Article

What Makes a Great Camp Fair & Expo?

Posted on November 24, 2014 by Jeff Bradshaw

Camp Fairs and Expos have become popular vehicles for both day and overnight camps to reach a broad market.

Why do we have them?

Our Kids Media Camp Fair 2011 - 1

Courtesy Our Kids Media

  • Collectively, we can put a professional face on camping and recreation programs for children and youth. Families can “one stop shop” for their children’s summer program needs.
  • Working together, service-providers are able to move from a competitive to a cooperative approach with families. In the bigger picture, it’s not as important that a child attends a specific program but rather enjoys and benefits from a program that is challenging and a good fit for the child. To this end, Camp Fairs and Expos have become remarkable venues for referrals and cooperation between service providers who work to find the very best fit for a child’s interests and abilities.

What etiquette has evolved?

  • Essentially, an environment of support and respect for other programs has developed. This manifests itself in not offering giveaways to families (i.e.: free passes, hats, draws for free weeks, souvenir items etc…) and keeping any artificial noise to a minimum (recorded music, if used at all, shouldn’t be detrimental to those having conversations in neighbouring booths).

What should I bring?

  • Be sure to bring plenty of material for distribution.
  • If you would like to send further information to families that have an interest or include them in future mailings, bring along a clipboard with a blank mailing list form that they can fill-in.
  • If you have electrical needs (laptop, DVD player etc…) include extension cords.
  • Invite some enthusiastic senior camp staff to assist.

What else should I consider?

Our Kids Media Camp Fair 2011 - 2

Courtesy Our Kids Media

  • Dress comfortably but appropriately … jeans are not suitable.
  • Wear a name tag with your name and title in large print.
  • Camp Fair times are relatively short and it’s a good idea to be prepared to stand and/or walk around at your booth rather than sitting.
  • Be sure to arrive with enough time to set-up and, be prepared to remain until closing time.Resist chatting with colleagues. Focus all your attention on the public.
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Executive Director at Camp Wenonah
Jeff is a Past President of the Canadian Camping Association, and is Executive Director of Camp Wenonah and the Camp Wenonah Centre for Outdoor Education.