A summer camp forms rule: When it rains, it pours. You know the feeling. Opening up enrollment is like the start of monsoon season.
Paperwork starts flowing in from everywhere. Camp enrollment forms. Health forms. Physical forms.
How do you manage the flood?
If you’re a camp registration ninja, you probably attack the deluge head-on. It’s the only way. If you wait even a moment, you’ll spend the spring tracking down signatures, calling parents and staff to complete and return them, and of course, you have to file, file, file.
That’s not you, though. (Yet.) You’re a camp forms expert. You wave your magic wand, and the forms start pouring in completed correctly, with all the proper signatures, and before the deadline.
To your colleagues, you make it look easy. But your magic really is one part thorough planning, a dash of a super-human organization, and lots and lots of patience.
If that sounds like you, there’s a good chance you’re camp’s resident forms guru. Not sure if you fit the bill? Here are seven signs you’re a camp forms expert.
You Have An Endless Supply of Patience
In a perfect world, processing summer camp registration forms would be easy. Parents and staff members would download them or access them online. They’d know exactly which forms to fill out and the right way to complete each one. And they’d have every form returned weeks before the deadline.
If only it was that easy.
Registration, instead, moves quickly. You’ll probably hear the same 20 questions. Which forms do I need to complete? Am I filling them out correctly? When do I have to turn them back in? And, of course, you’ll inevitably have to track down those last-minute forms and signatures.
Fortunately, you have the patience of a saint. You’re happy to answer questions, offer helpful reminders about upcoming deadlines, and do it all with a smile on your face.
2. You’re An Excellent Explainer
Let’s face it: For parents and staff, selecting the right forms to choose can be like walking through a maze.
There might be three different forms for three different sessions. How can they know which one is right for them?
That’s where you come in. You’re a fountain of forms wisdom: You could walk any parent through which forms they need to submit, without double-checking to make sure you’re correct.
3. You Could Wrangle Cats With Your Eyes Closed
Deadlines for camp registration forms creep up quickly in the spring. Before you know it, there are only a few days left, and you’re still waiting on dozens of forms from campers and counselors.
That would send most people into a panic. But not you. You have the ability to communicate deadlines effectively, provide motivating reminders, and get those forms turned back in with time to spare.
4. Your Organization Skills Are Unmatched
Let’s say your camp has 250 campers. And you require campers to fill out 5 different forms. Many of those forms are multiple pages. So on any given year, you might have to process, organize and store 1,250 different files.
Most would leave things a disorganized mess. But you are an organization master. Color coding, alphabetizing, and crisp new file folders – you have a plan to keep all your data organized.
5. You Find Needles In Your Registration Data Haystack
In the middle of registration season, pulling up data can be a challenge. How does your enrollment compare to previous years? Are you ahead or behind schedule? What percentage of registration forms have yet to be returned?
Rest assured, you can find the answers. You have the innate ability to transform a pile of camp health forms, camp registration forms and all the other paperwork you’re receiving into reports and insights that can help you make decisions and gauge how you’re doing.
6. You’re a Human Megaphone
Communicating important dates, upcoming deadlines, and instructions for registration must pass through a variety of channels. Some parents prefer email communications. Some would rather receive a brochure in the mail. And some like to access files via your website and fax them in.
As a forms expert, you know how to get the word out quickly. You have tools for sending camp communications fast, segmenting your audience so that messages are delivered to the right people, and when something changes, parents and staffers know about it ASAP.
7. You Could Be a Forensic Handwriting Expert
A problem of handwritten forms: Bad data. You’ve likely come across forms that were illegible, and you know what that means. Tracking down parents or staffers to clarify a message.
You have the skill though to decipher these sometimes cryptic forms, which saves your team a lot of time.
Camp Registration Software: A Tool Every Forms Expert Needs
Ultimately, the type of forms expert you are depends on how your camp handles registration. All paper, handwritten registrations, for instance, require you to be patient and put your organization skills to good use.
Or maybe you offer a hybrid approach: Online forms matched with paper forms. You’d need the ability to push out communications quickly, and be willing to explain the process to more people than usual.
