Camp Management Software: A Complete Guide + 7 Top Solutions
Running a camp, while rewarding, is a complex undertaking. There’s a lot to keep track of, from payments to healthcare forms to group registrations. Staying organized can be challenging, but if you invest in the right tools, it can ease the burden on your team members.
In particular, camp management software streamlines camp operations and provides a better experience for campers. From improving the registration process to enhancing staff training, investing in comprehensive camp management software is an excellent step for a camp’s continued growth.
To help you determine what camp management software is right for you, this guide will cover the following topics:
- Why Use Dedicated Camp Management Software?
- Considerations For Purchasing Camp Management Software
- Features To Look For In Camp Management Software
- 7 Top Camp Management Software Solutions
With great camp management software, you’ll be able to give your campers an experience they’ll never forget and keep them coming back year after year. Let’s get started!
Why Use Dedicated Camp Management Software?
From an outside perspective, managing a camp might not seem like that big of a job. However, as a seasoned camp leader, you know that it’s more complicated than it seems. You need to ensure your programming is in tip-top shape, hire the best staff members possible, and attract new campers while welcoming back old campers—and that’s all before the actual summer begins!
Choosing a dedicated camp management software solution will simplify and optimize all of your camp’s processes and actions. Consider these top benefits:
- Efficient registration. Ensure that you’re collecting all the necessary information to get a camper signed up for your summer camp. Make it easy for parents by allowing them to easily search for the perfect camp program for their children and complete or upload the forms and waivers needed to sign up.
- Easy-to-manage accounts. Registrants will be able to look back at their payments, make necessary changes, and register for multiple programs at once through the parent portal. The process will remain streamlined and convenient for parents.
- Effective parent communications. With full communication capabilities, you can automate, schedule, and even customize emails with parents. Keep them in the loop by automating emails about when forms and payments are due, and increase the excitement for your camp by sending sneak peek emails leading up to drop-off day.
- Centralized data. Never lose track of your campers’ information again by keeping your data in the cloud with camp management software. That information will always be available and up-to-date, and you can access it anywhere you want to help improve your campers’ experiences.
- Staff onboarding and evaluations. Streamline staff onboarding by investing in software that allows you to automate the application and interview process. And, after you’ve hired an applicant, make sure your software allows you to store staff evaluations to help you improve your camp experience.
- Comprehensive reports. The more comprehensive your management software is, the better your reports will be. If your camp management platform handles everything from registration to communication to programming, you can create reports on each of these engagements. This is great to compare various strategies and pinpoint areas for improvement and areas of success!
- Customer support. With a comprehensive camp management software solution, you only have to contact one support line to fix an issue. Seek out software providers that offer quality customer service and have a library of videos and other resources that you can reference if you feel lost.
With all your processes and tools contained in a single summer camp management software platform, it’s easier to manage your entire program, campers, and staff. Each decision you make and task you perform will build off data collected in one centralized database. This will greatly improve the efficiency of your camp’s operations.
Considerations For Purchasing Camp Management Software
Choosing your camp management software is a big decision since it’ll entirely change the way your camp operates. To help you make that decision, here are a few things to consider as you evaluate potential options:
- All-in-one solution. Using one platform to manage all of your camp’s needs will help track and streamline all your processes. Consider investing in a centralized platform that will serve all your needs, including registrations, donations, communications, staffing and HR, rentals and retreats, and more.
- User-friendliness. If you’re investing your funds in a software solution, you want it to be easy to use to prevent frustration and wasted resources. Evaluate the user-friendliness of software by checking out the reviews to see how other organizations feel about it.
- Customizability. Your camp has unique branding, and you want to make sure that you stand out among other camps. Check that your camp management software solution allows you to customize and personalize your camp website with your own content and branding.
- Integrations. If you’re already using a tool that you love and don’t want to part with, check to see if potential software solutions integrate with that tool. That way, you can easily merge the workflows between the two solutions.
- Data security. In the camp industry, staff members have access to a lot of sensitive information, from credit card numbers to camper medical records. Your camp management software should be compliant with data security policies to keep camp and customer information secure.
- Scalability. All camps have room to grow, and your software solution should grow with you. Especially if you’re a smaller camp organization with a tighter budget, choose a provider that offers the features you need and the features you’ll want in the future. Add those features to your plan later to help facilitate your camp’s growth.
- Case studies and demos. Check out the case studies for camp management software you’re considering to see how similar organizations have benefited from their partnership. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, don’t be afraid to schedule demos to get a better understanding of how the software works and whether it’s the right fit for your camp.
