Forging Futures at Summer Camp

Through listening and working with our client, we discovered a story that would resonate with prospective camp goers and their families.

Our client, a college-preparatory school, wanted to expand recruitment efforts for its summer camp program. We worked with camp leaders and campers alike to identify a powerful message, and develop a full-featured video suite promoting the camp’s brand.

In this case study we examine some of the challenges in demonstrating the value of extra-curricular youth programs. We’ll look at how our service package offered a tangible sense of purpose for our client’s program.

Project

The client already enjoyed an established web presence as a college-preparatory school. But sometimes a strong brand identity can overshadow auxiliary service offerings. In this case, the summer camp — despite its robust array of programs — had taken a backseat to what the client had to offer during the school. 

We recognized this as being a very natural problem. Schools are, after all, driven by quantifiable results. Successful academic programming speaks for itself across an array of metrics, from student grades and performance reviews, to enrollment and retention statistics. 

Summer camps face a different set of standards. Though they may include educational programming, they are not typically viewed as having a curriculum per se. A summer camp cannot invoke the same metrics as an academic institution to measure success. It might therefore struggle to demonstrate its value to child development.

The question is, then, how can a summer camp offer proof of its capacity to enrich the lives of its young attendees without grades or assessments?

Execution

As with so many questions of human interest, the answer is a matter of storytelling. We partnered with the client to generate interview content with personnel involved at every level of the summer camp program — from leadership, to counselors, to campers themselves.

Delving into the human factor, several key themes became apparent. Interviewees expressed that they had experienced a sense of community, diversity, and leadership. We tapped into these central themes, and presented them as part of a driving narrative within our media presentation.

Meanwhile, we were immersed in capturing video of the camp culture itself. Our resulting footage bore witness to campers and counselors exploring a host of activities from athletics, to STEM learning, to the arts. These visuals brought the day-to-day itinerary to life. 

We united these elements through storytelling. As it turned out, many of the counselors had been campers themselves. These individuals had attended the camp as children, and embarked on a trajectory from community to leadership. This ended up providing a value proposition that set our client apart.

Conclusion

Done right, good branding isn’t forced but emerges on its own. Though listening and working with our client, we discovered a story that would resonate with prospective camp goers and their families. Having uncovered that narrative, we made it as visible as possible. The impact of our efforts was as clear as the message.

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