Maximize Your Summer Camp Marketing Strategy

Private Schools Marketing

One of the most creative, effective, and low-lift-doesn’t-feel-like-marketing ways to introduce your school to prospective families is through your summer camp offering. Camps are short, seasonal, easy to learn from (for next year), and easy to fill – parents are always on the hunt for a solid summer option for their child, so let it be at your school!

Whether you’re thinking about starting a summer camp program at your school or trying to leverage the camps that are already running and get them working harder for your admissions team, we’ve outlined some helpful tips for you to get started and strategies you can use to turn a simple summer care program into a powerful recruitment funnel. 


Think about it: summer camps are a classic win/win. Kids get to dive into activities that are both fun and educational, keeping their minds sharp over the summer break. For parents thinking about switching schools, a summer camp offers a sneak peek into what you offer – no strings attached. They can "test the waters" in a relaxed environment, which is often more appealing than diving headfirst into the admissions process. Plus, logistical trials like daily commutes for day camps or a taste of boarding life can be an added bonus for families weighing their options. At a minimum, it's a great way to keep kids busy and fill childcare gaps over the summer months.


Think about establishing or refining your summer camp offering like you think about traditional marketing efforts, considering key points for enrollment grades and key programs or differentiators that set your school apart. 

With those goals in mind, you can consider some of the following ideas:

  • Think a step ahead. Offer a summer camp for kids who are a few years younger than the grade you’re looking to fill. For example, if you’re trying to fill seats for 6th grade, consider offering a program for students entering 3rd to 5th! You may catch some of the older students ready to begin the admissions process sooner, or may yield camp returners for following summers who may want to take their time considering an option for later down the line.

  • Offer ways to connect with your community. Think about any faculty “stars” who offer cool classes or extracurriculars during the school year. Maybe a faculty member who teaches Astronomy would be willing to offer a space-related workshop. Your music teacher could offer a Taylor Swift inspired intro-to-songwriting camp. Your field hockey coach could run a clinic to let kids try the sport or push their skills to the next level. Focusing on these specialized programs will target families who will make instant connections with those members of your communities and feel that much more of a pull to joining it themselves.

  • Spotlight your school’s differentiators. If you have the best performing arts facility in your region, offer drama camps that take advantage of this. If your peer mentorship program is one of a kind, consider a camp that enlists some of your older students as counsellors or mentors throughout the week. If you want to show off your boarding program, perhaps a short overnight camp could give potential students a taste of dorm life.


It’s critical to get the word out about your camp in a way that’s both early and effective. Like the admissions process, this can start well ahead of time, before families begin booking their family vacations or reserving their spaces in other camps. It will also give your teams enough lead time to fill those seats, and plan (or pivot!) once you’ve had the opportunity to gauge interest.

Choosing your method of advertising is just as important. Consider the following ideas to help get you started on balancing a strong marketing mix:

  • Engage directly with your community through forums or local subreddits

  • Offer referral discounts to harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing and encourage your current families to bring in new ones

  • Partner with local parenting influencers to spread the word in authentic ways

  • Consider incorporating paid social ads to target your key demographics, and align them with other creative campaigns you might be running to keep the brand experience cohesive and authentic

  • Find neighborhood hotspots to put out eye-catching displays promoting your program (and consider a QR code or vanity URL for easy registration and trackability)

  • Amp up your organic social platforms with invitations to camp (or with highlights on those special programs – build the excitement!)


Engaging with your camp attendees both during and after their time on campus is critical to your mission of converting them from campers to prospects. Think about ways to let them know the door is open to begin the conversation around future enrollment – and ways to get the parents on campus during their child’s camp week. 

Here are a few ideas:

  • Invite parents on campus at the end of the week so they can see what their kids have been up to and also learn a little bit more about the school and your admissions opportunities (for example, you might host a volleyball camp wind-up with a kids vs parents game, with treats delivered by your athletic director)

  • Host a casual meet-and-greet, a carnival, or an ice cream social for camp families to give everyone a chance to mingle outside of the formal camp setting 

  • Follow up with remarketing ads tailored to the interests shown during camp (for example, a drama camp follow-up from your arts director that also invites your child tickets to come back and see the school’s fall musical)

  • Send out personalized emails recapping the fun times their child had a camp as well as your upcoming events

  • Offer a few incentives, like discounts or special swag for camp families (for example, offering to waive the application fee or credit all or some of the amount they paid for camp)

Ultimately, summer camps are more than just a fun distraction or a box to check – they can be a strategic tool that allows you to weave new families into the fabric of your school community. By investing in a thoughtfully-planned summer camp program, you're not only providing great memories, but also building early bonds and a strong reputation that could make all the difference when decision time rolls around. Start these positive experiences early, and watch how they can influence families' choices in your favor later on.

At Metric Marketing, we develop measurable and practical strategies to help private and independent schools like yours to make the most of your marketing efforts. We'd love to discuss your private school's marketing requirements with you. Contact us today to speak with our marketing professionals or use the form  below to sign up and receive more marketing tips in your inbox.


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