There are a lot of factors for you to keep in mind when choosing your camp management software. It’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed. Just keep in mind that your camp management software should not only support your program needs and collect essential data, but it should also support campers to have the best summer they can. A big part of determining that is examining which features the software offers.
Features To Look For In Camp Management Software
Camp management software comes with many different features. To make it easier for you, we’ve broken them down into different categories based on the most common needs of camps. As you read through these features, consider which ones you need for your summer camp, which ones would be nice to have, and which ones you’ll want in the future. Let’s dive in!
Camper Experience Tools
Campers’ impression of your camp should be your top priority. From initially learning about your camp to the day they leave, your campers (and if applicable, their parents) should have a smooth and seamless experience. Camp management software can help augment their experience with technology.
Your camp management tool should be able to perform these tasks:
- Customize online registration. Allow campers to easily sign up online with a couple of clicks. Configure the registration to fit your specific program, ensure that you only create fields that you genuinely require, and ask for all necessary forms. For greater efficiency, allow parents to enroll multiple campers at once. This is great for larger families or schools.
- Allow campers to request roommates. Automate the process of roommate selection by letting campers request who they want themselves. All they have to do is accept or deny. This saves your staff an incredible amount of work and lets campers shape their own experience. Plus, if the roommate request doesn’t go through, the system will remember which camper prefers which roommate and house the rest of the campers accordingly.
- Group management. Manage your entire group’s itinerary to ensure that everyone is on the same wavelength. Everything from housing, meals, activity scheduling, and room scheduling can be managed to create the best experience for your campers.
- Streamline the check-in and check-out process. Make sure you know exactly when a camper enters your program and when they leave. Get rid of your paper forms and complete check-in with a digital tablet. This way, if a parent calls asking if their child has arrived yet, you (and any other staff member) can answer with confidence.
- Offer group leader tools. Group leaders are often tasked with managing their camper groups, whether it's for a retreat or a school. Elevate the group leader experience with tools to manage their group members and ensure everyone has a great time at camp.
It’s easier to focus on effectively engaging your campers and providing the best experiences when you have the tools to handle administrative tasks, collect accurate data, and even improve existing processes. Automating and streamlining your operations also gives your staff more time to focus on the campers and give them the attention they need to have a memorable summer camp experience.
The more you work in camp management, the more you realize the benefits of a fully capable and dependable staff team. Since your camp staff and counselors are engaging and interacting with your campers consistently, it’s essential to have a solid hiring process as well as tools to help manage that.
With the right camp management software, you can:
- Customize your online application. Ensure each part of your camp staffing application is customized to the specific roles and asks the necessary questions. Show potential staff members you value their time by only asking for the information that you need.
- Keep track of interview notes. During the interview process, dedicate a specific section in your system for storing notes on each candidate. This way, if you’re deciding between two potential staff members, you can look back at these notes to help you make your decision.
- Automate the reference email process. As soon as someone applies, automatically send out reference questions. In the same system, you can track those responses and add them to their employee record.
- Offer positions electronically. To keep the entire process streamlined, send offer letters electronically as well! This is a great way to keep track of those who want to tweak the offer, those who accept, and those who deny.
- Facilitate the onboarding process. Once you have a capable group of staff members, you have to train them. With your hiring process in one system, you ensure that each person on your camp team is equipped with the right knowledge and qualifications, whether that involves experience working with children or just navigating your camp programming in general.
Having your entire staff base go through a standardized hiring and training process ensures that everyone is qualified and equipped with the necessary knowledge to succeed at your camp. In turn, that knowledge and experience will help staff members create the best possible experience for your campers.
Marketing and Messaging Functions
Laying the foundation for a positive camper experience is key, but it’s also important to ensure that potential campers hear about and are attracted to your summer camp. That’s what makes marketing and messaging so important—you want to generate opportunities for potential campers and their parents to learn about your camp. And, you want to show parents the value of the experience their campers are having.
Common marketing and messaging features in camp management software include:
- Social media integration. Share pictures, videos, and other content of campers having fun on your social media pages. Leverage the expanded outreach you get on those platforms to attract new campers.
- Mobile apps. Keep parents up to date on their campers’ activities with a camp mobile app. Show the value that their campers are getting with photo galleries, updates, and even mini newsletters summarizing what’s been happening at camp.
