One of the hardest parts of growing up is being unable to go to camp anymore. While you're still able to go yourself or to send your kids, do it!
If you're not, then maybe it's time to take our summertime challenge.
Alexa and Ben, two Camp Network employees, are doing it right along with you!
Day 1: Nature
Today's challenge is to complete a nature scavenger hunt without ever entering the woods!
Alexa and Ben took to the farmer's market to complete the challenge.
Day 2: Athletics
One of the best parts of camp is the chance to be active in a novel and fun way. Today's challenge is to do just that.
Alexa and Ben took to the park for something new: outdoor yoga.
Their conclusion? Yoga in the park is the lunch break of champions.
Day 3: Art
Just like camp provides avenues for its campers to try new athletic pursuits, it also widens their artistic horizons.
For the final day of the Camp Network Summertime Challenge, we are going all out. Today's challenge is to learn a new campfire song AND create a piece of art. Don't stress if it's not perfect; the point is to try something new!
Alexa and Ben took their favorite camp songs and taught them to each other. Alexa learned the "Baby Shark Song" and taught Ben "Three Flying Buzzards" which apparently isn't a real song. "Three Chartreuse Buzzards" however is. The world is a strange place.
To complete the challenge, each drew an image according to their own artistic interest and capabilities.
Camp Network Summertime Challenge
Two of our employees brought camp to the city this week. Will you?
*disclaimer: As Greg Dzurik says, if someone cracked Google’s code, they’d be a millionaire. The algorithm constantly changes, but here are a few tips and tricks to set you on the right track.
Create Valuable Content. Search engines are businesses which seek to provide users the most relevant websites for their search criteria. The reason they create complex algorithms and SEO exists is to do this. No other advice on this page matters if your content is not valuable. Depending on your audience, “value” could mean being entertaining, practical, approachable, cool, or something else.
Choose a Keyword and Use It Often. Figure out that valuable “one thing” your website is about, determine what word or phrase best describes that, and use it often. Use it in your website title, domain name, description, headers, page titles, body text, etc. Make your purpose clear to search engines. SEOmark.co.uk does this well. In their header alone, they use the keyword “SEO” 7 times.
Have Others Link To You. This is arguably the most important aspect of SEO. Search engines love websites other websites love. The easiest way to have others link to your website is to create content worthy of sharing and establish a platform through which to share it (e.g. social linking buttons). Alternatively, you can reach out to other websites. For instance, a school may post a link for a local camp if asked. Some websites may link to your page upon request and others may allow you to guest author a post to the same end.
Link To Relevant Websites. You can do this by including hyperlinks inside articles, having a resource page, or in whichever manner works best for your needs. The important thing is to only include links people will click. An unclicked link just provides a proverbial vote for another website’s SEO. An oft clicked link helps search engines consider you an authority in your field.
Never Consider Your Website Finished. Active websites get better search results. This is the reason blogs with dynamic content and large directories (like Wikipedia or Monster) appear so high on search engines. They have relevant new content constantly being added.
That being said:
Do Not Change Your Domain Name. Although active websites do well, older urls are considered more authoritative and thus have better results.
Erratic Elements. Avoid different for the sake of different. When users visit your website, they have expectations. They expect the menu to be on the top or the left of the page. They expect to be able to click back to the homepage from anywhere on the site. They expect businesses to include a “contact us” section. If you’re going to break from online tradition, make sure you have a reason and that you are keeping your website user friendly.
No Platform Research. Don’t jump and use the first website design platform you see. Maybe it’s the best; most likely it isn’t. If you take the time to research which provider best suits your needs, you will be in a much better position when you’re ready to fully customize your website.
Too Much Text. While text is important—it’s what communicates valuable information—it’s visual dead space. Be sure to include images to break up the monotony. Choose images for their relevance and storytelling ability, not just space-taking ability. If you do use stock images, be careful which you choose. Some will tell your story perfectly; others will make your website a cliché. Don’t be a cliché.
Fluff Pages. Make sure all of your webpages offer something valuable. Don’t include fluffy filler pages. They will distract users and detract from your website’s professional image. When every page includes something valuable and interesting to your users, they will enjoy using your site, thus improving customer satisfaction, web traffic, and brand image.
Difficult to Read Text. Make your text easy to read so your users can focus on your message, not your formatting. Keep all text at an appropriate size and style for its role. Difficult to read colors, WordArt, overly animated titles, and small text are all examples of problematic text.
With 91% of consumers checking their inboxes at least once a day, email is one of the most effective media for reaching customers—potential and current—in a relevant and inexpensive manner. Fortunately, many companies do not know how to effectively use the medium, giving those who do a significant advantage.
Here are a few strategies to improve your email marketing and get a leg up on the competition:
Differentiate yourself. Over 830 billion marketing messages are sent through email each year—make yours stand out. No one wants to read a big block of generic text. Instead, use graphics and tone to make yourself not just another marketer.
Use Templates. Not only will using an email template save you time and effort when crafting emails, it creates a specific brand image. Craft a layout that is highly readable and communicates the tone and values of your brand, then use this layout for all consumer-facing email blasts. The consistent formatting means customers can focus on the message not design irregularities.
Link to Relevant Social Media. Rarely will customers post about your business on social media without prompting. By including social-sharing buttons in your email, you facilitate word-of-mouth marketing and brand engagement. Make sure to include links to relevant social media platforms. Different audiences engage with different media. Platforms to consider include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Flickr, and G+.
