Over the past 15 years or so I have so involved in the marketing end of "parks and recreation" that I hardly ever get the time to experience those endless benefits for myself. Although, like most parents, I'm great about helping my son take advantage of all the "parks and recreation" he can fit into his busy schedule; it seems I've become nothing more than a "park and recreation" chauffeur. (Raise you hands if you can relate, Moms and Dads.)
Well, this summer all of that has changed. I'm proud to say that I have jumped into the benefits of "parks and recreation" feet first -- literally. While my eight-year old is along for the ride, I and am spending three glorious weeks in the Blue Ridge Mountains as the on-site marketing consultant for Eagle's Nest Camp. Nice gig, huh?
So far, I've spent three whole nights at Eagle's Nest Camp and have had a great time. I've met a whirlwind of campers, parents and counselors who have begun teaching me the camp lingo and culture. As a suburban baby-boomer I think I'm holding my own pretty darn well. Granted, I'm not roughing it -- I have a comfy twin bed with clean sheets I brought from home, by own squishy pillow, screens on the windows to keep out critters, and really good coffee from a local roaster in town. I even admit I went to the local WalMart and bought some very non-organic, generic sugar substitute to sweeten my coffee. I have my computer, a wireless connection and my yoga DVDs. Life is good. Right now I'm sitting on the back porch just off the staff lounge where I'm blogging and caffeinating among the sounds of nature -- chirping birds, cicadas and laughing campers. Ahhhh -- the sounds of summer. My porch feels like a tree-house as it is about 50 feet off the ground nestled in a grove of pine and oak trees.
I see marketing opportunities everywhere and plan to share as many as possible, here, on my blog. And while your park and recreation agency may offer day camps, rather than residential programs, the ideas will work for you, too.
My latest post is called "Counselors as Recruiters" and includes valuable survey questions you should ask your staff to help them help you better attract campers, customers and other great staff... Read more