It is time to plan for the summer of 2017 at camp and update your listing on the Camp Channel.
Camp directors are encouraged to update your camp’s listing(s) on the Camp Channel with respect to any time sensitive information which might be different for next year such as dates, rates, and other programming changes. Click on the “Camp Directors” button in order to submit any modifications. You are welcome to update your information as often as necessary.
For more information about why it is a good idea to create a comprehensive and organized plan to update as much information as possible about your camp or program which resides on the internet, please read the following article:
If you are a prospective camper or parent seeking a summer camp for the summer of 2017 please keep in mind that many camps have yet to provide their updated information for next summer. It is always recommended that you contact a summer camp directly for the most up to date and accurate information.
A new tool has been recently installed to allow visitors to more effectively look at photos and other multi-media elements housed within camp listings and search results.
The lightbox photo interface is a more elegant system to display photos; helping to minimize viewer distraction by isolating the target image from other elements which may appear within the viewer’s display. Upon clicking a smaller “thumbnail” photo, a larger full-sized version of the image is presented; overlayed & centered upon an opaque background — providing an optimal contrast to facilitate an improved focus of attention in regard to the photo content.
Viewing photos on a mobile device via lightbox is now more user friendly than our previous system – which had relied upon opening a new browser popup window to display multi-media.
We are excited to announce the release of a new feature to our Keyword Search: the ability to filter & narrow search results according to location, camp type, and gender. This new feature is especially useful when trying to wade through a long list of results on a mobile device and generally improves efficiency for all platforms – including desktop computers.
Please keep in mind: in addition to our Keyword Search, the Camp Channel offers several different methods and search tools designed to locate and discover programs which match your particular criteria and interests:
At one end of the spectrum, our Full Camp Search offers the ability to define your search criteria with great detail and precision. Alternatively, you are also able to peruse the Camp Channel’s directory structure by browsing according to location or program emphasis. Likewise, within any given U.S. State or Canadian Province page, you are able to perform an in depth state/province specific search.
Located somewhere in the “middle” of the spectrum of search tools offered on campchannel.com, our Keyword Search allows you to enter keywords and phrases of your choice – resulting in matches when corresponding listings contain such language within their descriptive text. Likewise, the Keyword Search allows you to look up the particular name of any given camp (be sure to check corresponding box). Generally speaking, the Keyword Search is a versatile and free form method which works “outside of the box” of our defined directory structure and is just one of several tools to assist in your camp search efforts.
Over the past six months, the Camp Channel has been rolling out a new Responsive web design (RWD) interface designed to improve viewing and functionality for visitors who utilize mobile devices and tablets to access the Camp Channel. In a nutshell, RWD adjusts how information is arranged and displayed on various sized screens.
We are excited to to be able to provide a more robust user experience for individuals who access the Camp Channel on devices other than desktop computers. While the initial launch of our new interface was both a significant and major overhaul to our directory of summer camps and programs, we anticipate several more subsequent releases to improve and refine appearance and functionality over the upcoming weeks and months leading up to the summer of 2016.
If you have any general or particular suggestions / thoughts you’d like to convey to us regarding our new design, please feel free to send us an email and we’ll be happy to consider your ideas for future implementation into our website design.
There are invariably a number of different locations your camp might have information published about itself on the internet: on one extreme, there is your camp’s official website where you have complete autonomy and control. On the other extreme, there are locations where information might appear about your camp which is completely beyond your control … such as user submitted review sites. Somewhere in the middle of these extremes, your camp might be listed within several specialty niche directories (i.e. campchannel.com, camppage.com, etc.). You may also find articles about your camp which appear inside online newspapers, magazines, and trade publications. It is possible you might not even be aware of all the various nooks and crannies information has surfaced on the web about your camp. In some cases, you might be able to easily update such information; however, in other instances you might be left with very little recourse.
The purpose of this article is to focus on sites which are typically under your control to some extent: in particular, web directories for summer camps. Given that information on the web can “live forever”, you might come across info about your camp on a directory site which is severely outdated or perhaps no longer applicable / relevant to your camp’s current program (i.e. – dates, rates, programs, etc.). Most camp directories will likely seek to maintain accurate information about all of it’s member camps, so there is in all likelihood a method provided to update your camp’s individual listing.
