It’s finally camp season — and while the past two years have been less than ideal for campers and parents, things have started to turn around. Most summer camps are expecting a return to full enrollment this summer, and while there might be a higher headcount this year, many of the safety protocols established during peak COVID will still benefit your camp.
One of these conveniences is using online forms, which provide a great way to register campers, accept payments, collect important medical information, and more. Though filling out paper forms in person is possible now that social distancing measures have eased, there’s really no reason not to continue going digital-first this year.
Here are six reasons why online forms should stick around for good at your summer camp.
1. They’re environmentally friendly
If you work at a summer camp, you probably have an appreciation for the outdoors, and what better way to respect nature than by using less paper? Not only are needless paper copies bad for the environment, they also take up extra space in your office.
Speaking of offices, how many people have retired their home printers over the past few years? Quite a few of us, for sure. Online forms allow you to ditch the paper, printers, and pricey ink cartridges and collect all the information you need right from the web.
2. They streamline the registration process
All of the details required to enroll your campers can be collected quickly and easily through online forms. Names, ages, contact info, and even payments can be submitted digitally and stored in your online form’s database.
When you move onto collecting medical information, you can use the same form builder to create and send a form. Since you’ll most likely be sending arrival information by email anyway, it’s easier to do so when the emails can be sent in batches using automation features that come pretty standard with online form builders.
3. They keep everything organized digitally
If you’ve been managing a camp for a number of years, chances are you once kept numerous filing cabinets of registration forms, medical packets, training resources, and everything else required to run a camp.
Thanks to online forms, that level of clutter is a thing of the past. It’s easy to get bogged down with physical paperwork, and let’s face it — we’d all rather be outside with the campers than in an office relabeling folder tabs.
An online form builder will allow you to collect all of your data and store it in one easy-to-navigate place. You can quickly tab through sheets of your campers’ info, pull up a parent’s phone number, and double-check any medical records just by doing a quick search.
4. They allow for quick updates and rebranding
Even if your camp has been around for decades and built up quite a following, there’s no reason you can’t keep things fresh and rebrand your forms once in a while. Maybe you’re offering new activities or you’ve added new locations to your summer camp. Online forms make it much easier to do everything from a simple line update to a total rebrand of your marketing materials.
Many online form builders allow for total customization of your forms, so you can ensure your camp stands out among the many other choices parents and children have when it comes to their summer vacation.
5. They have multiple uses beyond registration
The number-one selling point of keeping online forms beyond the pandemic has to be the overall convenience for everyone involved in your camp. Parents have enough things to worry about each day, so if you send a simple link to access their child’s registration form, it will probably be very much appreciated.
But one thing camps might not realize is how useful online forms are even after the registration process. If you’re using an online form tool to collect your campers’ information, why not use it for staff applications too? Your camp can certainly find many ways to use online forms, whether it’s for training, schedule creation, or even paying your camp counselors.
6. They can help improve your camp experience in the future
It’s clear from the reasons above that online forms can help make camp life a little easier immediately, but what about in years to come? That’s where feedback forms come in. Once you’ve finished your camp for the summer, you can use the same online form builder to send feedback forms as a way to collect essential data points on how your camp performed.
Once a camper leaves your site, getting them to remember to send a follow-up email or fill out a physical feedback form is nearly impossible. But if you send a simple link to an online form with a quick rating scale, most people will take five minutes to complete the form.
Securing a great online form builder will benefit your entire camp’s operations, and your campers and staff will definitely notice the convenience.
Photo by Anderson Schmig on Unsplash.
Periodically, the American Camp Association (ACA) makes timely and relevant information about products and services available to its members so they can make informed decisions for their camps. However, the ACA does not endorse products, services, or companies.