The Growth Equation is based on a simple premise: if a camp retains as many existing campers as possible from summer to summer, while recruiting more new campers than it loses, then the camp will grow. Although camp professionals have numerous competing priorities from September to June, the highest use of their time is facilitating organizational growth. Strong camper enrollment means strong revenue, and strong revenue solves most challenges of camp management. The Growth Equation empowers camp professionals to grow their enrollment and increase their revenue through a comprehensive strategy focused on retention, marketing, and sales.
According to the American Camp Association, there are roughly 7,000 overnight camps and 5,000 day camps in the United States, which serve 11 million campers every year. In a recent survey of overnight camps, roughly 40% reported more than $1 million in annual revenue and 14% reported more than $3 million in annual revenue.
The goal of this book is for more camps to reach and exceed those revenue markers so that we, as an industry, continue to grow and broaden our impact in the safest and most responsible way possible. When enrollment is strong, we have sufficient revenue to hire a robust staff, pay for a top-notch program, improve and renovate the facility, and continually invest in safety and security.
Achieving strong enrollment depends on meeting two goals each year: first, retaining as many existing campers as possible and, second, recruiting more new campers than you lose. The Growth Equation explains a proven strategy for achieving those goals.