There is normally a link found on most camp directories specifically intended for Camp Directors which will typically provide details about how to update your listing. It is important to keep in mind that specialized camp directories operate differently in so far as how they’re setup in terms of: data structure, listing options, what information can be included within the listing, how specific fields are displayed, limits on the number of selections which can be denoted, what information can be displayed, whether multi-media elements can be included, free or paid, etc. So, while you might have a desire to simply email a fact sheet with all of your marketing material to all directories in hopes they’ll simply make the necessary modifications for you, it is important to understand that most directories don’t process info in such a way and more than likely will ask that you follow their specific procedure. So, it is ultimately up to you, as an authorized representative of your camp, to visit each directory individually in order to submit your information and be sure it is included appropriately according to the parameters of the respective website’s “way of doing things”.
For this reason (and others), it is recommended that you start a spreadsheet of all directory locations your camp might be listed and include the following columns (at a minimum):
If you maintain a paid listing, you may also want to also include columns for:
Obviously, there are many other columns you can opt to include which might assist you in managing your camp’s online presence within the directory space.
While you might be aware of several directory sites under which your camp appears, it is very possible there might be some which you are unaware. To help discover sites which might not be readily apparent, it is suggested that you perform at least a minimal “audit” to determine the extent to which information associated with your camp might be present on the web. Even spending an hour or two searching your camp’s exact name on your favorite search engine will likely reveal much useful information. TIP: if your camp’s actual name is somewhat generic (i.e. “Volleyball Camp”), it might be necessary to include a more specific identifier in your audit searches such as the city your camp resides (i.e. “Volleyball Camp Portland, OR”) in order to be able to better reveal information on the web about your camp.
In the course of your audit, try to harvest and include within your spreadsheet as much information as possible under the suggested column names listed above. It is up to you whether you’d like to update your directory listings “as you go”, or simply compile the information at first then go back and address each directory individually. Regardless, having this consolidated information will assist you in the near term and ultimately into the future … since invariably there will be a minimum of SOME information which changes about your camp which will need to be updated in subsequent seasons. Similarly, having such a spreadsheet to hand off to a new camp director can prove to be an invaluable peice of informatin in the case of staff turnover within your camp.
While looking through camp directory sites, one very common theme you might encounter is the case of a previous camp director or staff member having used their contact information – especially, their specific email address within your listing. Obviously, situations will vary from camp to camp; however, the summer camp market in general does reflect a relatively moderate to high degree of turnover at the senior staff level over the long term. So, it’s very possible you may have inherited the task of updating 6-12 different directory sites which currently reflect the old director’s email and other contact information. This is actually a relatively common issue if the camp or respective staff member made it a policy to utilize an individual’s email address (email@example.com) vs. that of “role” email address (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc.). The use of a “role” email address can reduce a lot of such issues related to turnover … since you can simply leave “email@example.com” in place throughout the web and simply internally route all email destined to firstname.lastname@example.org -> email@example.com (or whomever if Jane no longer works at camp in the future).
Another common issue relates to replacing an antiquated logo, video clips, or photos which might display campers or staff from several years ago (who are now much older), or who might be engaged in activities which are no longer offered or perhaps under a different set of safety regulations which might now require more stringent safeguards. So, it is important to keep track of your camp’s images and videos which appear on directories and be sure to evaluate their present day suitability and/or effectiveness.
While there are certainly many individual issues, perhaps the most important aspect of maintaining an organized and consolidated inventory of your camp’s presence on directory sites is ultimately being able to present camp families with accurate, up-to-date, and non-conflicting information about your camp.
If you haven’t already done so, please take a few minutes to update your camp’s listing on the Camp Channel.
Search or browse for sport camps on the Camp Channel via a new feature update. We’ve recently changed the title of the program emphasis formerly known as “Athletic Camp” to that of “Sport Camp”. We have found that visitors and camp director’s alike seem to prefer the new terminology pertains to the type of camp which offers youth sports as a primary program emphasis.