But today, there’s an approach that can save camp administrators a lot of time, help them cut down on paper use, and give them better access to their data. Online registration software.
Camp registration software enables camps to go digital during enrollment. Parents and staffers would create accounts during registration. They could access digital forms from these accounts, and submit them in seconds once complete. For your audience, an online registration platform offers ultimate convenience; all forms are right there at their fingertips.
But another benefit: Online registration empowers you to work smarter. When that deluge of camp forms comes flowing in, registration software helps you to organize, analyze, store and share the incoming data.
Camp registration forms software can help to solve many of the issues camp administrators face during enrollment. And it will make your life easier. A few key benefits for camp registration forms include:
- Cleaner Data – Forms that are illegible take you away from important tasks. You have to track down new information either by phone or email. Registration software prevents this problem. You build online forms that are accessible via the web. You ask the questions you need to. And parents and staff members type their answers in. Say goodbye to illegible forms.
- Efficient Organization – Registration software enables automation. That means, rather than manually filing forms as they come in, you can automate the task. Digital camp health forms, online physical forms, etc. can all be automatically shipped to a pre-set database. Want completed health forms to flow into a healthcare database? You can set up that parameter in minutes and then avoid the pain of manual filing.
- Seamless Communication – Online registration simplifies and supercharges your communication efforts. You can push messages out easily through parental and staff online accounts. This could be your newsletter, instructions for filling out enrollment forms, or reminders of upcoming important dates. Plus, the best camp registration software allows you to segment your list. Want to send a message to just parents who still need to turn in a health form? That’s possible. And in the process, you’ll be making your communications more personalized.
- Fast and Accurate Analysis – No more intricate spreadsheet formulas to find simple answers. With a registration platform, the data locked in your camp forms become much more accessible. You can run custom reports based on parameters you set. Want to find out the percentage of forms that are still out? Need to know how many of your campers or staffers come from a specific geographic location? With the right tool, surfacing this information takes less time and your reports are more accurate.
- Enhanced Convenience – Online camp forms maximize the convenience for your audience. There’s no need to download, print, fax, or use whiteout when they’ve made a mistake. Forms are completed online. Progress can be saved, so they don’t have to finish the form in one session. And ultimately, they have a complete overview of how many forms they need to fill out and when they are due.
- Reduced Paper Waste – Paperwork costs camps a lot. There’s the expense of ink, toner and printers. But the real expense comes from storing all this information. Filing cabinets are expensive, and they take up valuable storage space. By shifting to a digital registration, you’ll greatly reduce your camp’s paper use and the square footage you reserve for paperwork storage.
- Data Accessibility – What happens to camp forms once camp begins? That data gets locked up in a cabinet. And in the event of an emergency, or when you need to find an answer quickly, you have to start digging. Automation ensures data is routed to the correct location. Then, you have clean, organized databases that are searchable. You can type in what you’re looking for, i.e. a camper’s name, and you pull up their entire file in minutes. How much time would that save you?
- Reduced Data Entry – What do you do with handwritten paperwork? A lot of camps manually translate the information into a digital form, whether via a spreadsheet or by scanning the document. Manual data entry is time- and cost-intensive. An automated system that eliminates data entry could help you reduce labor costs, and free up workers to focus on higher-level tasks.
Conclusion: Online Camp Forms Are the Answer
Handwritten forms that arrive in your camp’s inbox can overwhelm and inundate your staff. Going digital, though, offers your camp a solution.
It’s like adding a powerful and efficient rain funnel over your camp’s metaphorical head. Forms start pouring down, and they’re automatically routed to the correct digital filing cabinet. No need to manually file forms. No need to decipher the hard-to-read writing. No need to blanket your audience with messages and reminders that may not be applicable to them.
As your camp’s resident forms rockstar, you fill an important role during registration and throughout the entire summer. Without you, all that valuable data camp was collecting would be in disarray.
But bottom line- you don’t have to go it alone.
The right camp registration tools can help you maximize efficiency, reduce paper and filing costs, learn more about your audience, and free up time in the spring to work on big-picture tasks. Plus, you’d never have to look at a form with a magnifying glass, wondering what the heck it actually says – and for some, that reason alone might be enough.