Categories
for Providers

Camp Cancellation Policies

Many camps have updated their cancellation and refund policies due to the coronavirus pandemic. See what others are doing so you can decide what’s best for your camp.

By ActivityHero Staff

puppy under an umbrella - rained out
Ever since March 2020 when the coronavirus started to impact air travel, cruises, and in-person school, families started to take a close look at their camp cancellation options. And some may have read the cancellation policy for the first time. But this year, we expect families to take a close look at cancellation policies and it may affect how early they are willing to register for summer camp.

Camp cancellation policies have varying degrees of flexibility, and most cancellation policies, at minimum, take into account the time and effort required to process a refund and any registration fees.

Here are some examples of cancellation policies, starting with the most flexible. (Note: these policies may have been updated for 2021 season and are subject to change.)

Steve and Kate’s Camp

We will automatically refund all unused Day Passes in full, at summer’s end. Pandemic times or not, you can purchase any number of Passes without worrying you’ll lose what you don’t use.

Camp Galileo

Transfer to a different camp week or location for no charge, any time until 3pm seven days before the start of your camp session, pending availability

If you need to cancel:
  • If you cancel prior to May 1, 2021, you will receive a full refund of your payment to the original payment method, less a $25 processing fee for each session canceled
  • If you cancel between May 1, 2021 and up to seven (7) business days prior to your camp start date, you will receive a 100% credit for each session purchased, less a $25 processing fee for each session canceled, usable for any Galileo offering through August 31, 2023
  • No credit or refunds will be provided if you cancel within seven (7) business days of your camp start date
If Galileo needs to cancel:
  • If Galileo cancels due to state, county or school health orders or mandate, you will receive a 90% refund to the original payment method and a 10% credit that can be used through August 31, 2023
  • If Galileo cancels for any other reason, you can choose a 100% refund to the original payment method or a 100% credit that can be used through August 31, 2023
  • If Galileo cancels in the middle of a weekly session due to state, county or school health orders or mandates, you will receive a prorated credit based on the number of days canceled in that week that can be used through August 31, 2023

(Editor’s Note: Camp Galileo has also added a deposit option in 2021. Families can pay 25% upfront and the balance on May 1. This policy is much more flexible than Camp Galileo’s 2020 policy, which provided credit toward a future camp and no cash refunds.)

Challenger Sports Soccer Camp

Cancellations initiated by the customer due to any reason at least ten days prior to a weeklong day camp will entitle you to a full refund (minus a $40 per participant cancellation fee). No refunds will be given for cancellations within ten days of camp unless the participant has an injury, illness and can provide a note from their medical provider, as well as providing a signed statement from the parent or legal guardian confirming that this note is genuine and based upon the opinion of a medical professional. (If you are able to satisfy these 2 requirements then a full refund will be issued).

Any cancellations of one of our week long day camps initiated by Challenger Sports / Local government restrictions due to COVID-19 will result in a full refund. Challenger Sports will work to offer an alternative location within 20 minutes drive if the cancellation is based upon government or the host organization’s own restrictions. In the event that they do that, then the customer can still choose not to attend and claim their refund, but it will now be subject to a $40 refund fee.

In the case of anyone who signs up for a program that is NOT* a weeklong soccer camp, then no refund will be given unless the participant falls into one of the 2 situations:

  1. In the event that someone can provide a note from their medical provider, as well as providing a signed statement from the parent or legal guardian confirming that this note is genuine and based upon the opinion of a medical professional we will prorate the remaining sessions left at the time of cancellation. This proration will be done by taking the cost of the program, minus any merchandise costs, divided by the number of sessions.
  2. The same policy as #1 above will be adhered to if Challenger Sports decides to cancel the program. This would include a decision to cancel being taken due to local government restrictions that have been enforced due to COVID-19.

*This would also include any virtual or on demand program or offering. Special consideration may be given in those circumstances due to technical difficulties outside of the customer’s control, but each case will be considered on its own merits.

We will make every effort to make up time lost to bad weather, wildfires or other acts of God on all of our programs.

EDMO

All EDMO purchase fees, for either in-person or online programs, are non refundable.* However, if you decide to cancel your child’s participation in any EDMO Class, Camp or Coaching/Tutoring session, any time up to 24 hours before the start of that program, you will receive 100% credit to use on any EDMO program.

Should EDMO find it necessary to cancel any of our programs in order to protect the health and safety of our coaches, staff or participants, or due to any other circumstances, this same policy will apply.

*If you have registered for one of our TBD summer on-site Camp EDMO locations and we are unable to secure a location within that outlined area, a refund exception will be made.

Conclusion

As you can see, camp cancellation policies have gotten much longer and more complicated. But addressing different scenarios upfront should result in fewer issues down the line. It is also important to have a date/time stamped version of the cancellation policy in your records in case there are chargebacks. ActivityHero’s registration detail stores the cancellation policy and waivers word-for-word as of the registration date and has been effective to challenge a chargeback on the payment.

Want more tips about how to make the most of your online ActivityHero listing? Become a MarketingHero partner today!

Categories
Camps Featured Posts for Providers

Summer Camp Fairs in 2021

Camp Fairs are a unique opportunity to meet summer camp directors and ask questions before you register. It’s a great way to discover new camps and plan a summer your kids will love.

By ActivityHero Team

2021 Summer Camp for Kids

In the digital age, you may wonder what the value is in attending a camp fair, when online resources like ActivityHero can give you information about a wide variety of camps, including parent reviews. 

At ActivityHero, our data shows that families are optimistic for a summer filled with fun, safe activities. However, there are still a lot of pending questions around in-person camps for kids in 2021. 

The 2021 Camp Fair is an opportunity for parents to learn more about in-person kids camps for spring or summer 2021 in specific local areas, all from the convenience of home.

Each Camp Fair will be live-streamed online and camp providers will have an opportunity to highlight what’s special about their curriculum, counselors and why families love it! Parents are encouraged to ask questions to learn important information about camp group sizes, cancellation policies, activities, and more.

Our advice? Attend a fair with an open mind and as long as the camp is age appropriate for your child, listen to what the staff has to say. You might discover the benefits of attending a girls-only camp, an overnight experience, or another activity that you hadn’t considered before.

There are other benefits too! Camp Fairs are free for families to attend, and most fairs have exclusive discounts and exciting giveaways, like the opportunity to win a free week of camp!

2021 Camp Fairs

Bay Area CA Camp Fair
Saturday, March 20th
     – Peninsula / South Bay at 10am PT
     – East Bay at 11am PT
     – San Francisco / Marin at 1pm PT

RSVP to Win a Free Week of Camp >>
Register to be an exhibitor at the Bay Area Camp Fair >>

Houston TX Camp Fair
Saturday, March 27th
     – Central Houston at 10am CT
     – Sugar Land / Katy at 11am CT

RSVP to Win a Free Week of Camp >>
Register to be an exhibitor at the Houston Camp Fair here >>

Dallas TX Camp Guide
Posted on our blog and distributed by email to parents.

RSVP to Win a Free Week of Camp >>
Register to be an exhibitor in the Dallas Camp Guide >>

Orange County CA Camp Fair
Posted on our blog and distributed by email to parents.

RSVP to Win a Free Week of Camp >>
Register to be an exhibitor in the Orange County Camp Guide >>

Los Angeles CA Camp Fair
Posted on our blog and distributed by email to parents.

RSVP to Win a Free Week of Camp >>
Register to be an exhibitor in the LA County Camp Guide >>

More Camp Fairs

The American Camp Association has a list of camp fairs throughout the US.

More Information

Contact us for more information or to host a camp fair at your school.

If you can’t make it to one of these fairs, check out ActivityHero for the latest summer camp schedules and reviews.

Categories
Business Resources for Providers

How to List Your On-Demand Activities

By popular request, On-Demand Activities are now available in the ActivityHero marketplace. Content creators can add pre-recorded videos, printables and other On-Demand content using our provider dashboard.

All content is hosted on ActivityHero and is viewable from the user’s ActivityHero account. This ensures that only the account holder has access to the content.

 

Helpful tips to understand how On-Demand Activities can work for your business

What types of content should I offer as On-Demand?

Pre-recorded videos, printable worksheets, do-it-yourself project instructions or recipes are examples of popular on-demand content. Also seasonal content related to upcoming holidays, such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Winter, Valentine’s Day, etc.

Why should I offer On-Demand activities?

On-demand activities are an easy way for families to discover your business because there aren’t any scheduling issues. In our parent survey, flexibility and independent learning are two of the top priorities parents seek when shopping for activities.

On-demand activities can help promote your business year-round.

Any tips on how to create On-Demand Videos?

  • To produce a high-quality video that is optimized for self-paced learning, it is worth the time investment to write out a script and plan out how you will record the audio and visual components. 
  • For a hands-on class, you may want to record the demonstration from two different angles, perhaps from the top and the side view. Then record a voiceover that explains what you are doing. 
  • For a class where you are sharing your computer screen, you can record yourself first with the camera on you. Then playback your recording as you record your screen. 
  • This video gives tips on recording and editing videos

How can I get more families to try out my On-Demand activities?

Use the Activity Name to draw attention. Think about adding a suggested time frame to your on-demand listing, example: “15-Minute Math Exercises.” Use keywords popular keywords in your activity name + “On-Demand“, example: “Intro to Roblox Coding (On-Demand)”

Ready to get started?

Visit your business listing on ActivityHero and create a new On-Demand Activity. Don’t have a listing? Create a business listing or contact us if you need any help.

Categories
Business Resources Featured Posts for Providers Uncategorized

5 Top Reasons Parents Will – or Won’t – Pick a Camp for Their Kids

You already know that every family is different, but it turns out that the top five things that families are looking for when it comes to making a decision about camp registrations are very similar.

If you want to position your camp as a top pick for parents, pay attention to how you communicate the top five things that drive camp registration decisions.1

1. Location: Whether parents are looking for camp that’s close to work or close to home, this is going to be the number one factor they’re checking for. Having your location information displayed prominently is key. 

  • Use your header or footer space to display location data. Repeat this on every landing page and group it with other contact information, like telephone number and email address, to create the easiest experience.
  • Surprisingly, many websites don’t make the camp location visible on the home page and require users to hunt for it, or give up in frustration.
camp location example
Image credit: fuzefit.com

2. Schedule: When it comes to the schedule, parents are looking for the camp dates and/or start and end time. Parents should be able to see at a glance the days and camp hours, registration fees, and how to register. If putting all of the necessary details in one place isn’t feasible, make it clear where they can go next for other information.