Visit our main directory index of sport camps.
Sports camps will also be indexed on each U.S. State or Canadian Province page as well as incorporated into our full interactive camp search.
Please keep in mind that whether you refer to such summer programs as either athletic camps or sports camps, they often vary in terms of the spectrum and scope of sports offered as well as the degree to which any given sport is of a particular focal point. It is often best to get in touch with the camp director to determine the precise nature of any given sports camp.
While searching or browsing the Camp Channel’s directory of summer camps, you may come across various maps displayed which are associated with a set of search results or a particular page such as a U.S. State or Canadian Province. You may also notice small colored markers positioned over various locations on such maps. These markers have numbers which correspond to the listing results displayed below the map and allow you to visually discern the locations of some of the camps listed on that page. Click on the link below for an example:
On the California state map displayed on the page above, if you click on any of the numbered markers you will notice a small popup window which contains summary information about the corresponding camp listing to the numbered result which appears in the list of all camps in California. Within the small popup window you may also see multi-media elements such as photo thumbnail images which appear alongside the summary information. Also within the small popup window, there is always a link to the listing’s full record titled “Click Here To View This Camp’s Complete Listing”. By clicking on this link you will be able to view the full record for that particular camp listing.
Please note that not all listings have markers which appear on any given map and that marker numbers corresponding to particular listings will change from page to page and even from search to search. Moreover, not all searches or pages have corresponding maps.
For those camp listings which do reflect a map location, you can access an individual map of their particular location directly from the search results by clicking on the small link titled “Map” directly under the button titled “More info” on the far right of all search results. Likewise, if you’re in the midst of viewing the full listing for any given camp, you can also access an individual map (if present) of their particular location by clicking on the link titled “View Map” which appears on the right hand side of the aqua/blue bar at the top of the listing. Similar to viewing a camp’s individual map directly from the search results, this will invoke a small popup window reflecting the camp’s location; however, since there is only a single location denoted, the marker does not have a number in this case.
Wishing campers, parents, everyone in the summer camp community / family a very happy and healthy New Year! Hopefully, the summer of 2012 at camps across the United States and the rest of the world will be one of great joy, learning, growth, and an experience to be remembered throughout our lives.
It’s never too early to start planning for the summer. About this time of the year, camp directors become much more immersed in fielding inquiries about summer camp and would be happy to respond to your questions and certainly welcome your interest. Feel free to browse / search the Camp Channel’s directory of summer camps and either call, email, or visit any particular camp’s website for more information about the summer of 2012!
Happy New Year!
We’ve recently released a few improvements to the Camp Channel’s layout and appearance which we hope will make it easier for you to find a summer camp for you or your child to attend; or, with respect to finding that perfect summer camp job as a camp counselor!
The following features have been added to the Camp Channel recently:
– the width of the content area on the vast majority of pages was increased by about 30%, allowing for more information to appear on your screen at first glance
– new navigational buttons provide a more user friendly interface
– new font style for clarity
Look for new feature releases as well as more comprehensive functionality improvement releases in the future.
The Camp Channel would like to thank all of the summer camp directors, camp staff, event organizers, and all attendees of the 2010 Western Association of Summer Camps (WAIC) Conference held this year in Pismo Beach, California.
Not only was the location on the cliffs of the pacific coastline a spectacular setting, it has always been a pleasure to participate as an exhibitor and exchange ideas and experiences regarding summer camps and the internet … this year was no exception.
Moreover, it is always encouraging to witness the high level of professionalism and dedication by the camp directors of WAIC camps who continually seek to improve their respective programs by attending interactive and educational sessions – often presented by experts in their respective fields. Equally impressive is the cooperative spirit which permeates the Western Association Of Independent Camps – including camps who are “technically” considered competitors – in order to cross-pollinate & exchange ideas which as a whole will surely be greater than the sum of it’s parts.
The Camp Channel is looking forward to exhibiting at the WAIC conference in 2011 and is always grateful for the opportunity to participate with such a dedicated organization.