News & Feature Updates
The Camp Channel is pleased to announce the recent implementation of SSL security to the entirety of the campchannel.com domain, as well as its other more specialized directories located at:
https://www.VerySpecialCamps.com (Special Needs)
https://www.CampRentalChannel.com (Camp Rentals)
While the Camp Channel does not gather or retain sensitive information from visitors seeking a camp (such as credit card or social security data), we believe an encrypted and secure site-wide digital interface provides an increased level of security and trust for all website activity and engagement.
Online since 1995, the Camp Channel strives to maintain its position and reputation as a leader in camp search.
The Camp Channel is excited to welcome in the New Year with the release of an updated version of our Job Board: featuring improved navigational components and a more uniform format that is helpful to visitors using mobile devices who are searching for a summer camp job.
Information about a wide variety of camp staff positions is now more accessible with fewer clicks and scrolling; offering a more standardized and easily readable format to more readily evaluate information at a glance.
If you are seeking employment at a summer camp, we encourage you to stop by and take a look at many fun and rewarding camp job openings for the summer of 2018.
It is time to plan for the summer of 2018 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 2019 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.
Are you searching for a facility to host a wedding, company outing, family reunion, or other large event? Many summer camps rent their facilities before and after their primary camp sessions to groups looking to host various events and functions.
Our newly upgraded website – specifically dedicated to camp rentals – has recently received several feature enhancements to improve usability on both desktops and mobile devices.
If you are camp director and would like to list your group rental on CampRentalChannel.com, you are welcome to view our listing options and sign up by visiting:
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. ï¿½Upon 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):
- Directory Name
- Web Address of Directory
- Date of Last Update (of your listing)
- Method or Location To Update (and any login credentials)
- Listed Contact Name (of camp representative)
- Listed Email Address (of camp)
- Date of Any Photos or Logo (that appear within your listing)
- Camp Listing URL (as it appears within directory)
- Directory Email Address (for support)
- Special Restrictions, Allowances, General Notes
- Free or Paid
If you maintain a paid listing, you may also want to also include columns for:
- Start of Term
- End of Term
- Type of Listing
- Renewal Terms
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.