  • Showing your session availability will let parents know which weeks are filling up or already have a waitlist. Camp websites like Hiller.org keep their availability updated automatically using the ActivityHero schedule widget.
camp schedule example
Image credit: Hiller.org website with ActivityHero schedule widget

3. Category: To communicate what kind of experience you offer, you’ll want to use multimedia such as photography, video, and descriptions. Using high-quality photography and video from actual events can help drive better engagement and more interest. Having a landing page that can go into depth about the types of experiences you offer helps families more readily imagine kids in your classes.

  • Give parents a sense for how their kids will spend the day. You can describe the daily schedule, highlight the parts of the activity that are most popular, describe what students will create, or describe what children will learn/know by the end. 
  • If you have a more specialized program, like dance or sports only, and offer different levels or styles within each program, use the descriptions to explain the differences. 
camp category description
Image credit: avid4.com

4. Price: You should know how your prices compare against other local options. You want to position yourself competitively, but that doesn’t mean price cutting. If your camp is priced higher than other options in the area, offer parents an explanation why. Are there premium features included, like transportation, materials, or food? Does your staff have additional certifications and educational experience? Sharing a bit about why you’ve shaped your pricing structure the way you have can create a level of transparency with parents that builds trust.

  • If you offer discounts, make sure to make the discount deadline clear – this can help to drive a sense of urgency, as too much time to think about making the commitment might lead to parents putting it off or forgetting about it all together. Take a look at our tips on effective camp discounts
  • Alternately, it might make sense to offer a payment plan to early birds. The ability to pay over time and budget month to month until the start of camp encourages earlier commitments. It can also position your camp as a partner to parents; offering payment flexibility can communicate that you care about the kids in your community and want to connect with more families. 

5. Reviews: Got some great reviews? Show them off. When parents are searching for the right fit for their kids activities, they’re reading up on what other families have to say. Adding a reviews stream from ActivityHero, Google, or Yelp to your website can help lend credibility to your business.

  • Respond to your reviews. When you take time to reply to your customers’ feedback – both positive and negative – you show that you value the relationships you’re making with families. In this interview, Yelp expert Darnell Holloway explains that responding within 24 hours leads to better outcomes. 
  • Consider investing in testimonials. While it takes time to interview customers and craft a narrative around their story, it can benefit your business. Testimonials give you the opportunity to find out – and share – what parts of your camp experience families really loved. You can use this to continue shaping your activities and experiences and also to share real feedback with users. 
online camp reviews
Image credit: oneheartmusic.org

“Who else is attending” is a consideration that didn’t break the top five, but is still influential. A lot of parents and guardians – and kids – more strongly consider enrolling in camps with people they know. To encourage more word-of-mouth business, consider offering a small discount or credit towards a future registration for any referrals from current customers. 

While it’s not possible to be the perfect fit for every family, paying attention to how you share and showcase what you offer will help you turn your website visitors into  more registrations. 

For more valuable tools and services to help you run and grow your business, talk to someone on the ActivityHero team. Our online marketing services and camp registration tools help camps reach more families in the ActivityHero.com marketplace, accept online payments, and more. 

1Data from an April 2019 email survey of ActivityHero users.

Categories
Best of ActivityHero for Providers

Best Camps, Classes & Kids’ Activities of 2019

ActivityHero announces the best summer camps, classes, and kids’ activities of 2019 – based on reviews and votes from families.

Thousands of parents reviewed and voted for camps and classes on ActivityHero, and the following 38 providers have been awarded the “Best of 2019” badge on ActivityHero. Thank you to all the reviewers for sharing their experience with families on ActivityHero!

We’re listing them here in alphabetical order in hopes that you can discover some fresh new activities for your child to try this year. You can also view the complete list on ActivityHero.

**Note: All reviews must meet our review guidelines

Best Camps & Classes of 2019

Bits, Bytes, and Bots of San Antonio

Coding & Robotics Camp
San Antonio, Texas
“Bits, Bytes and Bots has been an incredible addition to our program. They have provided excellent classes for our students for four years now. They are a pleasure to work with and their instructors are all very knowledgeable and make the information fun and easy to learn. The business is very well ran and we have always been provided with excellent customer service.”
Nicey, April 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Bits, Bytes, and Bots of San Antonio

Buttercup STEAM Camp

Girls’ Coding Camp
Atlanta, Georgia
“I would absolutely recommend it!! My daughter attended camp one summer with this program. Not only did the camp help build her self confidence, but also helped her to win an award. Buttercup STEAM Camp is awesome at nurturing, building confidence and helps fuel young minds to grow, explore and imagine the possibilities.”
-Jasmine, May 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Buttercup STEAM Camp

Camp Super Duper

Creative Learning Camp
Los Angeles, California
2019 Grant Contest Finalist
“My daughter has been attending Camp Super Duper for five years. Her review: “Why can’t school be like this?” That should tell you all you need to know. SupDup is not only about play activities, there are actually a lot of learning activities as well, but they make the act of learning *fun*. My daughter is a magnet student at her elementary school, but she has never really *liked* going to school, and I think part of that is because the curriculum does not inspire creativity. That is what kids get at Camp Super Duper: Creative, fun, learning. All in an atmosphere of supportive positivity…no kid needs to worry about being “left out”.”
-Gregg, May 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Camp Super Duper

Camp Tannadoonah

Outdoors Resident Camp
Vandalia, Michigan
“My 2 boys have attended Camp Tannadoonah the last 3 summers and have had fantastic experiences. My younger daughter will be joining them this summer. The staff have all been amazing and and added to their growth. One of my son’s has ASD and the camp has been welcoming and accommodating. I recommend them to all families looking for a summer camp experience.”
-Elizabeth, February 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Camp Tannadoonah

CD’s Art Studio

Creative Art Camps & Classes
San Jose, California
Also a Best of 2015, 2016, 2017, & 2018!
“CD and her team do a really great job at providing exposure to art and helping kids understand and execute simple pieces with ease. Our 5 yr old who had never painted anything came back with paintings that were coherent and pleasing.”
-Ramya, May 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for CD’s Art Studio

Coach Ken Soccer Academy

Soccer Classes & Camps
Los Altos
, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto, & Sunnyvale, California
Also a Best of 2015, 2016, 2017, & 2018!
“Christina loved her coach Viviana. Viviana’s way of treating all kids equally and encouraging both boys and girls to participate made soccer very interesting and lots of fun. The skills taught were valuable and very age appropriate. We will definitely continue Coach Ken Soccer Academy.”
-Niki, March 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Coach Ken Soccer

Creative IQ Art Studio

Creative Art Class & Camp
San Francisco, California
“My eight-year old has done various camps at Creative IQ (summer, winter break, school holidays) for 2 years. Though we live on the other side of town, I keep signing her up because I have such a high regard for their program. Its thorough and content-rich but delivered in a way that’s realistic and accessible for kids’ abilities and attention. I can see the results in my daughter- and so can her teachers! In p/t conferences, both her 1st and 2nd teachers made some kind of remark about her strength in art. I credit the top knot instruction at Creative IQ. Great program, great community.”
-Rachel, February 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Creative IQ Art Studio

Dikshaa Dance Academy

Cultural Dance Class
San Jose, California
2019 Grant Contest Finalist
“Highly recommend! Shilpa is one of the best teacher I have seen in Bay area. It’s great to be part of Dikshaa academy. The way how Shilpa teacher focus on individual student is excellent! Especially the recent Valiant Women her choreography and the way it’s planned and focused on each batch is amazing. She is so patient enough to correct and make sure her students are getting it right. She is so passionate about what she is doing. Blessed to be part of Dikshaa!”
-Leelavathi, June 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Dikshaa Dance Academy

El Paso KIDS-N-CO. Performance Center

Theatre & Music Camp
El Paso, Texas
“El Paso Kids N Co. provides amazing opportunities for children to grow and improve their skills in acting, singing, coordination, teamwork, discipline, dedication, problem-solving and confidence through the aesthetic experience of putting together and performing plays, musicals, and show choir concerts. It is wonderful to see the work and the growth of these young people through their quality performances!”
-Laura, June 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for El Paso KIDS-N-CO. Performance Center

Elementary Institute of Science

STEM Camps and Classes
San Diego, California
“My boy loves it here! I am a homeschooling mom and am very selective of where I take him but once I found this place it was a dream come true for both of u. The staff, the programs, the scholarships… all around wonderful. My son is autistic and they treat him so so kind. They’ve also really been so understanding of all our needs and always willing to accommodate.”
-Heather, April 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Elementary Institute of Science

EMC Fine Arts

Performing & Creative Arts Class
Dumont, New Jersey
“I have been sending my children to Erin for piano and voice lessons for a few years now. With the addition of her acting and improv classes, my children have become confident and have been auditioning for shows and getting lead roles! They really provide a warm, fun and welcoming environment and my children look forward to every lesson!! This studio is really filling a void in this area and affording parents the opportunity to watch their kids thrive in an enriching arts environment.”
-Linda, May 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for EMC Fine Arts

Eskabo Daan Filipino Martial Arts

Martial Arts Class
Daly City, Hercules, Oakland, & San Francisco, California
“Our two children attend classes with Eskabo Daan, and love it ! They have been attending for a little over a year, and have learned a lot about Filipino culture, the tagalog language, how to write in the traditional writing style of Baybayin, how to treat and respect others as well as themselves, and made many friends through the class. So it’s not just about Filipino Martial Arts, it’s more of a class that teaches community and history as well as self-defense. “
-Dell, April 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Eskabo Daan Filipino Martial Arts

Evolve Youth Fitness

Physical Fitness Class & Camp
Temecular, CA
“Mackinsey is always upbeat and happy to see you! She loves children and effortlessly makes them feel special! Her enthusiasm and excitement is infectious! And you can really see it transfer to the kids! Her gym is top notch. And it looks like no detail was spared! But what really sold me is her credentials! Wow! explains why she is so professional and how she knows her stuff! I love Evolve Youth Fitness! It’s not just another kids gym!”
-Michael, February 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Evolve Youth Fitness

Future Bytes Tech

Coding & Robotics Class & Camp
Santa Clara, CA
“I highly recommend it to anyone who has never taken a robotics class!! My 7 year old son loves going to this class every week. We already signed up for the summer camp, and he is so excited about it that he cannot wait!”
-Sam, May 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Future Bytes Tech

Girls Building Businesses

Girls’ Entrepreneurship Camp
Atlanta & Conyers, Georgia
“It’s been quite a positive experience for me seeing how Shanika teaches these young ladies how to write business plans, do a sale at the end of the session, how to do presentation and a lot more and allow them to make money and take it home. Lovely young lady, and she knows what she is doing and brings a lot to the table for these young people to grasp.”
-Jacqueline, May 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Girls Building Businesses

