The State of the Camp Industry: The Haves and Have-Nots

Haves and have nots

Managing and maintaining a fully-functional camp from year to year is not for the weak at heart. Everything from staff changes, a decrease in funding, or lack of board support can make any director feel like they’re walking on eggshells in an attempt to open in time for peak season.

And while most camps have a general idea of where they should be in their camp operations and planning by this time of year, Covid-19 very much threw a wrench in even the most well-executed preparedness plans. Unexpected challenges and pushback have left some camp owners unsure of their camp’s future.

While government assistance in the form of PPP loans has helped enhance the financial stability of some camps, others are still struggling to tread water. In many ways, the state of camps for the 2021 season has divided up our industry into two major groups: “the haves” and “the have-nots.” 

In this blog, we’ll learn more about each type of camp and explore how Kaleidoscope can help pull these camps out of dark times and propel them into a bright future. 

The Haves

As a whole, most camps across the country have done an excellent job of reducing their expenses and applying for and securing PPP loans. Some have even been able to set themselves up in far greater financial situations than they usually are at this time of year. And with more money in the bank, they stand in a more significant position moving forward into the 2021 season. 

These camps feel hopeful that they can be successful in reestablishing a camp program that many have come to love. While they would ideally be able to return to normal operations, these camps aren’t letting PPE or other safety requirements stand in their way.

The Have-Nots

While some camps are prospering, others aren’t afraid to admit that they’re struggling. 

In many ways, these camps were already seeing problems in operations or finances long before the pandemic. And despite making necessary cuts and receiving monetary gifts from both donors and grants and loans from the government, these camps are still having to play catch-up to even dream of being prepared in time for summer 2021. 

To save on budget, some directors have cut down on staffing. They can’t afford to pay  employees to do the required tasks before peak season. Many team members are out of work, leaving camps with one or two staff members left to do the work of their entire team as they try to ramp things back up in time.

How Can Kaleidoscope Help?

As many camps begin having tough conversations about their next steps, Kaleidoscope, Inc. is here to usher in new ways of approaching camp operations to come out of this tunnel with a promising future. 

Under our guidance, we’re noticing many camps putting in hours of necessary strategic planning as they look not just at how to survive, but how to thrive in the next chapter of their camp programs.

First and foremost, we’re helping camp directors and teams realize that things have changed, whether for worse or for better, yet the need for camps and the various programs they provide are still relevant for families all across the country. 

Our staff helps teams think about how to survive relaunching their programs after being out of practice during the pandemic, and how they can operate as close to normal as possible while factoring in new regulations and procedures. 

In some cases, camps are seeing a changing of ownership, and we’re helping these new owners breathe life into camps that may otherwise have fallen over the edge, either before or as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

What’s the current state of your summer camp program? 

If you need support, contact us today. Let us help you discover your financial north star and how to reach it. There is light at the end of the tunnel.