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Are We There Yet?

When I was growing up my family used to take road trips every summer. We would load up everything, including the dog, into the Gran Torino station wagon. My dad would pack up the trailer, and off we’d go. But before we barely crossed the county line my sister would touch me. First, I’d scream, “Mom, Jill is touching me.” My sister would shout back, and then the constant bickering would begin.

For years, I never understood why my parents insisted on taking these trips. What person in their right mind would subject themselves to endless hours of siblings fighting? However, looking back I realized, their intentions were good. The only problem was I forgot to look out the window.

If only I had accepted the fact that I was stuck inside the car, had some patience and chilled out, I would have seen all the wonderful things we were passing by.

I believe this is what we all should be doing now. No matter how badly we want this crisis to be over, it’s time to accept that we are in this for the long haul. We need to be patient with ourselves and the people around us. And most importantly, we need to give ourselves a break.

Not only is this personal, but you can apply these same lessons to your marketing. Here’s how camps can brace themselves for the journey ahead:

You cannot control the situation. Every camp professional is used to solving problems, but this is one problem you cannot fix. So buckle up and try to enjoy the ride. The best part about road trips is you can explore and go off the beaten path. Use this time to readjust your marketing goals. Look into new ways to achieve those objectives and map out your next move. You can’t accomplish everything right now, but what you can do is plan ahead with your campaigns. That way when it’s time to kick-off your registration or hire new staff all you have to do is hit the send button.

Right now, compassion is the best form of communication. Everyone is under a lot of stress. Be empathetic with your campers, staff and alumni. Let them know you are feeling sad too. That you were also looking forward to summer. Show them ways that you can stay in touch, and continue to be a part of their lives. Now is the best time to spread that camp love and embrace your community.

Every now and then we all need to pullover at the rest stop and take a break. You have been driving nonstop and you have had to make many hard decisions. It’s ok to clear your head and regroup. Reevaluate your marketing with a fresh perspective and get back on the road towards accomplishing your goals.

This is a trip none of us planned to take. We may not know exactly where we are going or when we will get there. However, we should all take time to look out the window and not let marketing opportunities pass us by.

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