Kahlon Family Services School

Specialized Learning Camp
San Francisco, California
“KFS School is a special place! They took our son and worked with him, when we felt like we had no where else to turn. They highlighted his strengths academically and set behavioral expectations for him, making sure he had a routine every day. The teachers are passionate about helping kids with challenges and go above and beyond to meet the kids needs.”
-Katie, May 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Kahlon Family Services School

Kid Stock

Theatre & Camps and Classes
Belmont, Novato, San Francisco, & San Rafael, California
2018 Grant Contest Winner!
Also a Best of 2015, 2016, & 2018!
“My child was not excited about being signed up for Kid Stock in the beginning, because she saw that as interfering with her quality iPad time. However she became more and more excited as it grew closer to performance time. She loved the songs and the dance steps. She is totally ready to sign up for next year! Also Bradley and his team were great. You can see Bradley’s enthusiasm in setting up the kids for success. As a parent and I think I can speak for most of the parents, we were not disappointed.”
-Adelaide, April 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Kid Stock

Kidizens

Lego & Citizenship Camps and Classes
Belmont, Campbell, Foster City, Fremont, Los Altos, & more, California
“We are new to the Kidizen class, so far my 6 daughter enjoys building while learning different social subjects. The teacher is great in guiding and developing ideas for the class. She recently built and opened a Mermaid store for the city and we are very proud of her.”
-Stephanie, February 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Kidizens

LaPham Studio

Dance Class
Fountain Valley, California
“Conveniently located, LaPham is the perfect space for a dance studio. A place for all your creative dances to come to life! What I just love about this studio is that they stay true to the art of ballet and true to servicing their community. They also offer a variety of fun classes for adults sure to sharpen your skills and bring your sexy back! A professional ballerina, owner/Instructor Tracy Pham has an outstanding reputation and is a master of many talents offering classes in ballet as wells as coaching in runway and modeling . Your child can succeed and shine as bright as the many talents that have graced through these doors at LaPham studio.”
-Katherine, February 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for LaPham Studio

Little Rockers / AppleJams Music

Music Class
Howell, Marlboro, Middletown, Ocean Township, & Red Bank, New Jersey
“The music is unique, upbeat and original. The children are learning through play and they learning to express themselves and have confidence in their abilities as they grow. It is an amazing thing to witness. We are all grateful for what Chris and Jessie have given all of us by creating this program. It has grown tremendously through the years and will continue to do so, because it is so special to so many families.”
-Deirdre, April 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Little Rockers / AppleJams Music

Mathletes

Math Classes & Camps
Los Altos, California
“Highly recommend! My son has been taking this class for two years and this is his favorite after school class. He learned to work hard on math and enjoys doing the homework. Kids need to work as a group to solve problems, so they had to discuss and share thoughts.”
-Yuehua, June 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Mathletes

Mi Casita de Español

Spanish Immersion Class & Camp
Palo Alto, California
“Mi Casita has many benefits that other preschools don’t have. It is outdoor, so kids are very rarely sick, they learn to communicate to each other while playing and running, oxygen is good for brain development, real nature is better than any toys. Maestra Amor is extremely caring and happy person, my daughter liked her from day one. So many interesting and developing activities. And she speaks Spanish in sentences only after 6 months being there!”
-Kate, March 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Mi Casita de Español

New England Hemophilia Association

Outdoors Family Camp
Moultonborough, New Hampshire
2019 Grant Contest Finalist
“I have been a part of NE Hemophilia all of my life, having a brother, son, and nephew with hemophilia, as well as having bleeding issues myself. The association has consistently grown over the years, offering support and education beyond any other group we are affiliated with. The current staff and volunteers give 125% of their time and talent towards making life with a serious chronic illness more manageable. My husband and I volunteer in various organizations and, by far, NEHA outshines them all. Thank you does not begin to express our gratitude.”
-Mary, May 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for New England Hemophilia Association

RD Equine

Equestrian & Horsemanship Camp
Paramount, California
2019 Grant Contest Finalist
“Rhiannon is a calm, compassionate, and friendly individual, and is consistently seen at the barn patiently building strong foundations for her students riding & groundwork. She imparts horse wisdom & life skills by example and is always right there truly present with students moreso than many many trainers I have seen & experienced. This is a unique and special opportunity to learn from someone who lives and loves the sport!!”
-Erin, April 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for RD Equine

San Francisco Math Circle

Math Camps & Classes
San Francisco, California
Also a Best of 2018!
“My son has been attending Math Circle at SF State since Spring 2018 and he loves it. He is always excited and interested by the activities they do and the new things he learns. It’s very different from regular school math, which is perfect for him. He can’t wait for Math Camp this summer and we will definitely be back again in the fall.”
-Cecilia, May 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for San Francisco Math Circle

Sarasota School of Glass

Glass & Ceramics Class
Sarasota, Florida
2019 Grant Contest Finalist
“From the moment I walked through their door I knew I had found a place where I could explore my creative abilities and express myself through this fabulous medium. They are incredibly supportive of teaching and allowing one to discover glass as a medium and patiently teaching the techniques. Awesome!!”
-Priscilla, May 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Sarasota School of Glass

SD Dance with Me

Dance Class
San Diego, California
“Ms. Erica offers such a great introduction to dance for young children. She is full of energy, always so positive, and ever so patient! My 3 kids danced with her and had such a wonderful experience! Overall, it’s a low key, fun program that is great for kids.”
-Bea, March 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for SD Dance with Me

Seatrek BVI

Sailing & Marine Science Camp
Road Town, Tortola
2019 Grant Contest Finalist
“My daughter has attended SeaTrek the past two summers and we have so many wonderful things to say about our experience with Captain Monk and the crew. My daughter has earned so many diving certificates, gained so much confidence, made many friends from all over the world and has so many amazing pictures and stories to tell! She has had such an amazing time with this program that we will be sending all three of our kids this summer! I can’t wait to see more pictures and hear more stories of their wonderful adventures!”
-Candy, March 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Seatrek BVI

Seele Stars

Musical Theatre Camp
Berkeley, California
“Outstanding program. The passion of both the leader and the participants is evident and I can see how the children who engage in this program are positioned well above their peers for future opportunities as well as a lifetime affinity for the arts.”
-Curt, May 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Seele Stars

Swann School of Protocol

Etiquette Camp
Carlsbad, California
“Miss Elaine and her team offer a wonderful service in our community. In an era of cell phone rudeness and lack of courtesy, the Swann School of Protocol teaches children, teens, and adults the power of being polite and thinking of others first. Such necessary skills that are needed more than ever before. Also, our family has enjoy the series of books authored by Ms. Elaine Swann.”
-Regina, May 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Swann School of Protocol

TagTeam Tutoring

Academic Enrichment Camp
Cedar Hill, Texas
“Reginald and Danielle have a passion for children that is evident in the service they provide. Not only did they actively engage my son (geometry) and daughter (7th grade math), but they went over and beyond by calling to check on them after assessments. They were genuinely concerned about my kids’ progress. With their help my son was able to bring his grades from Cs to As as well as mastery performance on his state assessment. My daughter went from approaching standards to mastery level. I can’t say enough how they blessed our family and the confidence my kiddos now have.”
-Neldra, April 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for TagTeam Tutoring

The Circus Academy of Tucson

Circus & Theatre Arts Camp
Tucson, Arizona
“My 2 year old (soon to be 3) is super excited every Saturday to go to Circus school! She loves all the activities and it’s great to watch her have so much fun while gaining so many different skills. She especially loves the silks hammock and animal walks! I really like this as an alternative to the overly aggressive attitudes I’ve seen in some of the more “traditional” sports like gymnastics and ballet. I love how happy everyone is here!”
-Rachel, May 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for The Circus Academy of Tucson

The Little Red Barn Indoor Playground

Creative Learning Camp
Murrieta, California
“Everyone that works there is nice. Miss Coco gets every kids attention as they sing and dance. Their play area is nice and toddler friendly. I love going there knowing that I don’t have to worry about big kids taking over. The vibe is very friendly. Would love to see this place get bigger with more toys!!”
-Mia, March 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for The Little Red Barn Indoor Playground

The Science Factory LLC

Science Camp
San Jose & Santa Clara, California
“The instructors are nuts for science, and it shows in their approach to preparation for the camps. They look for new speakers, new topics, new equipment, and new experiment ideas all year. They are truly oriented to making the best learning experience for the kids.”
-Russ, March 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for The Science Factory LLC

Valkyrie Robotics

Robotics Camp
Cupertino, California
2019 Grant Contest Finalist
“FIRST Robotics teams have always been cornerstones of their communities, and Valkyrie Robotics is no different. The organization gives students the technical and soft skills needed to succeed in their futures, as well as giving back to their local communities. I had the opportunity to compete in the same division as Valkyrie at the FIRST Championship in Houston, and I can say without a doubt that they’re a class act. Their students have clearly all benefited from the program, and it’s cool to see what an impact they’ve had in Cupertino.”
-Alexandria, May 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Valkyrie Robotics

Wheel Kids Bicycle Club, Inc.

Bicycling Camps & Classes
Los Gatos, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Walnut Creek, & more, California
Also a Best of 2015, 2016, & 2017!
“I have already been raving and recommending Wheel Kids to my friends. My son is eight years old and I have struggled to get him over his mental fear and to be interested in learning to ride. In one hour doing a private lesson with wheel kids Walnut Creek, he was beginning to pedal and balance on his own. I was amazed!! The next day we went to the park and he was off and riding saying he loved riding his bike. I don’t know what the “magic” is, but Wheel Kids has it. Worth every penny and looking forward to our next class!!”
-Kathryn, April 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Wheel Kids Bicycle Club, Inc

Wizbots

Robotics & Coding Camps and Classes
Burlingame, Cupertino, Los Altos, San Jose, & more, California
“My daughter loves Wizbots after school program and looks forward to it every week. This program has encouraged her and inspired her to learn more about robotics. It gives kids a chance to learn critical thinking skills – how to build and create something with others.”
-Jennifer, May 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Wizbots

Young Intellects

Specialized Learning Camp
Fremont, California
2019 Grant Contest Finalist
“My daughter is going to Young Intellects from the beginning of this school year and my daughter just loves it. We are so relieved that the homework comes home error free and they also prepare my daughter for the Friday spelling quizzes and and all school quizzes. Kids are kept busy at all times with so many fun/ intellectual activities and they ensure learning something new every week. My daughter loves her Bollywood dance class and she waits for Ms A’ s dance class weekly. The staff is very friendly and communicate things well. I highly recommend all the innovative ideas that they come up with to benefit the kids and totally recommend Young Intellects After School.”
-Anjana, April 2019
See all reviews & current schedules for Young Intellects

 

See Schedules for All Camps & Classes Near You >>

Categories
for Providers

Eight Finalists Selected in the 2019 ActivityHero Grant Contest

Eight Finalists Now Qualify for the $10,000 Grand Prize to be Announced June 18.