- Email and text messaging. Contact parents and campers that attended camp previously and let them know when registration opens for your current season. Tell them about the new opportunities and activities they can enjoy if they re-enroll to attract more registrations.
Don’t overlook the marketing potential of camp management software when you’re shopping around. Consider what features they offer that will help you spread the word about your camp to engage potential new customers.
Financial Management Capabilities
Having effective financial management capabilities is important for camps looking to improve their processes. While many parents are willing to pay the registration fee to attend your camp, they will be much more reluctant if your online payment process isn’t secure or doesn’t accept their preferred payment method. This could reduce the number of registrations your camp receives, hurting your revenue.
Consider these top financial management features of camp management software:
- Accept a variety of payments. Let your campers and parents pay using their preferred method, whether that’s with a credit card, debit card, cash, or eCheck!
- Track and collect payments online. Make sure your software can process all payments online, whether it’s a camper registration fee, an inventory purchase, or a camper buying an item from the camp shop.
- Automatic discounts and scholarships. Encourage more campers to attend your program with customized discounts and scholarship opportunities. With your camp management software, you can even automate certain discounts. For example, if you run a promotion where returning campers get a discount, you can choose to apply it automatically even if the registrant doesn’t specifically indicate it.
- Accept donations. Even if your camp doesn’t run on donations, it’s always a good extra source of revenue to fundraise for your program. Make sure you can accept and track online contributions, pledged donations, and cash gifts.
- Manage online inventory. Open up an additional revenue stream with branded camp merchandise! The best camp management tools will be able to track that inventory, keep up with discounts, process those payments, and more.
- Allow campers to purchase items during the program. Parents will load their camper’s account with money to be spent. Then, whether you supply campers with a bar-code wristband or enable staff members to look up each camper’s name, campers can buy snacks and other treats that your camp offers during the program.
- Manage multiple camp locations. Many camp programs span different locations, each with its own tax rate and cost centers. Ensure you can effectively manage all finances with a streamlined and centralized camp management software solution.
- Configure financial reports. With comprehensive and clear reporting, you provide accountability for your camp. It’s also a great way to see how your program is doing over a certain time period and to pinpoint areas for improvement.
A top-notch camp management software with a payment processing tool and other financial management features ensures that your camp can grow effectively. Additionally, parents and campers trying to make payments will have a more streamlined and efficient experience, reducing frustrations and increasing registrations.
7 Top Camp Management Software Solutions
Now that you know more about camp management software and the features you should look out for, let’s take a look at some top software solutions to consider investing in. As you look at them, keep in mind the considerations for selecting a software solution that’s right for your camp.
CIRCUITREE is a powerful, cloud-based all-in-one camp management software that streamlines the day-to-day tasks of running a camp. Our integrated registration solution allows you to capture the information you need while giving you access to standout tools to ensure your entire operation can grow intelligently and efficiently.
Some of CIRCUITREE’s standout features include:
- Customized online registration forms. Configure the registration process to fit your specific programming, feature only the input fields that you genuinely require, and ask for necessary forms. We can even allow users to enroll multiple campers at once, and you can easily assign group leaders if needed!
- Online payment tracking and collection. CIRCUITREE ensures that you can accept all payments securely. We use an integrated point-of-sale system so your staff can conveniently keep track of inventory, merchandise transfers, and camper purchases.
- Automatic discounts or scholarships. For some campers, camp is a dream they can’t afford. Allow parents to donate to your scholarship fund so that you can invite campers from all types of financial backgrounds to attend and experience what your camp has to offer. CIRCUITREE allows your staff to offer discounts and scholarships online, making parents more willing to sign their kids up.
- Capturing pending registrations. Once someone begins registering in CIRCUITREE, the system will capture that “pending” registration. You can schedule automated emails to go to people who leave without completing their registration, encouraging them to finish and increasing your enrollments.
- Personalized camper experience. Empower campers to choose their own schedule. Let them view the activities and programs you have scheduled for them at camp so that they can decide what they’re most interested in. Not only will this give the camper more freedom, but it will also help get them excited about attending camp!
- Roommate requests and automation. Allow campers to request their roommates with CIRCUITREE. They can even ask to room with non-registrants by simply inputting their email and inviting them to attend the camp. If they accept, this is also a great way to grow your attendance! Automated housing can also be leveraged by your staff to build cabins based on age, gender, and other pre-set housing priorities.
- Streamlined camper check-in and check-out. Make your check-in and check-out process paper-free and improve efficiency by handling it in a few easy steps. Equip your staff with a digital tablet so that they can view the picture associated with the camper’s account to help identify them. Then, with the click of a button, staff can safely check campers in and even send parents an automated camp welcome email.
