way for parents and campers to communicate through their mobile app.

Don’t worry—campers don’t need to use their cell phones to participate. This is how it works:

  1. You ask campers to handwrite letters to their families.
  2. You scan these letters and upload them to your mobile app.
  3. Parents view their camper’s letter and write a response in the app.
  4. You print out the parent’s response and deliver it to the camper.

With this system, you can help campers stay in touch with their parents. Campers will share their fun experiences and stories with their parents, showing they’re having a meaningful and enriching experience at your camp. And in turn, parents will understand the value that you can bring their children, making them more likely to re-enroll in the future.

Don’t rely solely on campers to communicate to their parents about the quality of their camp experience. Take matters into your own hands by implementing parent engagement strategies. With a mobile app, you’ll keep parents in the loop and strengthen your relationships, creating a stronger camp community and acquiring more re-enrollments.