Congratulations to the eight ActivityHero Grant finalists who have each won a $500 prize package from ActivityHero, 4imprint and Waiter.com. They now advance to the final round in which the winner will receive the Grand Prize of $10,000 in cash and services. A panel of judges will make the final decision to be announced on June 18, 2019.

The Finalists

Over the past few months, our incredible grant applicants received many votes and reviews from their supporters. Here’s more about each of the finalists and how they would like to use the ActivityHero Grant.

Valkyrie RoboticsValkyrie is an educational non-profit that serves the South Bay Area through a combination of STEM student groups, community service and public demonstrations, and summer camps in math, science, and engineering, focusing on students in the 6th through 12th grades. Through the efforts of their staff and volunteers, hundreds of students from more than a dozen high schools in their area have developed vital skills in STEM, including programming, machine operation, and computer aided design.

Our ability to grow our services is limited primarily by our financial needs. Engineering programs have high demands for materials, tools, space, and safety equipment, and with our current budget expansion is steady but slow. This grant would allow our organization to expand our operations to up to 50 more students into our robotics programs and touch hundreds more through our outreach and community service programs, along with a geographical expansion to at least three more schools in the area.”

Seatrek BVI – SeaTrek students participate in a variety of engaging service learning and research projects that center around the exploration of the unique tropical environments that make up the Virgin Islands. These project options afford participants a variety of authentic, hands-on learning experiences designed to enhance both their content knowledge and skill sets related to experiential marine science education and conservation.

If Sea Trek was awarded the grant, half of the money would be put towards our scholarship funds and half of the money would be used for new equipment. SeaTrek does its part to give back to our communities. SeaTrek’s Pay it Shoreward in the Islands donations range from pantry food items and fleece blankets to brand new dive gear and full program scholarships. We try to give back to the people of the islands as much as we can.  Every year SeaTrek donates a full tuition scholarship to the Tortola Surf Classic, which aids in fundraising and allows a Virgin Island teen to participate in a SeaTrek voyage at no charge. For the past several years, SeaTrek has worked hard to provide new and used scuba gear, as well as program scholarships for local Jost Van Dykes students.”

Dikshaa Dance AcademyThe academy teaches young kids about the rich Indian culture and mythology through dance. It has helped teach kids to work as teams, help each other and build camaraderie. They also produce unique dance productions and help these kids learn about contemporary issues such as equality etc. through dance. On April 20th, the children are participating in a production celebrating women warriors across various cultures, in their production “veerangana – valiant women’.

Currently we do not have enough funds to move to a studio, so the school runs out of my garage. I would love to give the kids space to explore and blossom as dancers and come up with creative movements. We cannot do that in the current space restrictions. We could also host artistes from other genres and parts of the world to give lectures and workshops, if we had our own studio.”

RD EquineThey offer horsemanship classes, horseback riding lessons, and therapeutic horsemanship sessions to homeschooled children, as an approved vendor to a number of charter schools. They support FOLAR (Friends of the LA River) and the Rails To Trails Initiative. Additionally, RD Equine is in the process of getting involved with Trails For All and other relevant parties to try to improve the LA River Trail for all local users.

A grant would also allow us to open up the horsemanship, horseback riding, and therapeutic horsemanship services to a larger section of community – to children at risk, disadvantaged youths, and members of other youth based non-profit organisations, at a heavily discounted rate (perhaps even free).

In addition, we are joining forces with a 501(c)3 non-profit organisation named Off Track Rescue – we plan to create a program whereby we rescue horses off the track, retrain them on the LA river trail, and use them to teach local children’s groups about trail riding, horse care, trail management and conservation. A grant would allow us to get the program jump-started and begin without debt, and therefore able to offer our services to the public and to non-profit organisations much earlier than currently anticipated.”

New England Hemophilia Association (NEHA) – Since 1992, NEHA has proudly offered Family Camp to the New England bleeding disorders community at Geneva Point Center in Moultonborough, NH. They believe that living with a chronic disease doesn’t have to feel so isolating.

New family memories are made at NEHA’s Family Camp where children are encouraged to try new sports and activities. Medical staff is onsite 24/7 to handle any emergencies that may arise. They offer archery, arts and crafts, wood shop, waterfront, infusion classes and sessions for siblings. Everyone comes together as the sun sets to share the events of the day around the campfire with other families from the community.

We staff our camp with a medical team which is available 24/7 as well as experienced counselors. Funds from this grant will help NEHA expand and enhance our efforts to provide a fun and safe environment for our campers and for their families. Specifically, funds would be used to bring in additional educational opportunities, experts in the field to provide education, more facilitators to encourage continued growth and skill development, and a more robust staff training are three initial opportunities and ways the grant funds could make an immediate impact.”

Sarasota School of GlassSarasota School of Glass is a beginners’ school specializing in project based activities for children and adults. Their emphasis is fun, fun, and more fun. SSG offers small classes in the Sarasota area, attracting students worldwide. Family holidays are their biggest draw, catering to family parties and gatherings. They try to take the ‘mystery’ out of creating in glass and believe that they are successful in doing so, since students return again and again bringing friends and family with them.

The Grant would be a wonderful boost to our business. We are bursting at the seams and would use the Grant to expand our classrooms to accommodate more students. We would also expand our Open Studio area where students can work independently and have a special area just for kids. I would love to have separate a room where children could come to work independently, like the adults, freely expressing themselves without the restrictions of being in a classroom. I would also have private sessions with children that have a desire to do more advanced work and are serious about this art.”

Young Intellects – This after-school and camp provider is the only organization in Bay Area that focuses on collaboration between mainstream kids and kids with special needs. They have been featured in many magazines for our unique work.

“The grant will help us in spreading awareness about Inclusive Education. Our goal is to bring out a well-rounded and an empathetic society.”

Camp Super DuperThis Los Angeles camp is a “safe, magical place for kids from the community to discover, create, connect, laugh, play & grow.” They also host international students, exposing community kids to cultures from all over the world. Additionally the camp provides scholarships & grants to kids in the community (and outside the community in underserved areas) who could otherwise not afford it. The camp welcomes all genders, religions, races, abilities, orientations, family structures. 

We would use the grant to offer even more scholarship spots to kids in the community (and beyond) who could not afford it. Plain and simple. We want to provide a magical, enriching experience to help all kids thrive and shine their brightest possible light, especially the ones who need the most support.”

ActivityHero wishes the best of luck to all the contestants! Each of these organizations is doing incredible work in their communities and we are confident that no matter who wins our grant, it will be put toward a great cause.

Check back on June 18 to find out who the winner is!

Categories
for Providers

3 Steps To Efficient Camp Marketing

Learn how to track your marketing efforts so that you get the most out of your marketing dollars. Free online training session on Wednesday, November 20.

Every camp operator understands the most important factor in having a financially successful camp – enrolling campers. Successful camp operators report that 33% of campers are return campers and 33% campers are referrals.

That means that 33% of the remaining campers need to come from marketing efforts. Marketing requires time and money. Successful camps figure out how they get the best results for their time and money.

John Wanamaker, a very successful retailer during the 19th century, famously said: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Many of us still struggle to know what marketing efforts yield results, but with some advance planning, you can track and measure your marketing efforts, especially when marketing online.

Step 1. Know your profit per camp session

To calculate how many camp registrations you need to make an advertisement profitable, you need to know your profit per camp session. Here we are talking about the profit on each additional camp registration.

For example, if you charge $400 per camp session, and it costs you $75 for the additional supplies or food for that session, you have a profit of $325. This assumes that your fixed costs such as rent and staff are already covered by your returning campers, so this number is not the same as compared to the overall profitability of your camp.

So if an ad costs $1,000, you need at least 4 new camp registrations to break even on the advertisement.

Step 2: Set up your tracking methods

Your ability to track the number of new campers as a result of each advertisement will depend on the type of marketing campaign.

Print ads, flyers, postcards, radio and other offline ads

When you have an ad or flyer that tells people to go to your website to get more information and register, the best way to determine how many people found you from that ad is to use a unique promo code. Then you can see how many times that promo code is used. The promo code also gives the purchaser a discount, but it doesn’t have to be very large — even $10 off makes it worthwhile for the purchaser to enter the promo code. Alternatively, you can use a unique URL in each ad, but you don’t want a URL that is too difficult to type into a web browser.

Email and online ads

To track digital advertising such as emails or banner ads, you will need to use tracking URLs and analytics software to track how many people visited your website and how many made a purchase.

Google Analytics is free and is by far the largest analytics provider. Once you install it on your website you’ll be able to see traffic from different sources and track conversions.

Google Analytics Referrals Sample Page

To track email ads, you need to create campaign URLs which let you see how many visits and purchases came from a specific email campaign. These campaign URLs append a string like “utm_src=email&utm_cam=feb21” to the end of your URL and allow Google Analytics to track the set of users who come to your website. If you don’t use a campaign URL, traffic from emails will be categorized as “Direct” in Google Analytics.

By using campaign URLs, you can track what happens after the visitor came to your website (eg: did they bounce and leave or did they make a purchase). Having your own data source is also useful to validate the data that you are given by the advertiser. Sometimes the data may be off by a few percent due to technical reasons, but it should not be off by 50% or more.

Google and Facebook ads

When you use Google or Facebook ads to drive more traffic to your website, you need to install their tracking code onto your final purchase page to track how many purchases you receive.

These ad platforms track two types of purchases: clickthrough and view-throughs. A typical attribution setting is 1 day view-through and 30 day click-through. What this means is that if someone clicks on your ad on day 1 and purchases 30 days later, Google is going to count that as a purchase that you received as a result of the Google ad. A view-through means that Google knows that a person was shown your ad, but didn’t actually click on it. If that person visits your website and makes a purchase within 1 day of being shown your ad, Google is going to count it as a view-through conversion from the ad. If you feel this is overly generous or restrictive, you can customize your attribution settings in Google or  Facebook reports.

ActivityHero and performance-based ads

When you advertise on ActivityHero, you pay only when a camp is purchased, so you will know how many purchases you get from this source. You may also get some view-through purchases, if someone sees you on ActivityHero and then purchases on your website.

Surveys

A survey question like “how did you hear about our camp” on your registration form will help you get data on other sources such as word of mouth or friends.

Be sure to include all of your active campaigns and make the options specific (eg: Google Ad, Facebook Ad, Parent magazine, ActivityHero, San Francisco camp fair) rather than general (online search, print ad, camp fair). You may want to allow multiple answers since many people may have heard about your camp from multiple sources.

Keep in mind that surveys or questionnaires is self-reported information and some people won’t remember how they heard about your camp or be tempted to choose the easy answer.

