Summer camp registration usually gets started in late winter or early spring. However, there are always those parents who wait until the last minute. If you are still using a paper system to register and enroll campers, it may be time to make the switch to software to capture those latecomers and ease the way for everyone.
Camp registration software automates most of the registration and enrollment process, eliminating paper and making it more convenient for parents and your staff to handle payment and documentation.
Also, a cloud-based summer camp management software offers other perks that can help your business flourish.
Summer Camp Registration Software: An Overview
Summer camp software takes your manual, paper-based registration system and automates it so your clients can register, enroll, and pay for your camp online.
Your paper process probably looks something like this:
- Parent requests paper forms in the mail or prints them from your website.
- Parent fills out paper forms and drops them off at your office or mails them via the US Postal Service along with a check for registration.
- Your staff receives the forms several days later and spends hours typing the information into a database or transferring the data to other forms, then filing the originals.
- The checks are taken to the bank and deposited. You must wait until they clear before the money hits your accounts.
- You notify the parents via email, phone, or more snail mail that their child is registered. If anything is missing, your client must wait for your letter to find out and furnish it.
How long does this entire process take and how many errors occur during transcription? How many documents are lost or never arrive that are required for your campers to attend?
- Parent visits your website and creates a log-in to the registration software.
- Parent fills in all the information required for registration and enrollment.
- Parent uploads any other required documents like immunization records.
- Parent pays with a credit card, bank draft, or other online payment.
- Nobody on your staff must sit and transfer information, and the registration funds go directly into your accounts without a trip to the bank.
Doesn’t that sound a lot easier? Everything is completed in a few minutes. The parents don't have to fill out forms by hand and deliver or mail them. Payment is completed online, so you don't need to deposit a check and wait for it to clear. Parents know immediately if their child is enrolled.
Benefits of Summer Camp Registration Software
You can see the benefits just from looking at the difference between the manual and automated process, but let’s take things a bit at a time.
It Simplifies the Process
Camp registration software makes the process extremely simple and straightforward. You can use the software not only to simplify registration but to improve your marketing, too. By promoting online registration on your website and in your marketing materials, you are differentiating your business from competitors and attracting busy parents who prefer not to use paper and pen.
Not only is registration and enrollment automated, but also you have access to a wealth of reports that can be customized to your specific business needs. The data is available in real time from a centralized database. There is no need for duplication within the system, which cuts down on further errors.
It Streamlines Registration
Simpler registration is faster registration. More than that, the software makes it easier to offer early registration discounts and incentives tied to specific dates of enrollment or groups of children.
Referrals are also streamlined. You can tie a referral bonus back to the parent who made it as well as automatically apply any discounts or other incentives to the new client as well as the referring client.
It Eliminates Errors
Anytime you or your staff must transcribe information, you can introduce an error into your system. In a paper system, you may transfer the same information to multiple files and reports. Each transfer creates an opportunity for an error that is perpetuated from then on throughout your system.
Nothing can make a parent more irate than being asked to correct the same issue, only to be notified later that they must fix it again, even though the fault is not theirs. If the process is automated, the information is entered once into a central database. Every other application pulls data from there, so no errors are introduced. Everything is completely secure.
You Can Accept Multiple Payment Methods
Summer camp software allows you to take payment in more ways than a check. Parents can pay online using a credit or debit card, or they can set up a bank draft (ACH). If you have campers who receive subsidized enrollment funds, camp registration software can accept agency payments and credit them to the correct account.
With a paper system, everything is done in batches. Even if you register on a first come/first served basis, it’s hard to keep track of the dates on everything. You may not realize you are overbooked until camp is almost ready to start.
A cloud-based system can be set to allow a specific number of enrollments after which the camp is marked as closed. You can start a wait-list with automatic notification of openings and gather data to make business decisions about the next camp season.
If you have a camp that is not filling up, you can make it easy for parents to find and promote it more heavily to make your numbers.
Retain Every Record Securely
As a children's camp, you are required to retain any number of records from the child's personal information to immunization records. Every record can be uploaded to the database, and you can set the system to provide an automated notification if any documents are missing or expired.
Through a parent portal, the system can make records requests via email or other messaging, and allow parents to upload the record from their home or office.
Summer camp software lets parents know your organization is all about the kids, not the paperwork. Eliminate errors, track data, and get paid quickly by automating your processes. The easier you can make registration and payment, the better your clients (and your staff) will like it.