- Electronic health portal. CIRCUITREE’s tools keep all submitted health information in an easily accessible electronic health portal. During the registration process, parents can submit their children's vaccination records or other health-related forms online. They'll rest easy knowing that your camp staff has received the information and their child is well taken care of.
With our camp management software solution, parents can rest assured knowing where and who their children are bunking with, and kids will be excited knowing they got to choose their camp activities ahead of time. Plus, your counselors and staff will also appreciate its features. No more complicated and messy spreadsheets or notebooks full of campers' activity preferences or cabin requests—CIRCUITREE is the smart camp management software that will handle those things for you.
2. ABC Sports Camps: Powered by CIRCUITREE
For camps focused on sports programs, ABC Sports Camps: Powered by CIRCUITREE is the camp management software solution for you. This software solution powers hundreds of websites for NCAA divisions, NAIA, NJCAA, high schools, private companies, and more.
With ABC Sports Camps, you can leverage features such as:
- Personalized website. This camp management software provider is dedicated to getting your sports camp’s website online within 72 hours. This website is mobile-responsive and customized to your camp’s branding.
- Camp search. ABC Sports Camps offers a camp search function for athletes looking to attend a camp. They’ll be able to filter camps based on sport, name, and location to find a camp that matches their needs.
- Marketing. Aside from the camp search feature, you’ll have access to SEO and social media marketing to promote your camp and attract athletes. Optimize your web content to ensure that your sports camp is at the top of related search engine results pages to spread the word and increase registrations.
- Secure payment options. Not only will you have access to secure payment plans and capabilities, but you’ll also be able to offer a variety of payment methods to registrants. That way, they’ll be able to use their preferred payment method, making registration more convenient for them.
- Data and analytics. With ABC Sports Camps, you can gather useful data, create custom questions, and collect information from event participants. You’ll also have easy access to rosters and financial reports.
- Large-scale. This camp management software caters to large organizations by offering a streamlined way to manage multiple teams and camps at once. Use it to create and manage one centralized website that markets to multiple teams or camps, making the process more convenient for your staff.
Whether you’re an athlete looking for a sports camp or a coach looking to grow your camp, ABC Sports Camps: Powered by CIRCUITREE is the complete event management and registration software solution that will meet all your needs. Upgrade your sports camp’s operations with this all-in-one software today.
3. CIRCUITREE’s Bunk1 Mobile App
CIRCUITREE’s Bunk1 Mobile App is a camp management software solution that focuses on parent communications. It partners with summer camps across the United States and Canada to offer families a simple way of staying connected with their campers.
Bunk1’s unique features include:
- Personalized mobile app. Bunk1’s staff can custom-build a mobile app with your camp’s brand, colors, and logo. Increase brand awareness by hosting this app on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Market.
- Photo Galleries. Show your camp’s value by giving parents access to a secure photo gallery with images of their campers. Parents can also opt-in to photo tagging software, which identifies their camper’s face in photos. They’ll receive a notification when photos of their camper are uploaded.
- Bunk Notes and Bunk Replies. Families can send their camper letters customized with photos, puzzles, and more from the Family Portal. These letters are printed and delivered to campers, who can then handwrite letters to home. Then, the letters are scanned and delivered back to the camper’s family through email and the Family Portal.
- Updates and Newsletters. Keep parents up to date with camp activities by posting updates and newsletters. You can send updates to the entire camp, a group of parents, or a single parent. Or, use the blog-style newsletters feature to share camp news, session recaps, packing lists, or any other important information.
- Push Notifications. If you have messages or reminders for families, send a push notification through the Bunk1 app. For example, you could send a notification reminding parents that registration fees are due in two weeks and to please send their campers’ medical records by that time too. That way, parents can stay on top of the tasks they need to perform to ensure their camper has a great time.
CIRCUITREE’s Bunk1 mobile app empowers families and campers to stay connected. This camp management software makes it easy for you to show parents the value of the experience campers are having. Easily share favorite memories on social media and show off the best moments of your camp to increase re-enrollments and keep campers coming back year after year.
This camp management software serves as a booking solution for adventures and camps. With Bookinglayer, you can sell and manage your adventure and wellness travel activities and accommodations with an all-in-one reservation system.
Some of Bookinglayer’s core modules include:
- Booking Engine. Design your registration flow with this camp management system. You’ll have full control over dates and pricing, and you can add extras and upsell opportunities to increase revenue upfront. Plus, you’ll also be able to handle group bookings.