Step 3: Analyze your results

To analyze your results, keep a simple spreadsheet (see sample) with the following information:

Analyzing Results – Sample Spreadsheet

1)    Date
2)    Advertisement
3)    Cost
4)    If time intensive (such as camp fairs), track the time commitment
5)    Reach/Impressions
6)    Website visits
7)    Conversions (# of sessions purchased)
8)    Cost per conversion

The cost per conversion is the main way to compare the performance and cost for different marketing campaigns. If the cost per conversion is less than your profit per camp session, you are making money from those additional registrations and could want to expand the campaigns that are performing well. A few things to keep in mind:

  • Emails to your mailing list should always have the highest conversion and lowest cost per conversion. However, if your email list is primarily consisting of existing customers, you need to reach a wider audience to fill your camp.
  • If you have a campaign that is on the borderline of being profitable, use your existing information to negotiate! You may be able to decrease cost or increase reach to make the numbers work.
  • Online advertising should always have a higher conversion than print or direct mail.  An online ad takes the customer to where they can sign up. A print ad or direct mail requires additional action by your camper.
  • If you’re paying a form of advertising that never shows up in your surveys or using the other tracking methods, it just might be part of the half that is wasted money.

By following these steps to track results from your marketing campaigns, you will have a better idea of where your time and money is best spent. Evaluate your results monthly so that you can adjust your marketing throughout the season and you’ll grow your camp profitably.  

Categories
Best of ActivityHero for Providers

Best Camps, Classes & Kids’ Activities of 2018

ActivityHero announces the best camps, classes, and kids’ activities of 2018 — based on reviews and votes from families.

Thousands of parents reviewed and voted for camps and classes on ActivityHero, and the following 36 providers have been awarded the “Best of 2018” badge on ActivityHero. Thank you to all the reviewers for sharing their experience with families on ActivityHero!

**Note: All reviews must meet our review guidelines

Best Sports Camps & Classes of 2018

Coach Ken Soccer Academy

Los Altos, California
Also a Best of 2015, 2016, & 2017!
“Both of our daughters have played Coach Ken soccer and we love it! He and his staff took the time to get to know our girls individually and push and encourage them in specific areas. We also appreciate that Coach Ken has lots of excellent female coaches that our daughters can look up to. We love the mix of fun with serious soccer development. Our girls have now moved to club soccer and were well prepared with Coach Ken soccer. We have recommended friends and family and will continue to do so.”
– Amy, July 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Coach Ken Soccer

AK Martial Arts & Fitness, Inc.

Carlsbad, California
“They are fast paced, always different, engaging, interactive and just large enough to be fun but not too large. We spend at least half of our summers at AK camps!”
– Kristin, May 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for AK Martial Arts & Fitness, Inc.

Rocky Mountain Self Defense

Denver, Colorado
“Rocky Mountain Self Defense makes the world seem a little less frightening. They teach you how to face this world so you won’t be another number and if something goes wrong they will help you through it. A safe, fun and great way to learn how to defend yourself with yet another great bonus of getting in better shape.”
– Brittany, May 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Rocky Mountain Self Defense

Freedom in Motion Gym

Murrietta, Georgia
“The coaches at FIM are absolutely amazing, your son is in little jumps, he has learned much more than just parkour techniques/skills. He’s able to pay more attention in a busy environment and his physical confidence has increased 10 fold. I can’t recommend them enough. I am truly happy that we have access to such a great facility and team. Great work FIM team.”
– Alex, July 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Freedom In Motion Gy

Golden Bear Gymnastics

Berkeley, California
2018 Grant Contest Finalist
“As a mother of a competitive gymnast, my daughter and I have experienced many different classes, coaches, and opportunities offered by Golden Bear Gymnastics. All of the coaches are well trained and very respectful to the sport and to the children especially. They encourage and praise every accomplishment and effort made. They have encouraged and helped my daughter to become not only a stronger gymnast, but a stronger person with self confidence and passion.”
– Anita, May 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Golden Bear Gymnastics

Spartan Allstars

La Canada Flintridge, California
Also a Best of 2015, 2016 & 2017!
“Andre absolutely enjoyed the camp last week! It was very well organized and he got to try so many different sports. He was very happy and also tired when we picked him up, which is a great thing! He loved the fact that he was able to watch the World Cup and also that he was with his buddies the entire week (we had completed the friend request:). Thanks for doing such a great job!! As a parent I really liked receiving photos during the week. Really appreciated the early pick up text system. It works well. My kids are happy and we are happy as well. Next year we’ll commit to more than one week for sure. Thank you to the great staff for the very fun week!!!”
– Kristine, July 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Spartan Allstar

Tri-City Storm Soccer Club

Fargo, North Dakota
2018 Grant Contest Finalist

“The program and the coaches are top notch. The expertise and experience the program brings to our kids that participate are such an asset to Fargo-Moorhead. Beyond soccer skills, kids are taught about teamwork and communication which are life skills that will last well beyond their time in the program.”
– Josh, May 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Tri-City Storm Soccer Club

See Schedules for All Camps & Classes Near You >>


Best Science/Technology Camps & Classes of 2018

The Game Academy

San Rafael, California
“Game Academy is the highlight of my son’s week in the school year and of course, if they do summer camps, he will be in 3 out of 4 camps! Thank you, Game Academy, for all the hours of fun, hands on activities, outdoor play and socio-emotional learning.”
– Pranathi, July 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for The Game Academy

Flymore Academy

Palo Alto, California
“After several sessions with these guys and they were off to the races… taking videos… editing and making these cool videos… They are actually excited to use it now. They’ve even gotten friends into it and they feel confident enough to pass the controls over to them and teach them how to fly it. So the Flymore guys took a drone that was collecting dust and about to be sold on eBay… to igniting interest in my kids to use and understand a technology that is getting more and more advanced. And we’ve gotten some really cool family trip videos at the beach and mountains that we will have forever. (All without destroying a single drone!)”
– David, May 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Flymore Academy

The Scholar Ship

Austin, Texas
“Amazing place for children to learn STEM fun activities. Great location and owners make this store a staple in our community. The owner is fantastic and knowledgeable about numerous topics related to science and coding. My daughter loves attending the kids night out as well as summer camps. Just an amazing resource for our community.”
– Brian, May 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for The Scholar Ship

Youth Technology Learning Center, (YTLC)

Duluth, Georgia
2018 Grant Contest Finalist

“Highly recommended! I was so excited to find a technology class for my 4 year old. The teachers are amazing! I was so impressed by the level of patience that is involved in teaching a 4 year old coding. They are flexible and most c importantly, may kid loves to go. Reasonable prices!”
– Engrid, May 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Youth Technology Learning Center, (YTLC)

LifeTechforKIDS, LLC

Union City, California
“LifeTech (Bio-Science & Tech) is one of a kind program for young minds that opens doors for interesting learning experiences in life. I am glad there are options for kids outside of the conventional coding and math programs. Instructor Sudha has years of experience in the biotech and in a way she is giving back to the society by imparting her knowledge and experience to kids who aspire to be scientists or would like to learn about life-tech. Highly recommended!!!”
– Manish, June 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for LifeTechforKIDS, LLC

See Schedules for All Camps & Classes Near You >>


Best Music & Performing Arts Camps & Classes of 2018

Rock Band Land

San Francisco, California
Also a Best of 2016 & 2017!
2018 Grant Contest Silver Prize Winner!
“This is the first camp my son ASKED to attend after walking past many times and meeting them out at the park. Other camps he felt overwhelmed with or forgotten but this was the right fit for him. He would come home excited. I so appreciate the work that goes into this kind of program and how awesome and creative it is. Thank you Rock Band! See you guys soon!!”
– Nicole, August 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Rock Band Land

CYT Houston

Spring, Texas
“This place was so formative in my development of skills specific to the arts but also in life. I am now pursuing a career as a performer and I would not be where I am without the training I received at CYT. On top of teaching kids how to better their craft, this organization provides a safe Judeo/Christian environment for kids to explore their faith and enjoy fellowship with other believers while bonding over a shared love of the theatre.”
– Jacob, April 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for CYT Houston

Ms. Marian’s Dance Garden

San Francisco, California
“Ms. Marian has taught dance to our daughter for nearly six years. What I love most about Marian is her welcoming kids of all abilities, her ability to engage even the shyest child, and her amazing energy and dedication to bringing lyrical movement to kids.”
– Esther, June 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Ms. Marian’s Dance Garden

 

Rock-a-Baby

New York, New York
“I am currently taking my 4th grand daughter to Rock-a-Baby and all 4 of them have loved it. Whatever will I do when I run out of kids ?”
– Denise, May 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Rock-a-Baby

 

Royal Stage Performing and Visual Arts

Roseville, California
“We have been a part if Royal Stage for a little over year now. My daughter takes the ballet class for kids. The teacher is wonderful, patient, & kind. Everyone that I have met from Royal Stage is the same way. We even held a birthday party there & my daughters were overjoyed! Everyone had a great time & they organized everything so that I didn’t have to stress. I would recommend Royal Stage (and I have) to anyone, especially those who just want to try out an art form or have children who are interested in the Arts. It is a fun & supportive environment that focuses on self-worth, positivity, & hard work.”
– Amanda, May 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Royal Stage Performing and Visual Arts


Kid Stock

San Francisco, California
Also a Best of 2015 & 2016!
2018 Grant Contest Finalist
“Kidstock is by far my kids’ favorite camp! We’ve signed up 5 years in a row. The counselors are kind, genuine and talented. The kids have so much fun dancing, singing, acting and learning camp songs and jokes. But more importantly they use their creativity, take risks, gain confidence and make friends. I also love that it is a no frills, affordable, down-to-earth environment with the kids’ best interest at heart:)”
– Monique, June 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Kid Stock

See All Camp & Class Schedules Near You Now >>


Best Creative Arts Camps & Classes of 2018

The Art Beat

Campbell, California
Also a Best of 2016 & 2017!
“This camp is amazing, my daughters enjoyed it very much.they created beautiful pieces of art including a fairy house with clay and other materials. This is the second year my daughters return to such a fun camp. I would recommend it 100%”
– Perla, June 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for The Art Beat


CD’s Kids Art Studio

San Jose, California
Also a Best of 2015, 2016 & 2017!
“I highly recommend any class you can get with her! My son has taken 3 years of art classes with CD. She is able to teach him art, while allowing him to express himself as an individual. She celebrates his art being “different” from others, and gives him the freedom to explore without boundaries. He absolutely loves CD and I feel that she has truly nurtured the true artist in him!”
– Debra, August 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for CD’s Kids Art Studio

