Case Study: Ridgecrest Summer Camps

Camp Magic Goes Mobile:
How to Give Parents a White-Glove Experience

Ridgecrest Summer Camps Logo

Ridgecrest Camps are separate boys and girls camps, with the mission of impacting lives for God’s glory through discipleship and adventure. Each summer, 4,000 campers head to the Blue Ridge Mountains outside of Asheville, North Carolina, for two-week experiences that feature upwards of 25 different activity options.

Their philosophy has always been to provide the best experience for kids, care for them when they’re not at home, and make their parents’ experiences better.

The Campminder Professional Suite and Campanion have helped them accomplish all three goals.

A lake at a summer camp

To call Ridgecrest popular would be an understatement. They open registration each year in the middle of August and in the first hour, roughly 2,000 campers are signed up. For some parents, the need to take action immediately was challenging and frustrating if they weren’t in front of a computer. As busy as parents are, making it easy for them to register from their smartphone is a big deal. Mobile registration provides the opportunity for parents to enroll their kids in camp, no matter where they are when it opens.

Ridgecrest has chosen to roll the cost of the app into tuition, as opposed to asking parents to opt in and pay a fee. “We know the app improves the parent experience and if we over-serve them, then they will tell people and we don’t have to spend money on marketing.” Their goal is service that is as white-glove as possible, and Campanion is a home run.

Ridgecrest hosts a weekend family camp, and they use Campanion to send real-time reminders and updates to parents who attend with their kids. When they need to pivot from their normal schedule or want to send a reminder, they share this info using push notifications. These alerts relieve any tension for parents trying to manage their children.

“It’s an incredible touch-point and opportunity to get families the information they need to make the process smoother.” Even something as simple as sharing a photo from the day and posting the next morning’s breakfast time helps make family camp a success.

Three overlapping screenshots of microposts in Campanion mobile app for summer camps
Letter detailing camp day

Ridgecrest’s team shares 2-3 Microposts per day from each camp, but they don’t attach a push notification to every one. Instead, they select a few key Microposts during the week to use along with a notification. This balanced approach helps make sure that parents don’t get inundated with alerts, while still getting a real glimpse into what camp is like.

As much as possible, they write the text for their Microposts ahead of time, which they then copy and paste into the editor. The Microposts allow them to tell a deeper story of camp. “We want them to see stuff happening, and not just when the photos are uploaded.”

Ridgecrest’s parents embraced Face Finder with open arms. In the camp’s first summer using the app, 88% of campers had training photos in the system, which eliminated hours of scrolling through the camp’s 78,000 uploaded photos. “The facial recognition blew parents’ minds. It far exceeded their expectations and ours.”

The Rest of the Best

“Our goal is that parents’ interactions with camp are as clean and smooth as possible. From registration to forms to watching their kids, Campanion makes a huge impact on them.”
Virtual Visiting Day
Ridgecrest’s parents only visit camp on the opening and closing days of each session. Campanion helps them get a clearer picture of what camp really is, whether that’s through pictures or Microposts.
The Word is Out
In 2022, Ridgecrest parents submitted nearly 1,200 reviews, resulting in a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. They opened 52,000 push notifications for Microposts and tagged photos.
The Gold Standard
“We were drawn to Campanion because we always want to be on the cutting edge when it comes to technology in camping, and put our best foot forward with parents.”
people sitting around a campfire telling stories
For the Ridgecrest team, helping parents see what’s happening is beneficial, especially for today’s parents who are concerned with the hour-to-hour activity of their kids. Campanion makes them feel like they’re closer than they are.

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