CampMinder is thrilled to announce that we have formally launched a partnership and integration with Ship Camps, a leading white glove shipping provider.
What do golfing, skiing, and summer camp have in common? There are a few good answers, but for Nick Coleman there’s one that stands out: bulky and heavy luggage. Nick is the CEO of Ship Sticks, a company that was founded in 2011 with the goal of improving the travel experience for golfers. It wasn’t long before the company added Ship Skis to its services. This brings us to 2021 and the launch of Ship Camps, a service that makes it simple for campers and staff to ship luggage to summer camp.
Nick’s approach was to create a system through which heavy, awkward, and oversized items could arrive conveniently—and in one piece—to camps across the nation. For Nick and his team, it’s about simplification. “They don’t have to worry about dragging their stuff through the airports, waiting in long lines, and paying extra fees,” he explains. Campers can focus on getting from point A to point B, knowing that the pros are taking care of their luggage.
The new integration between Ship Camps and CampMinder eliminates the hurdles and allows parents to set up shipping based on their timing needs so campers can begin and end their stay with ease. Camps can enable the service in their account and parents can opt-in with one click through CampInTouch. “This partnership is an opportunity to dramatically improve the experience for both camp operators and their parents,” says Paul Berliner, president of CampMinder.
Nick’s personal connection to his business is threefold. He grew up in New York City but traveled west with his family twice a year to go skiing. So he knows the hassle of lugging around dozens of bags full of cumbersome gear. He’s also a golfer and has firsthand experience with the difficulty in getting his clubs to and from his destinations. Finally—and most importantly—Nick is a summer camp parent. He knows that it’s hard enough to remember how many pairs of socks a camper needs, let alone the energy it takes to drag luggage to summer camp. These experiences have helped him develop a process that is simple for golfers, skiers, and summer camp parents alike.
Using an online form or speaking to a support agent over the phone, customers can simply complete an order and schedule a pickup for their child’s luggage, trunks, duffle bags, or boxes. Labels are sent in advance, and then bags are picked up and delivered at exactly the right time. All shipments come with an on-time delivery guarantee and $500 of complimentary insurance with the option to insure for more. The system is intuitive, efficient, and time-saving.
In addition to a real love for summer camp, another element that CampMinder and Ship Camps share is their approach to world-class customer support. This was clear to all the camps that used the service in 2021. “The short story is that Ship Camps was the easiest and best decision I’ve ever made,” says Sheryl Kirschenbaum, Camp Director at Surprise Lake, an overnight camp in New York. “They provide great customer service and do all the work. I had no parental complaints—which is unheard of!”
The adoption of Ship Sticks by the golf industry is widespread. They’ve partnered with more than 4,000 facilities and have shipped millions of bags worldwide. The system works because it takes the expense and stress out of the process. The same is true for camps. For inbound luggage, Ship Camps arranges the arrival of camp luggage for any number of sessions. When it’s time to send the bags home, camp staff simply affix the pre-printed labels that are sent before the last day of camp, and as Nick puts it, “boom, they’re out.” Campers’ belongings arrive back at home, just in time for the all-important post-camp laundry cycle.
Another way Ship Camps reduces stress for parents and camps is by having increased visibility into the end-to-end process. We’ve all experienced shipping and delivery issues, and the frustration of typing a tracking number into a website, hitting enter, and seeing a blank screen. Nick’s team has access to more detailed information. When a bag gets stuck, they know where it is, which truck it’s on, and can send couriers to get it. They do everything it takes to get luggage where it needs to be on time, and for less money than an individual would pay to a standard shipping provider.
Just as important to Nick is customer service. When parents call with questions he says, “they’re talking to a real person who understands their needs, and who probably has kids that are going to camp too.”
A question Nick gets often is if Ship Camps can ship luggage to summer camps that are in the middle of nowhere. The answer is, in a word, yes. Nick points out that many ski towns are far from large cities, and golf courses are typically located outside urban areas where property is less expensive. If campers can receive a letter, he says, Ship Camps can get their luggage to camp.
Hundreds of camps used Ship Camps in 2021, including Chippewa Ranch Camp, an overnight camp in Wisconsin. “The number one feature is how easy it is,” according to Sari Hirsch, the camp’s co-director. “From campers arriving with pre-made labels to automatic pick-up reminders, Ship Camps took care of all the details. It’s very accessible and user-friendly. I couldn’t recommend it more.”
Anna Miller is a mother of three kids, two of whom travel from their home state of Florida to camps in New Hampshire and North Carolina. She says the Ship Camps service and team are wonderful. “We just tell them when the camp luggage will be ready,” she explains, “and they do all the labels and coordinate the pickups and drop-offs.” It means she doesn’t have to deal with the chore of loading the luggage into the car, driving to the shipping location, dragging it in, and coordinating the timing. Anna appreciates that Ship Camps keeps their price at or below other shipping rates, and loves the service so much that she and her family use it to ship their skis for family vacations. As she puts it, “It’s just so easy.”
Nick explains that Ship Sticks was founded on the principle of simplifying travel. By improving the experience of getting from one place to another, golfers and skiers are able to focus on what matters most: the experiences they’ll have on courses and slopes.
It’s that same approach that made the expansion into camps so worthwhile for Nick and his team. Parents and camps are willing to do a lot to make the trip to camp easier and more enjoyable. Ship Camps does the heavy lifting (literally) and gives everyone confidence that trunks and duffle bags will arrive on time. This means camps and parents can shift their focus from shipping logistics to getting kids safely to camp and creating unforgettable experiences all summer long.