See Schedules for All Camps & Classes Near You >>


Best Specialty Camps & Classes of 2018

Project Ember

Multiple Locations, Bay Area California
2018 Grant Contest Grand Prize Winner!
“”It was the biggest structure I had ever built and it was my first time building.” Those were the words of my daughter, filled with pride and excitement. My eldest opened up more throughout the course of the week due to the constant atmosphere of community. My youngest learned the value of teamwork and that hard work pays off. Being unplugged for a week allowed them to engage more with their surroundings giving them the full Project Ember experience. By far my kids’ favorite camp and the best decision I could’ve made for them. I fully stand by this camp and recommend it to any parent.”
– Silvia, July 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Project Ember


Junior Chef University

Multiple Locations, Los Angeles California
“What a pleasure it is to see these young children learning the fundamentals of healthy cooking. Cathey and Sunshine have a passion for opening these doors for the children in the community. I would sign up for every class they offer if I had the time. Keep up the good work and thank you for making a difference in our community with your hard work.”
– Jamie, June 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Junior Chef University


EmpowerandHelp

Cary, North Carolina
2018 Grant Contest Finalist

“My kids were part of “Cards of Hope” project, it was a great experience for them. Especially the questions they asked surrounding the project as why they are making cards, where will they go, why they have to leave the homes, why no food or toys ? It was eye opening for them and us. Great way to make them social and emotionally aware . Also a great way to teach empathy.”
– Pallavi, May 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for EmpowerandHelp


Cook n Grow

Multiple Locations, Texas
2018 Grant Contest Finalist

“We love Cook n Grow classes! We have done workshops, adult classes, week long classes and even chose to have a Cook n Grow birthday party last year and every time it was awesome! My kids love it and we will definitely continue to participate in all of the exciting opportunities that Cook n Grow offers! They love to cook but I have a hard time carving out time and space to teach them their way around the kitchen. Gina does an amazing job.”
– Cassidy, May 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Cook n Grow

Growing Healthy Children Therapy Services

Rescue, California
“GHC therapy services has helped our family tremendously! Our son had a wonderful school year thanks to o/t therapy sessions and camp! The therapists did an amazing job getting to know our son and provided a wide range of activities that met his sensory needs. He loved the attention he received from each therapist and the exciting curriculum they provided to meet his needs. He loved it!”
– Susan, July 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Growing Healthy Children Therapy Services

happy baby, LLC

El Segundo, California
“I’ve attended Happy Baby around 4 times a week for prenatal yoga, dance, and bootcamp for the last 4 months. I couldn’t have found a more wonderful place to meet other women and stay active. Happy Baby has the most amazing people, classes, and resources. It is such an incredible asset to our community and I am grateful everyday for all it has to offer. They are the best!”
– Amy, June 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for happy baby, LLC

FireZone

Shaumburg, Illinois
“This place is great for kids! Such a unique birthday party place. I brought the kids I babysit here during their drop in times and they loved it. The staff are all super friendly and knowledgeable. They have real firefighters there, so the kids love that! Great place overall!”
– Natalie, May 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for FireZone

 

See Schedules for All Camps & Classes Near You >>


Best Academic Camps & Classes of 2018


Launch Generation

San Diego, California
“I attended a program led by Whitney and Alexis when I was 17, and through their commitment, innovation and optimism, have been shaped into a more confident and self-aware individual than I ever imagined. Generally, life skills such as a stronger understanding of financial matters and courage in communicating and presenting have strengthened me in my entrepreneurial pursuits. More specifically, lessons I learned about social capital with them back when I was 17 played a pivotal role in my undergraduate dissertation this summer! Their dedication to every individual they come across who is willing to learn is exceptional and something I consider myself very lucky to have.”
– Meghan, June 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Launch Generation


Kidizens

Multiple Locations, Bay Area California
Also a Best of 2015, 2016 & 2017!
“My kid had a blast at this camp – it helps that he adores Legos! I especially LOVED that this camp actually had the kids deal with real life issues and skills – problem solving given real rules, regulations, ordinances, physical constraints (like weather), and dealing with citizen requests, city needs, and externalities and consequences of actions. Building a city and dealing with things like economy, industry, pollution, services, is such a valuable thing to teach even young children. We’re definitely doing this again next year!!”
– Julie, August 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Kidizens

Andrew Simpkins Innovation Foundation

Atlanta, Georgia
“This is our 2nd year in a row, each year my 10 year old son looks forward to attending the program. Each day he has a new lesson to share for what he did that day. I don’t even have to prod him for details he tells me excitedly all on his own. Many Thanks!!”
– Desiree, June 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Andrew Simpkins Innovation Foundation


San Francisco Math Circle

San Francisco, California
“My husband I almost didn’t believe Ethan was our son because he’s so good at mathematics and truly enjoys it (lol)! Luckily, Math Circle was offered and exposed him to new and different math concepts that are different from what he’s learning in class. He is engaged, enjoys learning even more and is excited about it. It’s a win all around!”
– Cheryl, May 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for San Francisco Math Circle

See Schedules for All Camps & Classes Near You >>


Best Outdoor Camps & Classes of 2018


Kids Dojo

Multiple Locations, Bay Area California
Also a Best of 2016 & 2017!
“My son had a great week of mountain biking with Aaron. The trails and tracks they went to were fun (as reported by my son) and he came home worn out at the end of each day. Since we were visiting, it was convenient to be able to have a rental mountain bike for him to use the whole time and not have to carry the bike back and forth. We will definitely do this camp again when we are back.”
– Sasha, June 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Kids Dojo

Wild Blue Ropes Adventure Park

Charleston, South Carolina
2018 Grant Contest Finalist

“My 9 year old son has attended the WBR camp for two summers now along with many visits throughout the year for climbing and he LOVES everything about each experience. When he arrived at camp this summer and saw the ninja course was being worked on he was ecstatic as he is a HUGE American Ninja Warrior fan and there is nothing at all remotely close to what WBR is creating. He would want to attend multiple weeks of camp and visit weekly to use the ropes course and ninja course. The staff at WBR is amazing with all of the campers and their care and responsibility for ensuring a fun and safe environment is phenomenal.”
– Abby, June 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Wild Blue Ropes Adventure Park


Camp Ruwá

Multiple Locations, Nationwide
“My son went to Camp Ruwa last year. He marches to the beat of his own drum and doesn’t really get into sports – to the point he won’t wear clothing that has anything to do with football, basketball, etc. After attending the camp, he came home telling me, “Mom! I’m athletic on the rock wall!” He also created the motto/chant for his group, which was a huge confidence booster. He’s remained connected to his counselor and gives Kyle a hug and chats with him at every possible opportunity. I love what Camp Ruwa did in my son’s life last year, and I can’t wait to see what happens this year!”
– Jennifer, May 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for Camp Ruwá

YMCA of Redwoods Camp Campbell

Boulder Creek, California
“My son who is 10 has had the most amazing experiences at Camp Campbell. He attends the after school site, and has done overnights at camp. The staff are warm and friendly, the kids have tons of activities and they are encouraged to make friends with new people. Our family has been embraced by the community in childcare and camp. We love it and can’t say enough good things about it!”
– Melody, May 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for YMCA of Redwoods Camp Campbell

 

ATX Kids Club

Austin, Texas
Also a Best of 2015, 2016 & 2017!

“My six year old loved all the activities at ATX Kids Club. The weather was a challenge (100+ degree heat in mid-Aug), but the field trip guides kept the kids engaged and excited throughout the day. I was amazed at all the things my girl learned about nature, nutrition, and her beautiful city!!”
– Sara, August 2018
See all reviews & current schedules for ATX Kids Club

 

See Schedules for All Camps & Classes Near You >>

Categories
for Providers

Nine Finalists Selected in the ActivityHero Grant Contest






Nine Finalists Now Qualify for the $10,000 Grand Prize to be Announced in August.

Congratulations to the nine finalists who have each won a $500 ActivityHero Grant, which includes services from ActivityHero, GoDaddy, 4imprint and PsPrint. They now advance to the judging round and the Grand Prize Winner of $10,000 in cash and services will be chosen by a panel of judges. Stay tuned for the announcement on August 15, 2018.

The July Finalists

The three July finalists received many votes and reviews from their supporters. Here’s more about each of the finalists and how they would like to use the ActivityHero Grant.

Youth Technology Learning Center – YTLC came into existence in the service of promoting and propelling the undernourished technology focus needed in this world by providing a nurturing and fertile soil to firmly plant the seeds of STEM in future generations. They prime and empower their students to meet the diverse and emerging needs of a technology driven world.

“Our ultimate vision is to provide a STEM center for children in need who may not otherwise be able to afford such classes. A grant would greatly help us in our efforts to bring this dream to fruition.”

 

Cook n Grow – Through interactive learning, children are taught cooking and baking techniques, etiquette and table manners, cognitive measuring skills and more. Adults can enjoy Cook N Grow to learn how to make an exquisite dish themselves, or for a fun date night!

We love our Community and give back constantly through our philanthropies. We give College Students an opportunity to have a flexible part time job while having a job they truly enjoy. Working with kids is so rewarding! We strongly believe that by teaching kids where food comes from and expose them to healthy habits, they’ll make better decisions about what to put into their bodies.”
project ember logo

Project EmberWe ask kids to dream big and work hard. Our projects are ambitious; creative thinking and curiosity alone won’t see us to the finish line. We need elbow grease and resilience to get it done. We need grit.Grit separates brilliant ideas from brilliant creations. Thinking is easy, starting is hard, and finishing can seem nearly impossible. Grit get us to the other side of the hurdles that stand between us and successfully bringing our ideas to life.

“We’re committed to making our program accessible to each and every child who wants to attend. Though we are still building toward solvency, we have said yes to almost 100% of the campers who have requested scholarships since our program began, giving away over $30k in financial assistance in 2018 alone…The ActivityHero grant would cover 1/6 of our scholarship requests, greatly alleviating the pressure on our organization to stay afloat while providing access to an inspiring group of young people.

The June Finalists

The three June finalists collectively received 800 votes since April 1, 2018. Here’s more about each of the finalists and how they would like to use the ActivityHero Grant.

Wild Blue Ropes Adventure Park -Wild Blue Ropes’ camp offers specific daily activities that are balanced between structured and unstructured play. Campers learn how to work with others, build meaningful relationships, accept guidance, and develop decision-making skills. All of these life skills nurture independence and confidence. The unique, co-ed program is designed for ages 8 – 14 years.

“An ActivityHero Grant would help us grow Wild Blue Ropes Adventure Park’s offering – specifically our new NinjaFit Course… Once completed, the NinjaFit Course at Wild Blue Ropes will offer classes, open course, and personal training for individuals of all ages and abilities. Our focus is to provide yet another safe, healthy, outdoor challenge for visitors to enjoy.”