Optimize Your Emails For Mobile. 48% of emails are opened on mobile devices, but only 11% of emails are optimized for mobile viewing. Differentiate yourself by becoming the easily-accessible and consumer-friendly competitor. Not only will your customers appreciate the friction-free communication, but studies show that mobile-optimization leads to higher conversion rates.
Analyze Email Metrics. If you do not track views, bounces, click-throughs and other metrics, you are missing out on a simple and valuable opportunity to improve your ROI. Use the information you gain to adjust your strategy. Do emails with videos get more views? Add more videos! Do colorful links get more click-throughs? Bring out the color swatches! Since audiences vary in their needs, this allows you to target your emails to exactly what your audience has shown they want. They (and your profits) will thank you. (If you’re unfamiliar with how to track these statistics, this article can help.)
Your favorite club is the kind you hold? Instant best friend.
You know what “deke” means? Instant best friend.
That one aunt calling a basket a touchdown drives you crazy, too? Instant best friend.
Whether bonding comes from being equally opinionated on grass versus turf or from matching grass stains on your shorts, being at sports camp means making great friends fast. Sharing enthusiasm over a common interest and a common goal when competing makes for great, quick friendships.
Escaping the “Comfort Bubble”
Everyone has trapped themselves inside the “comfort bubble” at some point, trying only the things they know they’ll like. The problem with that? No one tries anything new, even if it could become their number one passion!
Sports camp fixes that. Campers each come with their own skillset and interests, as do the staff. But when everyone shares their favorite games, moves or plays, they all learn a little more. It’s a chance to get outside their comfort zone surrounded by others doing the same. What better way to burst that bubble?
Memories that Last a Lifetime
Bunking with strangers. Eating s’mores at oh dark thirty. The cool coach you couldn’t wait to correct you. Grinning when you first complete that tricky drill. Jumping in the lake to cool off on a hot day. Literally running into your new best friend. Cramming 15 people on a bench at lunch. The end of the summer when you wish for anything you were back at camp because, for all the sweat, dirt, and long days, you wouldn’t trade your experience for anything.
With all benefits of attending a summer sports camp, why would you not go? It’s so easy!
1. Find your camp, whether that means attending that camp your friend loved last summer, looking through Yelp reviews for the best, or getting a recommendation from a coach.
2. Sign up! Find out how your program handles registrations. If you’re lucky, they’ll have a quick and easy online way to sign up.
3. Get ready for the best summer of your life! As you pack, check our forgotten essentials list and your camp’s communications to see if there’s anything special you need to bring. Enjoy!
Camp Network is excited to announce our Camp Counselor Appreciation Scholarship Program!
Camp Network’s rapid growth over the last several years has allowed us to establish a Camp Counselor Appreciation Scholarship for rising college freshman. The winning recipients will receive $1,000 scholarships for their college tuition. Camp staffs across the country sacrifice their time and energy each year and we would like to reward a select few counselors that exhibit the following characteristics: Humility, Passion, Unity, Servanthood, and Thankfulness.
How To Apply
Please create a short, exciting video (3-5 minutes max) that explains your experience as a camp counselor, how you exhibit the 5 qualities above, and how you intend to use your college degree.
Upload your video to DropBox.com, YouTube, Vimeo, or another reputable file sharing service (make sure the visibility is set to public).
To submit your application send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include your full name, school year, name of the college you plan to or are already attending, and a link to your video.
Note: By submitting this form you agree to allow Camp Network to use your video for promotional purposes.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the application deadline?
The deadline for entry is November 1, 2016, 11:59 pm EST.
When will the scholarship funds be available?
The funds will be available for semesters starting in 2017.
Are these scholarships renewable?
No, it is a single semester scholarship. New scholarships will be available each year.
How are the winners determined?
The winning submissions will be applicants who exemplify the qualities above and have a track record of helping others.
When will winners be selected? How will they be notified?
Winners will be selected by December 31, 2016. Camp Network will notify the winners by email. In the event the winners do not respond within 72 hours of the initial contact attempt a new winner will be chosen.
What about eligibility verification?
Prior to collecting the scholarship award the winners will be required to verify their school status, GPA, and other eligibility requirements.
How can the scholarship be used?
The funds may be used for tuition at an accredited university or used to cover other educational expenses at an accredited university.
20 Ways to use social media for your camp
The camp season is officially underway! With registrations still pouring in, we thought it would be helpful to share our favorite social media tips (courtesy of Forbes):
1. Choose the right platform
2. Use analytics
3. Post timely
4. Build a relationship
5. Use images
6. Make social media special
7. Only bite off as much as you can chew
8. Don’t treat it like a personal site
9. Hire a social media manager
10. Know when to call it quits
11. Build business alliances
12. Don’t entertain the trolls
13. Don’t sync your phone
14. Don’t use it as a sales platform
15. Flesh out your profile
16. Build social media into your business plan
17. Make fans want to see your posts
18. Make it easy to share
19. Strike a personal/professional balance
20. Grammar matters
Camp Network provides online registration, website design, and marketing for camps, clinics, tournaments, and more. We work with some of the biggest universities and organizations in the country because we offer a quick, simple, and an extremely affordable solution. We automate the whole registration process so you and your staff can focus on running the event.