A Visual "Hint" for Reaching New Parents

You Must Be Objective When 

It's very difficult because you love camp, the people, the place and the work that you do.  But we all know that if you want to move your total camp experience to consistent excellence, you must be willing to critically assess all aspects of your business.

During the New Year, I am going to ask you to focus on one element a month that will help you heighten your marketing and programmatic performance to increase retention and referrals.  Are you ready for the challenge?


  • Look at your brochure and website photos.  Ignore the usually verbose, accompanying copy and focus on the visuals.  What do they communicate to parents and moms especially?  What do they say to kids?  How do they tell the story of what you do at camp and how valuable the experience is for each camper?  According to parents in focus groups, pictures of smiling, posing kids are a 'waste of space'.  Moms want visuals into which they can place their kids and envision accomplishment, social connections and confidence.  Check out the attached pics of Sammy and Jenna courtesy of YSSC and SHDC.  These two photographs are consistently selected by parents who say they make the camp experience come alive through Sammy's pride of accomplishment and Jenna's total engagement.  (For more, read the attached article by Gary Forster.)
  • Replace pics or make plans to get better ones.  Identify your weakest visuals and at least on your website, swap them out with more resonating options.  If you just don't have better ones now, plan for a professional photographer to be with you this summer in addition to activating talented staff to help capture the essence of your camp experience.  If you are going to work with a professional, study their portfolio to confirm their ability to secure the type of visuals that you're seeking and arrange for options to rainy/cloudy days.  Staff photographers need to have the time to focus on the task.  They can't be expected to just snap pics as they do their other business.  For both professionals and amateurs, have a game plan before the summer and review visuals on a regular basis to confirm that you have the quality and subject coverage  that you want.

Do you need encouragement to go through this visual assessment?  If so, realize that the photographs you select are what intrigues unaffiliated parents to give you a call or to continue their journey through your website.


Want me to take a look at your visuals?  Give me a call at 310-451-1876 or email campconsulting@verizon.net

(Note from Travis:   We are so thrilled to be posting the always brilliant HINTS from camp consultant Joanna Warren Smith!  If you don't already you should sign up to receive theses HINTS in your email - in the right-hand column of Joanna's website: http://camp-consulting.com/)


Summer Camp Photographer - Camp Kintail

Camp Photos for Marketing Purposes

Camp Kintail is an ever growing Presbyterian Church Camp on the eastern shore of Lake Huron.  Kintail is my first summer home - as many long-term listeners and readers will know I grew up there (so did my mom & her brothers and my grandparents).   It is always a special time for me to get to go back to Kintail and shoot for them every year.

If you are interested in professional photography to help improve the image of your website, blog, newsletter or brochure please contact me.