Golden Bear Gymnastics At Golden Bear our coaches take great pride and care when instructing your children. Although a majority of our classes are as a group, our coaches pay close attention and work with each child individually to help build and emphasize their skill sets. 

“Given the extensive facilities and skilled coaching required to run a gym, the cost of competitions, uniforms and travel, participating in gymnastics is often accessible only to children of families with financial means. We believe that all children can benefit from the lessons learned through gymnastics: discipline, hard work, teamwork, strength and agility, empowerment…We would be thrilled to use an ActivityHero Grant to provide scholarships to lower income youth who may not otherwise be able to participate in this transformative sport.”

Empower and Help – At Empower and Help we create future leaders with integrity that make this world a better place for themselves and others.Our camps and year round classes teach students to reach their highest potential by deepening their experience of life, focusing on positive mindset, possibilities and understanding how to integrate and maintain values such as love, respect, integrity, etc

“The ActivityHero grant will immensely assist us in:
1) Offering our workshops and classes to families who cannot afford at a subsidized rate or for free.
2) Training our team on advanced techniques through various courses to support our goal of empowering and helping others
3) Building the “Help” portion of our website which will be dedicated for social good projects and creating a searchable database on Mental health aid and resources.”

The May Finalists

The three May finalists collectively received 500 votes and 100 reviews since April 1, 2018. Here’s more about each of the finalists and how they would like to use the ActivityHero Grant.

Rock Band Land

Rock Band Land – Offering camps and classes for kids ages 5 to 12 in San Francisco, California, Rock Band Land focuses on creative expression and collaboration through rock music, storytelling, writing, video arts, fine arts, and movement. Here’s how they would use the ActivityHero Grant if they win the Grand Prize:

“In September 2018, we are expanding into a space that is almost four times the size of the current Rock Band Land Headquarters. We are incredibly excited for this move as it means that we can expand upon our programming and projects for our rockers and artists…An ActivityHero grant would allow us to use funds towards the purchase of instruments, computers, and materials to best outfit our classes.”

Tri-City Storm Soccer ClubTri-City Storm Soccer ClubTri-City Storm Soccer Club provides members of all ages and skill levels the opportunity to play soccer and develop as individuals. They offer year-round programs for players as young as 4 up to 54 (or older). Between the Recreation, Academy, Select and Adult Programs, you are sure to find the perfect environment to play soccer and have fun! Here’s how they would use the ActivityHero Grant if they win the Grand Prize:

“Tri-City Storm Soccer Club is in the process of negotiating to purchase an indoor facility. This would allow us to grow our programs by providing us with a dedicated space to play soccer, even during our cold winter months. We also would like to expand our ability to provide soccer to the youngest members of our community through our Playground Legends program where we send coaches to daycares to hold camps at their facilities.”

Kerry Wynne, program administrator for the Club, said that in addition to the possibility of winning a grant, the grant contest is giving them an unexpected benefit of seeing how the community supports the club with votes and reviews. She says, “The reviews have come from participants in all of our programs, from recreational to competitive teams. It’s been so gratifying and motivating to see how much people care about our program.”

Kid Stock, Inc.

Kid StockAt Kid Stock, they believe that everyone should have the chance to shine. Their mission is to help children from all backgrounds realize their potential through musical theater and self-expression during summer camps and after-school programs. Here’s how they would use the ActivityHero Grant if they win the Grand Prize:

“An ActivityHero Grant will help our business threefold. It will cover the increased operating expenses for our summer programs; it will support our move to our new headquarters without putting strain on our programs budget; and it will allow us to continue expanding our program options to meet the needs of returning and new participants alike. All in all, support from ActivityHero and votes from our Kid Stock families allow us to offer more of our programming for more children—that means more camp locations around the Bay Area, more dates for popular sites, and more kids learning the joys of self-expression and having their best summer yet!”

Gift Card Winners

The final three $25 ActivityHero gift card winners have been randomly selected as well, and are now eligible to have their gift card value increased to $100 if the activity provider they reviewed or voted for wins the Grand or Silver prizes in August.

Congratulations to:

  • Heidi Vasconi (Voted for Golden Bear Gymnastics)
  • Lauren Jones (Voted for Wild Blue Ropes Adventure Park)
  • Brett Galvin (Voted for Empower and Help)
  • Sharon Aris (Voted for Rock Band Land)
  • Tina Stowman (Voted for Tri-City Storm Club)
  • Katie Miller (Voted for Kid Stock)
Categories
Contests for Providers

ActivityHero Grant Contest Top 10 Leaderboard






An update on the current Leaderboard in the ActivityHero Grant Contest.

With thousands of votes and hundreds of new reviews posted over the past few weeks, ActivityHero families are helping increase the odds that their favorite camp, class and activity providers will win a share of over $15,000 in cash and prizes in the ActivityHero Grant Contest. Congratulations to the six finalists who have been randomly selected from among the eligible contestants. In addition, the last drawing will take place on August 1 to bring the total number of finalists to nine.

Businesses need at least 3 reviews to be eligible for the monthly random drawings. For ideas, check out our recent blog post, Five Ways to Get More Reviews for Your Business with the ActivityHero Grant Contest.

These providers have made it to the Top 10 Leaderboard with the most entries based on their votes and reviews:

Rank Activity Provider Votes Reviews Total Entries
1 Freedom in Motion Gym 348 111 681
2 CD’s Kids Art Studio 333 17 384
3 Kidizens 149 50 299
4 Discover Science Center 155 34 257
5 Spartan Allstars 133 22 199
6 Andrew Simpkins Innovation Foundation 138 20 198
7 Coach Ken Soccer Academy 83 37 194
8 Youth Technology Learning Center (TYLC) 99 20 159
9 San Francisco Math Circle 116 12 152
10 Launch Generation 124 7 145


(*Results for eligible providers as of
July 19, 2018. Votes provide 1 entry and reviews provide 3 entries in the monthly drawings.)

Stay tuned for more updates on the Leaderboard throughout the summer. More entries increase the chance of winning, but don’t guarantee it. Any business who meets the criteria outlined in the Official Rules and has at least 3 reviews may be selected as a finalist. Activity providers can see their vote and review count by visiting their ActivityHero dashboard.

Categories
Contests for Providers Uncategorized

Business Grants and Funding Sources for Activity Providers






If you’re a small business, take note of these 6 options–including grants, contests, and crowdfunding–to help you reach your funding goals.

By the ActivityHero Team

If the prospect of finding money to grow your small business leaves you feeling overwhelmed, intimidated, or confused, you’re not alone. According to a recent article in Small Biz Trends, 60 percent of small business owners never apply for funding to support innovation. Nearly half of the respondents didn’t apply because they believed they would be rejected or viewed the process as too complicated. One third said they weren’t aware grants were available.

Why Should I Apply?

Here’s the good news: developing a solid plan to fund improvements for your small business is smart advice, according to the report. For those businesses that did apply for funding, innovation drove financial success and improved productivity for businesses of all sizes, whether that innovation involved offering new services, improved marketing, or hiring.

To help streamline your search for alternative funding and small business grants, we’ve identified six sources of growth funding that have proven helpful for other kids’ camps and activity providers.

Small Business Grants

  1. NASE Micro-Business Grants are worth up to $4,000 each and applications are open to National Association for the Self-Employed members. Past recipients used their growth grants for computers, equipment, to hire part-time help, marketing materials, website creation and more. Past grant winners have come from a range of industries, including kid-oriented services like nutrition coaching and childcare. As a recent example, Let’s Have Fun Daycare was awarded a NASE Growth Grant in September 2017.  
  2. Amber Grants are exclusively for female business owners. Each month, one finalist receives a $1000 award. Those 12 finalists become eligible for a $10,000 Amber Grant awarded annually. In December 2017, Tiffany Rachann, owner of Imagiread, which offers family literacy classes and programs, was chosen as a finalist in the program.

Grant Contests

  1. Challenge.gov offers a searchable, centralized database of challenge and prize competitions run by more than 102 agencies across the federal government. These wide-ranging opportunities include business grants such as the SBA InnovateHer Challenge. That competition focuses on efforts that “have a measurable impact on the lives of women and families.” Last year, one of the 10 InnovateHer finalists was Jessica Dehn of Dino Drop-In, which offers childcare for busy families who have frequently changing work schedules.
  2. ActivityHero.com has a new business grant contest exclusively for kids’ camp & activity providers that will award $15,000 in cash and prizes. The first 3 of 9 finalists will be chosen in June, and the finalists are guaranteed to win $500 in services from ActivityHero, GoDaddy, 4Imprint, and PsPrint. A Grand Prize $10,000 winner and Silver Prize $3,000 winner will be announced on August 15. The sooner you apply the more chances you have to win. Apply at http://activityhero.com/go/grant

Crowdfunding

  1. Kickstarter’s mission is to bring creative projects to life. Over 60% of campaigns seeking $10,000 or less achieved their funding goal. Music, theater and dance projects are the most successful Kickstarter categories with funding success rates ranging from 50-62%. Dragon’s Haven, a summer camp that uses storytelling and role-playing to teach 21st-century skills to teens, successfully raised $5,000 with a two-month campaign they started in February of this year.
  2. GoFundMe.com is the largest social fundraising platform, and successful campaigns on the site focus on compelling stories and personal appeals. As an example, after Dover Academy’s 7th and 8th graders raised over $6,500 themselves for a special field trip to Yosemite National Park, their teacher Kacie Yarborough created a GoFundMe to help them raise the remaining $7,000.

ActivityHero is the leading online marketplace for kids’ classes, camps, and workshops. Be part of our network of providers and find out more about the range of services we provide.

Categories
for Providers Uncategorized

Top Tips to Manage Negative Reviews from Yelp Expert Darnell Holloway






The possibility of a negative review makes many owners of summer camps and kids’ classes feel nervous about online reviews. Yelp expert Darnell Holloway gives advice on how to use reviews to grow your business.

By ActivityHero Team



Online reviews and parent testimonials are an important part of the decision process to enroll a child at a summer camp or kids’ class. ActivityHero’s CEO Peggy Chang recently interviewed Darnell Holloway, Director of Business Outreach at Yelp, for advice on how to use reviews effectively and to manage your public presence.

Holloway is often referred to as the “Yelp Coach” and has helped countless businesses navigate the world of online reviews since 2009. In the podcast, Holloway gives advice on situations such as:

  • How to respond to negative online reviews
  • Ways to encourage your customers to write reviews (without asking them)
  • How to manage customer expectations such as cancellation policies

Listen Now

Use Reviews Effectively

Holloway shares an effective approach to customer service that keeps customers coming back:

  1. Have a 5-star state of mind, but you don’t have to have a perfect 5-star rating. A Northwestern University study found that people will be skeptical if all reviews are 5-stars.
  2. Responding to negative reviews needs to be a priority. Yelp studies have shown that if you respond within 24 hours and have a diplomatic and customer service oriented response, you have a 33% better chance of getting a better rating.
  3. Respond to positive reviews too – it shows that you are listening and deepens your relationship with happy customers.

