Running a youth basketball camp can be a profitable and rewarding experience. You can, however, lose money and swear off running camps forever if you do not plan and run your camp with proven methods. A successful camp is one in which you make a profit and the campers want to return the next year.
Develop a budget for camp before you do anything else. The list should include everything you will use and must pay for at the camp. Determine how much it will cost you per paid camper to offer the camp. This is the most crucial step in running a successful basketball camp.
Contact each vendor and facilities coordinator to order supplies and reserve facilities. Agree upon costs and get it in writing. Do this at least six months in advance, to ensure that everything is available in a timely manner.
Talk to an insurance broker or facilities vendor about accident insurance. Do not spend a fortune on this. There are lots of options, and sometimes the facility where the camp will be held already has insurance that will cover anyone who uses their facilities.
Hire competent and reliable personnel and agree on salaries when you are coming up with your budget. Do not be too free with your money when hiring. Generally camp personnel do not make large amounts, but you do want to make it worth their while.
Develop a strict schedule for each day of camp. Do this before the camp begins. A schedule is crucial for managining time and teaching everything you want the youth to learn. Print a schedule for each employee, and post them everywhere for campers and families to view.
Be a part of your camp. Do not leave it to your employees to run. Youth and their families should see and have access to you. No one cares as much about the success of your basketball camp as you do.
Return to your budget at camp's end to pay employees and vendors. Stay on your budget, and do not be tempted to buy extras or spend your money before you make it.
Tips & Warnings
- Most youth camps recruit by word of mouth. Put on a good basketball camp, and you will be assured of good numbers of returnees and new campers next year.
- Give out lots of ribbons, certificates and awards. They do not cost much, and campers and families love them. Try to make sure that everyone in camp gets some kind of award during the camp.
- Keep a well-stocked first aid table or room.
- Do not leave campers unattended. There should be an adult camp employee with youth at all times.