Does your high school booster club, arts or athletics activity sponsor or support an annual youth camp or clinic for the arts or athletics activity at your high school? If not, you definitely should because youth camps are fun and profitable. They teach and instill proper fundamentals in whatever arts or athletics endeavor you are involved in, and they develop and strengthen the bond between those involved in your youth program and your high school program, which will eventually result in more fans and a steady stream of properly prepared future participants for your high school arts or athletics program too.
Planning and preparing for a good youth camp or clinic includes:
Choosing the venue for the camp or clinic, which would ideally be where you practice, play or perform at your school (which is also exciting for the youth).
Choosing date(s) for the event – a time without conflicts when you are likely to draw the most participants.
Planning every detail, sketching out the activities you want to do and how long each one will take or last.
Seeking out and scheduling suitable instructors, which should include other high school and youth directors or coaches, some of your prominent current and former players and participants, and perhaps a program or other celebrity or celebrities. Make sure you have substitutes available should scheduling conflicts occur too.
Deciding how much money you will charge for the camp or clinic, which should cover all anticipated expenses. Be careful not to price your clinic or camp too high.
Preparing and distributing promotion and registration forms to local elementary and middle schools, and distributing e-mails/letters to area youth organizations at least 60 days in advance of the clinic or camp.
Contacting local businesses to secure an overall event sponsor and to ask them to donate appropriate gift items for a bag of goodies to be given to all youth players or participants.
Crafting and sending out a press release to local newspapers. The press release should include the time and location of your camp or clinic, what age groups you’re willing to host, the price, reminders about what participants are required to bring, information about whether preregistration is required and your contact information where people can ask or direct additional questions.
Conducting a pre-camp or clinic meeting with all instructors and those assisting to discuss logistics, such as timing of activities, what you want to see taught or happen, how participants will be divided up by age group and any other last-minute details.
Preparing registration table materials and being prepared for any walk-in registrants by having forms and a cash box available to make change.
On day(s) of the camp or clinic:
Have the registration table in operating order at least one hour before the camp or clinic begins. Make sure all instructor areas are set up with appropriate articles or equipment related to each station’s specialty.
Welcome youth participants and introduce all of the day’s instructors. Direct each age group to the proper starting location.
Keep each instructional session on schedule. Use an air horn or other signal to alert instructors a minute before each session ends.
Gather participants for a final thank you at clinic’s end. Distribute awards, participation gifts and bags of goodies to youth players or participants as they leave the facility.
Thank clinic instructors, and make sure the facility is picked up and clean before you leave.
Here are some final tips:
Purchase insurance for your event and have your participants sign waivers before they participate.
Emphasize the clinic’s focus on having fun and enjoying the activity you are promoting.
A good annual youth clinic or camp can provide a big boost to your high school arts or athletics activity in many ways. It particular, it can attract many more fans and properly prepare future participants to your high school arts or athletics program.