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Running a Summer Camp? Use an App!

Activities and Play

3/10/2022 | Mikhal Weiner

The academic year may end in June, but that doesn’t mean that all schools close their doors for the duration of the summer months. In fact, many early childhood education programs, like preschools or kindergartens, choose to run a summer camp for part of the summer as a continuation of their regular programming. When you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. Parents still need childcare during July and August, and teachers still need income. 

Summer camp isn’t the same as regular school, although the framework is often similar. There tends to be a lot more outdoor play, for one, and schools may also introduce different types of activities that are more appropriate for warmer weather. In addition, the summer months present a different type of challenge: With more people traveling more often, the number of attendees tends to fluctuate more than it does during the winter months. 

One tactic that schools can employ in order to make everything simpler is to use the tech tools at hand. There’s a ton of exciting tech out there for early childhood educators to lean on, and it’s not just for teaching. Administrators will find that using an app to keep things organized will take the stress of a summer camp down more than a notch. Let’s take a look at exactly how this works.

Streamlining Enrollment With Tech Tools

Gone are the days of binders filled with enrollment forms, parent waivers, and all the rest of the interminable paperwork that used to come with the administrative territory. Now, we have an app for all of that. Parents and guardians can submit and update applications online, and the technology can input all the relevant information into your dashboard—completely automatically. Copying information from an Excel worksheet is passé—now we have algorithms to manage that work for us! This streamlining can be applied to summer camp enrollment as well, and it’s especially beneficial when you have an app in place already. Many of your camp attendees are likely to be existing students, so if you have all the relevant info in an ECE admin app it makes the most sense to keep it there during the summer as well. 

Managing a Million Details

Summer camp usually means alternative programing, like field trips, and more parent involvement than there would be during the year. While this is all fun and games for the little ones, it can be a huge headache for the people in charge of making the programming happen. With the right app, though, it doesn’t have to be as hard as it sounds. Parent approval forms for a field trip? Keep track of those in the app. Information about changing schedules, both on the parents’ end and yours? Keep track of those in the app, too. Have a guest entertainer coming by, or a special lunch plan? Let the parents know in the app. It’s all right there, easily found and managed.

Keeping Up With the Joneses

Speaking of parent-teacher communication, that’s another way technology can help teachers and administrators out. Communicating with parents and guardians can be one of the more challenging parts of being an early childhood educator, but it doesn’t have to be. Everything you need to tell parents—from letting them know their kiddo has a bit of a sniffle to reminding them that there’s a field trip on Thursday—can be sent to everyone all at once, via a helpful app. This doesn’t mean that the communication will be impersonal, of course. Parents and guardians can also have one-on-one text conversations with their child’s teachers and administrators about anything that pertains specifically to their child. 

Running a summer camp is something that many ECE professionals choose to do, and they should! If you’re an educator considering running a program during the summer months, it’s worth your while to make tech a part of your plans.


Mikhal Weiner is a freelance essayist and journalist originally from Israel, currently working and living in Brooklyn. Her writing has been featured by Newsweek, Real Simple, Parents Magazine, and Lilith, among other publications. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @mikhalweiner

Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels

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