Just when you thought summertime got left in another lifetime, it comes time to get your camp’s registration process in gear! But before you crack open that old Word document and update dates and prices, consider this: maybe it’s time your enrollment process is ready to advance like last year’s campers. Even though your trusty old registration form download does the job, it asks needless effort of parents and camp staff. First, there’s the download, then the printout, the fill-out, the scan, the email attachment or postal mail. Then the forms arrive and wait for your staff to key the campers’ data into your camp management system.
Whether it’s haircut appointments, travel reservations, medical information or job applications, most of us prefer to have an instant, online way to send our information. Summer camp registration is no different. An online registration form not only saves parents time, but it also gives them confidence that they’re sending their children to a well-organized camp.
Think your camp is too small—or your budget too limited—to implement online enrollment? Think again! With a powerful form building tool like 123FormBuilder, you can create a powerful registration system without ever having to hire a web developer!
Whether it’s a high-dive or an online form, it’s only scary until you try it. Then it’s a thrill!
A great first step to building an online registration form is to dive in and experiment with a summer camp registration form template. You’ll quickly see how easy it is to convert your registration sheets to a dynamic form that works online, including on smartphones and tablets.
A clean, simple online form can increase enrollments because it’s easy to complete right away. If the form looks overwhelming—or needs to be printed!—there’s a greater risk that the registration will be set aside and never completed.
To provide the best experience, a good form builder has a Rules feature, which shows and hides questions according to the previous answers given. That way, the form looks as clean and simple as possible, only displaying the data points relevant to the campers. For example, the form will hide the questions about swimming if it’s a signup for theater camp. Conversely, the form can expand to add multiple children.
Collect key information confidentially
A camper enrollment form should always include a check for special needs, including allergies, medical conditions or mental health matters. An online form can handle this information discreetly and securely via text fields and file uploads, with no paper to be lost or disposed of improperly. Upon arrangement with your form builder vendor, your form may be able to meet the requirements for HIPAA compliance as well.
Make it official
And how about the parent/guardian’s signed consent? Doesn’t that need to be on paper in order to be authentic? Not necessarily! The best online form builder apps offer signature field capabilities that comply with ESIGN and UETA. That means the signature on the web form can have the same legal validity as a signature on paper. And you can still export and print a hard copy for your files if needed.
Process payments during registration—really!
The last step in enrolling incoming campers is to calculate the fees and accept deposits or full payments. Much better than wrangling checks or watching the mail, you can integrate your form with popular payment gateways such as PayPal, Authorize.net, Stripe and many others.
Here, too, no tech skills needed!
In addition to payment processing integrations, you can also feed registrations into third-party platforms such as Dropbox, Smartsheet and MailChimp and others, saving your staff the hassle of typing campers one by one into your camp management system. Isn’t their time better spent planning activities?
Form memories that will last forever
Although switching to an online registration form may have the most dramatic benefits to your camp planning workflow, forms can enhance the camper experience in many ways. If yours is an overnight camp, create an arrival form that provides counselors with the timing and other details of your child’s arrival. You can even link to this form in the configurable confirmation email that your registration form sends to parents.
Finally, find out what you’re doing well and what can be improved for next year with a summer camp feedback form and a staff evaluation form. You can make a version for the older campers as well as the parents.
The experience of enrolling in summer camp is a preview of what campers and parents can expect. A convenient, smooth registration experience can be the deciding factor between your camp and another facility. No matter how small your camp may be, it’s easy to design an onboarding process that cuts down on paperwork. Plus, it puts worried parents’ minds at ease.
Break out the marshmallows and get ready for the best summer ever!