Summer Camp Registration Forms: 5 Top Tips + Free Template
When summer approaches and families begin solidifying their plans for the season, ensure that you are prepared with registration forms that make it easy for parents to sign up for your camp. With a carefully planned and designed form, registration will be efficient and painless, increasing the likelihood that parents will complete their enrollment. But how do you make sure that you’re providing the best registration form to potential campers?
To help answer that question, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite tips and tricks for writing an awesome registration form. When writing your summer camp registration forms, your team should try to:
- Keep Summer Camp Registration Forms Short And Simple
- Include Your Camp’s Information On Your Camp Registration Form
- Add Pricing Tiers And Options To Your Summer Camp Registration Form
- Offer Your Summer Camp Registration Form Online
- Sell Merchandise On Your Camp Registration Form
Providing a great camp experience starts before campers even arrive at your camp. Not only will a thoughtfully prepared summer camp registration form increase conversions for you, but it will also convey an air of professionalism for your camp. With the right form, you’ll be able to gain the trust of campers and parents immediately, starting the camp season off on the right foot. Let’s get started!
1. Keep Summer Camp Registration Forms Short And Simple
When drafting your summer camp registration forms, the most important thing to remember is that including unnecessary fields will increase the abandonment rate. Parents don’t want to have to spend time answering questions that don’t contribute to their child’s camp registration process. They want to fill out biographical, camp-related, and payment information and then be done!
So give parents what they want and focus your registration form fields on the following topics:
- Camper information. This includes the camper’s age, birthday, sex, allergies, and relevant medical history. You can also ask if the child is a returning camper or if they have any special needs.
- Parent information. Since parents will be the emergency contact for the camper, you’ll also want to ask for their names and contact information.
- Camp programs. Allow parents to list what camp programs and activities their camper will be involved in. Personalize your form to your camp’s unique programs. For example, if you offer a horseback riding program, be sure to let parents select it if their child has an interest.
- Payment information. Wrap up your summer camp registration form with payment information so that parents can successfully complete their enrollment.
By asking for only the necessary information, you’ll increase the completion rate of your forms. If, after using your form for a while, you realize there’s another piece of crucial information you need to ask about, don’t be afraid to adjust your form. Just keep in mind that the shorter your form, the happier parents will be!
2. Include Your Camp’s Information On Your Camp Registration Form
At the top of your form, right around the title, include all relevant contact information that a curious or worried parent could need. This would include information like:
- An email address of a staff member who can answer registration-related questions.
- A phone number and working hours of the staff member.
- The mailing address, for mail-in registration forms.
- The website address, where parents can find more information.
In addition to making your camp registration form appear more professional, it puts parents at ease knowing that they can easily call or email your camp staff should any questions arise.
Including contact information on your form also increases the chances of parents completing the form, because if they come across a field they don’t know how to answer or have a question relating specifically to their child, they can call your camp immediately instead of putting the form down and forgetting to ever pick it back up.
Another way to ensure that parents view your camp as professional and trustworthy is to make sure that your camp registration form is branded to your organization. Your color scheme and logo should be consistent across your website, newsletter, registration forms, and anything else you might send to parents.
This is especially important for online forms, which parents might view as inherently less trustworthy. So that they’ll feel comfortable including personal information and payment details on your form, make sure they can tell that it’s part of your organization’s web presence.
3. Add Pricing Tiers And Options To Your Summer Camp Registration Form
Although it would be easier for every single camper to pay the exact same amount for attending a camp session, you and your team know that that’s not a practical pricing system. Scholarships and discounts are important to your camp’s culture to ensure that all children can experience the joys of summer camp!
Families earn discounts for a ton of things, including military service, multi-child registrations, returning camper or referral discounts, and more. Children also earn scholarships by applying or having parents send in proof of need. However, some parents may not know about these discounts, or they might not think that they’re eligible for scholarships.
To prevent this issue from keeping kids from attending camp, include a short informational section on your camp registration form regarding scholarships and discounts. The most important informational tidbits to include are:
- Scholarship application deadlines.
- Common types of discounts and examples of eligibility.
- A link or QR code leading parents to more detailed information.
Consider also including a field on your form that allows parents to apply a discount or scholarship to their application. Of course, the application will have to be reviewed by your camp staff to ensure that the parents included the right code or checked the right box, but allowing parents to self-select for discounts saves both you and the parent time and money.
By doing this, parents can avoid paying upfront with money they might not have on hand, and your camp staff doesn’t have to dedicate a lot of brainpower to ensuring that everyone gets refunds after scholarships or discounts are applied. It’s a win-win!
4. Offer Your Summer Camp Registration Form Online
All of the tips so far have been applicable to both online and offline registration forms. But when thinking about building the most attractive and effective camp registration form, you have to plan for the future. As your camp grows, it’s going to be more and more important to have an integrated software system that helps your camp collect and use data more efficiently.
If possible, your camp should invest in online registration software.
With an online solution, campers everywhere can register more easily. Your staff can also rest assured that they've received all of the applications and payments, instead of worrying about a check or registration doc getting lost in the mail.
Online registration is a best practice for camps everywhere for multiple reasons:
- Your forms can autoflow information from summer camp registration forms directly into your camp database software, ensuring that you never have to worry about information getting lost.
- Easily create personalized and adaptable forms with different fields based on programs, instead of creating different summer camp registration form docs.
- Parents can send scans of important documents straight to your camp, instead of worrying about sensitive information getting lost in the mail.
- Using online forms instead of paper saves trees!
Offering online registration also makes it easier to register multiple children in a family, synchronize roommate requests, keep track of how many children are registered for a program or activity, and follow up with parents for payments or additional documentation.
An online registration form that integrates or is part of your camp management software is a useful tool for making the registration process as convenient and secure as possible for both parents and administrative staffers.
5. Sell Merchandise On Your Camp Registration Form
Our last tip for summer camp registration forms is that your team should encourage parents to purchase camp store merchandise for their kids on the form.
Encouraging parents to order t-shirts on the form has a variety of benefits:
- It increases non-registration dues revenue for your camp.
- It lets you know a rough estimate of how many t-shirts you’ll need to order for the summer.
- It gives your campers a way to advertise your camp all year round.
Merchandise orders are an important part of the registration process because they help to get kids excited to come to camp and get their cool new gear, and they make parents worry less about sending their kids to camp with money for a shirt or water bottle. Plus, your campers get gear to remember their awesome summer!
For extra creative fun, consider making a game out of it. Ask campers to preorder certain colors, or create different t-shirts for different cabins or age groups. Then hold fun cross-camp games like hide and seek, tag, or a kickball tournament!
Camp t-shirts and other gear can help build community within your camp, so make sure that parents know that they’re able to purchase anything their kids might want or need right from the registration form.
Summer camp registration forms are the way you make your first impression with parents, so be thoughtful and intentional about creating yours! If you follow these tips, you’re sure to encourage campers to register and assure parents that their kids will have a great time this summer.
For more fun camp tips and tricks, check out some of our other favorite resources:
- How To Increase Summer Camp Enrollment: A Complete Guide — Having a great summer camp registration form will boost registrations, but there are other ways you can increase enrollment rates. This complete guide will give you the top strategies.
- Camp Management Software: A Complete Guide + 7 Top Solutions — If you’re looking to streamline registration and camp operations, look no further than this guide to the top camp management software solutions.
- Why Your Summer Camp Needs A Mobile App — Mobile apps help boost engagement for campers, parents, and even staff members. Learn more about the benefits of camp mobile apps here.