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Day Camp Programming and Administration

Day Camp Programming and Administration


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    More and more recreation and fitness professionals are called on to create day camps for children in facilities that have traditionally been geared to recreation and fitness users. New programming and operational challenges arise as professionals are asked to serve a different population with innovative programs through these camps.

    You can overcome those challenges with Day Camp Programming and Administration: Core Skills and Practices. This handy reference, which is geared toward new professionals, will help you
    • conduct a needs analysis and prepare a proposal for a facility-based camp, regardless of your setting;
    • develop business and marketing plans for your camp;
    • manage risk and generate money through your camp; and
    • manage programming, staff training, and administrative processes from conception through evaluation.
    The book comes with a CD-ROM that supplies you with a comprehensive set of worksheets and forms to assist you in planning, operating, and evaluating your camp. You can use these printable tools as the book guides you step by step through the camp management process. You will be exposed to an array of program choices and training and administrative tasks that will help you run successful camps.

    The author draws on her 12 years of experience in running day camps to help you plan your camp. You will learn how to gather information in making wise decisions as you get started, how to plan for safety and comply with health and safety standards, and how to develop camp policies and communicate with parents. You will then be guided through organizing the camp structure, including registration, the business plan, and the daily schedule. You will explore how to hire, train, develop, and evaluate staff, and you will examine common camp programs and discover how to select and implement your own program. Finally, you will learn how to evaluate your program and use that evaluation in preparing future camps.

    Day Camp Programming and Administration: Core Skills and Practices covers all you need to know to operate your own facility-based day camp—whether you are a professional in a municipal recreation department, a fitness owner looking to branch out, or a campus recreation professional. This guide addresses challenges you’ll face as a new day camp provider through practical examples, tried-and-true suggestions, and tips that will help you fulfill your community’s needs, increase your bottom line, and provide fruitful experiences for your day campers.


    Reference for recreation and youth camp staff in parks and recreation and nonprofit organizations, for campus recreation youth camp staff, and for fitness and related businesses that provide day camps.

    Table of Contents


    Chapter 1. Reviewing Organized Camping
    Brief History of Organized Camping
    Evidence-Based Benefits of Organized Camping
    Types of Camps

    Chapter 2. Getting Started
    Community Survey
    Camp Inventory
    Market Analysis
    Program Decisions
    Financial Considerations
    Strategic Direction

    Chapter 3. Managing Risks
    Laws and Legislation
    Health and Safety Standards
    Programming Safety Considerations

    Chapter 4. Developing Camp Policies
    Registration and Refunds
    Drop-Off and Pickup
    Parental Communication
    Other Policy Considerations

    Chapter 5. Organizing the Camp Structure
    Registration Process
    Business Plan
    Daily Program Schedule

    Chapter 6. Staffing the Camp
    Hiring Procedures
    Ongoing Development
    Performance Evaluations
    Counselor-in-Training Programs

    Chapter 7. Programming the Camp
    Common Programs
    Program Selection and Implementation

    Chapter 8. Evaluating the Camp
    Evaluating Programs
    Evaluating Staff
    Journal Entries
    Data Analysis

    About the Author

    About the Author

    Jill Moffitt, EdD, is director of campus recreation and student life at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. She has administered day camp programs in colleges, nonprofit organizations, private clubs, and municipal settings and has operated sport camps and overnight camps as well. Since 1998, she has run camp operations and has been called on to present on day camps at state, regional, and national conferences.

    She developed UNC Asheville’s day camp program from scratch and has consulted with other colleges in assessing student learning outcomes in higher education student affairs or student services departments. An AmeriCorps veteran, Moffitt is a member of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and Athletic Business. She earned her EdD in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Vermont and received an Outstanding University Collaborator Award from UNC Asheville in 2009 and an Outstanding Program Award from AmeriCorps in 2000.