Summer camps give youth the chance to learn fundamental skills, meet high school coaches, and learn about your program. If this is your first time hosting a camp at your high school, know that this is a trial and error process. It will take time to gain traction, but staying consistent and preparing your staff is essential. This guide contains information, templates, prompts, and resources to aid you in your planning process.
#1: What is your budget?
Before starting the planning process, it’s essential to create a healthy budget suitable for your organization’s goals. To help you keep track of your revenue and expenses, ScoreVison put together an excel sheet you can use as a template. Simply download the sheet and start plugging in numbers for each item.
#2: Prepare a Registration Form and Liability Waiver.
You must have a Registration Form and a Liability Waiver ready for individuals interested in participating at your camp. They will need to have both filled out before arriving on the first day. Consider creating them on a platform like Google Form to distribute the forms. You can share a link through your advertising, and people can register right away. Methods of sharing the link may include pasting it on your social media bio, generating a QR code on printed advertising, or emailing the link to your contacts at local middle schools. You may already have these forms generated if you’ve hosted a camp before. In case you haven’t, here’s a list of what others have included on their registration form:
- First & Last Name
- Zip Code
- Phone Number
- T-Shirt Size
- Years of Experience
- Parent/Guardian’s Name
- Parent/Guardian’s Phone Number (Cell)
- Parent/Guardian’s Phone Number (Work)
- Parent/Guardian’s Email Address
- Emergency Contact Name
- Emergency Contact Number
As for a liability waiver, ScoreVision is not responsible for the recommended use of a specific waiver, but there are plenty of online options. Simply search “sports camp liability waiver” and find what other school’s have used for their summer sports camp. Don’t forget, if your organization would like to use images or videos taken of participants for future advertising, you will need to include a statement about permitting the use of media content obtained. We have provided a list of online sources for you to check out below:
- St. Ignatius Basketball Camp Waiver (Includes Advertising on Website and Social Media Platforms)
- University of Houston - Organization Documents
#3: Create a Checklist & Schedule.
You’re only a few steps away from a successful camp. Before we move any further, you’ll need to create a schedule and plan of action. Setting up a schedule can be tricky. You will want to consider the number of days you want your sports camp to run and the hours of the day you want it to take place. In this case, we decided to create a schedule for a 3-day camp from 8:00 AM to Noon. We’ve created a template you can use to create your schedule below.
Before your camp begins, create a checklist of items you need to have ready. Include equipment, welcome packages, name tags, nutritious snacks, hydration beverages, first aid kits, cool-down supplies (fans, misters, etc.), tables, chairs, clipboards, whistles, etc.
Here’s a list of resources we recommend you check out to discover drills for play & conditioning:
#5: Contact potential sponsors.
Contact local businesses in your area who may be willing to sponsor your camp. Such as your local groceries, sporting goods stores, banks, restaurants, sports performance/training facilities, etc. You never know who might be willing to contribute so you can take your camp to the next level. Create an advertising package to offer:
- Advertising on LED Scoreboards during Scrimmage / Final Showcase
- Include Sponsor Logos on Advertising Materials for Registration
- Ask Sponsors if they’d like to contribute a branded item to the athlete’s welcome bag. (i.e., Water bottle, stickers, drawstring bag, gift cards, coupons, etc.)
- Photo Booth Back-drop with Sponsorship Logo
Contacting business owners and asking for sponsorship can be overwhelming for some coaches. You can use the letter below to make the ask. If you’re not comfortable with this format, you’re encouraged to reach out to your athletic director and ask for support. They may have made similar requests before. You can email or mail the letter below, but make sure a follow-up call is made three days following initial contact. The proof is in the follow-up.
#6: Invite a guest speaker.
Your athletes will benefit from the knowledge of a relatable individual from the area, and alumni will benefit from the added exposure and experience working with youth. Who are your alumni? If you have a recent graduate playing at the collegiate or professional level, consider contacting them and asking if they’d be interested in speaking at your camp. You may need to offer compensation for their participation with the recent developments in NIL endorsements, but you might be able to find a sponsor willing to donate the funds. Sometimes it’s better to approach them with specific requests.
This is about teaching youth the fundamentals, but it’s also an opportunity to inspire them. It might help you boost exposure and promote your athletic program. If the camp is large enough and your guest speaker is a well-known player, you may want to contact the local newspaper or TV stations.
#7: Ask your athletes to volunteer.
Since this camp is an opportunity for youth to know your team, you should consider asking your high school athletes to act as volunteers. Many of your local middle school kids will enjoy working with their role models, and your high school athletes will learn how to set a good example, become leaders, and demonstrate responsibility. I would ask a photographer to take photos of your athletes volunteering. Coaches don’t just recruit off talent; they pay attention to character.
#8: Advertise your camp.
Once you have your camp figured out, you’ll want to raise awareness by advertising on local radio and tv stations, your local newspaper, etc. Social media is a very powerful marketing tool you can use as well. If you have access to the Adobe Creative Suites, you can create your graphics for advertising your camp. However, if you have to do this yourself and have little experience in graphic design, Canva is a great low-cost and easy-to-use resource. You can select different templates, change the text, add logos, and replace photos. If you’re a ScoreVision school or school district and your facility is used for youth leagues during the summer, create an advertisement for your camp to place on your boards.
We hope you found this guide helpful. Our team is here to support you. We will be sharing tips and tricks all summer long. If you’re interested in learning more about ScoreVision, you can fill out the form below, and your regional director will be in touch.