- Booking Widgets. With Booking Widgets, display availability on your website in real time. It works with a variety of websites, including those hosted by WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, and Drupal.
- Customer Portal. After customers have registered for camps or activities, provide them with a summary of their itinerary with Bookinglayer’s Customer Portal. Save time by asking them to sign digital waivers, sending them forms for dietary requirements, and providing any instructions that they need to know before they arrive.
- Backoffice. This module simplifies your staff’s life and allows them to spend less time on administrative tasks. It manages reservations and bookings with one central calendar and automates booking reminder emails. Plus, you can check in and check out campers and leave internal notes to log information for other team members.
With this camp management software, customers make bookings by themselves to reduce the time spent by your staff members. Take the burden off your team while simplifying processes for customers—it’s a win-win!
Effortlessly solve enrollment problems with Enrollsy and eliminate paper, spreadsheets, and manual billing and payments. This camp management software is committed to simplifying and digitizing all kinds of enrollment.
Enrollsy offers a modern enrollment toolkit, which is made up of these parts:
- Device-agnostic. Having camp management software that looks good on any device is important, as people use a variety of devices to access your information. Enrollsy allows you to process multiple enrollments and payments all at once, and ease the worries of registrants by sending email confirmations.
- e-Signatures. Create professional PDF forms with all the fields you require. Forms can be general or program-specific, and you can allow registrants to sign with their initials and signatures online.
- Data flows. With a built-in CRM, Enrollsy allows you to more efficiently store information on customers and build stronger relationships with them. And, you can easily communicate with registrants through a customer portal.
For organizations that are looking to become more modern, Enrollsy is the perfect, digitized camp management software. It also services a variety of industries, including childcare organizations, educational institutions, and more.
For education and learning-focused camps, Sawyer is a camp management software solution built for educators. It integrates with other popular camp management tools, including Zapier, Mailchimp, and Facebook.
Sawyer’s unique features include:
- Promotional coupons. Run seasonal promotions to acquire new customers with ease.
- Parties. Sell birthday parties, space rentals, and field trips to interested campers.
- Flexible customer intake forms. Get the information you need from campers, live waivers, allergens, and counselor preferences.
- Camp gift cards. Encourage parents and campers to share their love for your camp by purchasing customizable digital gift cards to give to peers.
With Sawyer, you can attract more campers and grow your revenue while building a strong community. They save camps at least 28 hours a month by making their processes more efficient. And, if you need advice or additional information, they have a robust free resources library full of educational articles for camp educators.
Trusted by over 36,000 companies worldwide, Connecteam is the complete app for all your camp’s business needs. With it, you can manage, train, and communicate with your employees efficiently and effectively. Plus, you’ll get full clarity on your entire business with the admin dashboard.
Connecteam’s features are organized in these three hubs:
- Operations. In this hub, you can find employee punch card, scheduling, and task management features. Track your employees’ hours, efficiently plan shifts, and effortlessly monitor tasks to oversee employee progress. Plus, you’ll have access to real-time information with forms and checklists.
- Communications. Keep your camp’s on-the-go employees informed and engaged from anywhere with this management software. Use Connecteam’s secure instant messaging tool to keep in contact with staff members and announce, promote, and manage company events.
- HR and skills. Offer an effective, mobile accessible-training experience with an up-to-date company knowledge base with this camp management software. Organize and categorize all HR documentation in one place, and seamlessly manage employee time off to ensure that you always have enough staff.
Connecteam is a great scalable solution that caters to both small businesses and enterprise-level operations. This camp management software is dedicated to helping you free up time to improve your bottom line. They believe that every business needs a centralized app to manage their frontline operations, and have built their software solution around that idea.
There are many viable camp management software solutions that your camp can consider investing in to improve your operations, increase re-enrollments, and create more meaningful experiences for campers. Just keep in mind what your camp needs to do those things, and search for software that addresses those needs.
If you want to learn more about camp management, check out these additional resources:
- Why Your Summer Camp Needs A Mobile App — Mobile browsing is becoming more and more popular. Gain insights in this guide about how your summer camp can make use of a mobile app.
- Measuring Satisfaction: What To Know About CX Software — If you’re interested in improving the interactions between your customers and your camp, read more about customer experience in software.
- The Essential Guide To Marketing Your Niche Business — Learn more about making your camp stand out by focusing on a niche market that you already serve.