Listen Now

Manage Your Public Presence

Most camps and kids’ activities have a Yelp profile page, even if they did not create it themselves. As Holloway explains in the podcast, businesses can claim their Yelp page for free and should make sure their business is categorized correctly as a summer camp or a certain activity type. He also gives tips for how to manage a Yelp profile if a business doesn’t have a permanent location.

Whether you have reviews on Yelp, ActivityHero, Google, Facebook or other online channels, these tips can help you manage your public presence and make online reviews a marketing asset. According to a recent BrightLocal survey, consumers read an average of 7 reviews before trusting a business. Reviews on ActivityHero will also give businesses a better chance at winning one of ActivityHero’s Business Grants worth $10,000.

For more suggestions, check out the blog post Five Ways to Get More Reviews for Your Business with the ActivityHero Grant Contest.

Categories
for Providers

Five Ways to Get More Reviews for Your Business with the ActivityHero Grant Contest






Online reviews can amplify the benefits of “word of mouth” referrals that are the lifeblood for small businesses. Here are five tips to getting more reviews for your camp or class.

By the ActivityHero Team

We all know that reviews are important – as a recent BrightLocal survey showed, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That’s why, in addition to the chance to earn a business grant worth $10,000, we designed the ActivityHero Business Grant Contest to help you engage with your customers to get votes and reviews. ActivityHero reviews are automatically seen on Google, plus you can use them on your own website.

The more votes and reviews you receive from families, the better your odds of winning the grant. Votes earn you one entry, while reviews generate three entries. Your ActivityHero listing already includes a “Vote Now” button. Plus, every voter is automatically asked to write a review for your business.

To increase your chances of winning, and generate reviews that will benefit your business long after the contest has ended, here are five simple tips to help get out the vote.

1. Add a “Vote Now” button on your website.

The voting period is from now until July 31, 2018. Here’s how to find a customized code snippet for the “Vote Now” button: visit your ActivityHero dashboard and click on the “Votes” circle to get your code. Then, just copy and paste to embed the code in your own website.

2. Add a contest link to your e-mail signature.

A short message like “Help us win a $10,000 grant. Vote for us!” can be appended to the bottom of your newsletters or auto-responder emails.

3. Use social media.

 

Share your ActivityHero listing page via Facebook, Instagram profile, Twitter and other social channels along with a brief explanation of what you would do with the grant money.

4. Direct appeal.

Make a personal appeal directly to your best customers. E-mail them or speak to them directly to ask for their help in voting and spreading the word to get more votes. BrightLocal’s survey showed that 68% percent of customers will leave a review if asked!

5. Posters.

Put a poster in your lobby or sign-in area asking your customers to vote for your business. Here’s a sample 8.5 x 11 sign you can download and print.  Or add this larger banner to your profile on social media.

About ActivityHero

ActivityHero.com is the leading online marketplace for camps, activities, after school classes, workshops, and kids’ nights out. We reach more than 2.5 million families nationwide with our easy-to-use website and weekly newsletters. Providers can customize their listing and grow their registrations by visiting https://www.activityhero.com.

Categories
for Providers

Win a Small Business Grant for Kids’ Camp and Activity Providers






ActivityHero’s Business Grant Contest will benefit kids’ camp and class providers with over $15,000 in grants. Apply by May 31, 2018.

If you’re an activity provider who struggles with the challenges of being a small business in a competitive marketplace, we hear you. “We see how hard owners of children’s camps and classes work to provide an enriching experience to their students,” says Peggy Chang, Co-founder and CEO of ActivityHero. A recent survey we conducted revealed that a majority of the respondents were  “doing okay,” were “struggling,” or “barely getting by.” Inspired by these stories, ActivityHero launched a Business Grant Contest where providers can strengthen their customer relationship base and apply to win over $15,000 in grants. Here’s what you need to know to win a grant.

The Prizes

The 2018 Business Grant contest will award over $15,000 in grants and prizes from ActivityHero and its Partners.

  • Grand Prize: Business Grant worth $10,000
  • Silver Prize: Business Grant worth $3,000

In addition, seven Finalists will each receive $500 in services from GoDaddy Website Builder, 4imprint Branded Promotional Products, PsPrint Online Printing Services and ActivityHero Online Marketing.

These services help small business look their best and attract more customers.

GoDaddy is a web-hosting platform and domain registrar that serves over 17 million customers while offering award-winning customer service. Their website builder makes it incredibly easy for anyone to build a modern, sophisticated website with top-of-the-line functionality.

4imprint boosts marketing power by providing companies with high-quality products such as water bottles, t-shirts, and booth signage that can be customized to promote their business. They offer expert consulting services like professional art assistance and help with logo design.

PsPrint offers quality printing, graphic design services and affordable prices. Popular items include postcards, posters, flyers and stickers.

ActivityHero is the leading online marketplace for kids’ camps and classes. Families find and book new activities near them and businesses can use ActivityHero’s online registration service on their website for a seamless experience.

Apply Online by May 31

There are two simple steps to apply for the Business Grant.

    1. Make sure your business has a valid ActivityHero listing. You can easily create a listing if you don’t already have one.
  1. Visit https://www.activityhero.com/go/grant and answer some basic questions about your vision, inspiration, and the kinds of connections you as an activity provider have made with your community. Be clear and concise!

Apply by May 31, 2018 to increase your chances to win since you will be eligible for all three finalist drawings (one at the end of each month from May through July).

The more votes and reviews you receive from families, the better are your odds of winning. Families cast their vote on each business’ ActivityHero listing.

Get Valuable Customer Reviews

In addition to the chance to earn grants, the ActivityHero contest will help you garner customer reviews, providing you with insight on customer preferences. Take advantage of added customer engagement to help advance your strategic goals, like increasing overall customer satisfaction, reducing customer churn, or accumulating new clients through personal referrals.

Marissa Lucero, founder at Maker Studio SF, believes that hearing directly from families is great for business. “I’m excited to participate in the contest because nothing makes us happier than receiving feedback from parents and students on what we’re doing well and how we can improve,” she said, adding, “Winning a grant would let us expand our offerings to young makers”.

Pro tip: Are you looking to boost customer engagement and the number of reviews? Check out our recent post on how to garner more customer reviews via ActivityHero’s Business Grant Contest.

About ActivityHero

ActivityHero.com is the leading online marketplace for camps, activities, after school classes, workshops, and kids’ nights out. We reach more than 2.5 million families nationwide with our easy-to-use website and weekly newsletters. Providers can customize their listing and grow their registrations by visiting https://www.activityhero.com

Categories
for Providers

Surprising stats about school holiday camp registrations






Wondering what are the most popular school holiday camps and when do most families sign up? See our analysis of registration trends to help with your marketing plans.

By ActivityHero Staff

fall&winter camp marketing tipsIf you’ve promoted school holiday camps before, you know it can be stressful. You work so hard to come up with a camp that will be fun, engaging, and inspiring for your campers. You coordinate schedules to ensure that you have staff and space. And then you wait — sometimes longer than you’d like — to see if it will get as many participants as you hope.

It’s true: school holiday camps don’t get a giant wave of early registrations, like summer camps do. Many families wait until the last minute to buy holiday camps. These leaves you, the camp operator, feeling worried about attendance and staffing during the weeks and days leading up to your camp.

Does that mean you shouldn’t offer school holiday camps? Not at all. As we’ve explained before, when you add up all the holidays and teacher work days, kids are out of school for an average 6 weeks during the school year — that’s a big chunk of time for you to grow your business, serve kids, and help working families know their children are well cared-for.

What it does mean is advance planning and thoughtful marketing are especially important at this time of year. And the more you know what to expect, the easier your marketing planning will be. With that in mind, we decided to do a little research into past registration patterns for school holiday camps.

Because we’re the nation’s largest online marketplace for camps and activities, ActivityHero is able to see data across hundreds of fall, winter and spring camps. And when we crunched the numbers about when families register, here’s what we saw:

30 percent of holiday camp registrations are less than 1 week before camp

There are early registrations for holiday camps, but not as many.

While it might feel like everyone’s waiting until the last minute to register, that’s not necessarily the case. Our analysis found that 17 percent of families registered a month or more in advance. Those are the customers you want most, because their early planning means less stress for you in the long run.

How do you get the early planners to choose your camp? We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Get your schedules posted! We’re often surprised at how long some camps wait to share their schedules with families. Don’t make that mistake. If you don’t post your schedules, the early bird families will sign up for something else instead. Post the schedules on your own website and on ActivityHero, too.

What are some of the school holidays in greatest demand for camp? The ones where most parents don’t have off work.

Columbus Day: Over half of schools have Columbus Day off, but only 14% of business have it as a holiday.

Veterans Day: Nearly all schools are out for Veteran’s Day, but only 19% of workers have the day off.

Thanksgiving week: Only 5% of workers are given the day before Thanksgiving as a holiday, but many businesses close early. Many schools are closed the whole week of Thanksgiving.

Christmas Break: Kids get two or more weeks off, but businesses only give 2-4 days off.

MLK Day: This holiday is becoming more common for employees, as 39% get the day off.

President’s Day: 34% of business have this as a holiday, but may schools are also off for the whole week of Winter Break or Ski Week.

Spring Break: No one’s work holiday matches their kids’ Spring Break unless they work for the school.

Be willing to accept last-minute registrations.

About 3 weeks before the camp start date, your camp should be at least 25-30% full, and meeting your minimum enrollment mark. Then expect to get bookings from families who wait until the last minute to register.

If you haven’t reached your minimum enrollment number by then, consider waiting another week to see if more registrations come in. Our data shows that 50% of holiday camp registrations are made within 14 days of the start date. 11% register between 1-3 days of the camp start date.

On ActivityHero, we see a flurry of registrations in the hours before any school holiday. For this reason, our recommendation is to keep your registrations open as late as you possibly can. You might even consider taking campers who sign up the morning of camp. We’ve said this before about last-minute summer camp registrations, but it’s even more essential for fall and winter camps. It might mean a hectic few days of phone calls and emails, but ultimately, it’s all about getting that camp as full as possible. Full camps are great for your business, and fun for your staff and your campers, too.

With advance planning, school holiday camps can bring a big boost to your bottom line. Add your camp dates to ActivityHero and you’ll reach thousands of parents who are looking for a fun, safe place for their kids during the holidays.

Data sources:

  1. ActivityHero 2016 registration data
  2. SHRM 2017 Holiday Schedule survey results