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Marketing your camp; use survey results, media spokespersons, ambassadors.

Results of ACA's survey on the self-esteem of children can help camp professionals substantiate ways our industry is an ally to parents in the successful development of children.

Former camp director Michael H. Popkin, Ph.D., a child and family therapist, president of Active Parenting Publishers, and national spokesperson for the ACA survey, says parents (76 percent in survey) correctly view themselves as a vital influence on their children's self-esteem. "However, they should not feel they're in this alone," he says.

Children, according to Dr. Popkin, are bombarded daily by external influences that can affect their self-esteem. "That's why parents should seek out activities like camp, which can give their children more exposure. to an environment that encourages them to learn, to belong and to grow, the building blocks to self-esteem."

Keep Dr. Popkin's remarks and these survey findings in mind as you market your camp to parents:

* Nearly half of the parents polled feel their children's self-esteem needs improvement.

* Nearly half of those polled cite youth leaders (including camp staff) as those who can affect a child's self-esteem

* 75 percent say a child's early years are most important to his or her development

* 78 percent say a child's environment is the most important factor in forming personality

* Nearly a third said attending camp can improve a child's self-esteem

News bureau reaches your area

While your home town may not now be designated as an ACA media city, you can be sure camp news is reaching media near you. For instance, the News Bureau often uses a PR Newswire Fax Service, which transmits our news releases to more than 2000 news sources throughout the U.S. This same release can be sent at the same time to specialized reporters in other selected cities, or we can target the top feature writers in the country, or all education writers or editors of parents magazines. Or, perhaps, we'll send a news release to weekly newspapers with certain circulation figures or to radio and TV talk shows in specific cities. These targeted news sources can go on and on, depending on the topic of the release and the audience we're trying to reach. And once a release is out, reporters sometimes want to give the story a local angle. This is where our media spokespersons, PR Chairs and Ambassadors step in to help. They can discuss the value of the camp experience as it relates to local camps, communicating personally to listeners, viewers and readers in their immediate areas.

Be sure to keep those ACA volunteers in your section advised of programs and activities at your camp so they can share the information with the public.

Ambassadors promote camp enrollment

In this age of growing recreational choices and shrinking discretionary dollars, camp enrollment continues to be a major concern for camp owners and operators. For ACA members working to increase camper numbers, the ACA Ambassador corps stands ready and willing to help!

More than 150 Ambassadors are trained to present free camp programs before civic clubs, school meetings, religious groups, etc., throughout the community. Armed with either a slide presentation or videotape - and a strong belief in the value of camp - these Ambassadors can be a great marketing asset to help you reach non-camp families with the message that "camp gives kids a world of good."

Take advantage of this good thing! Call your section office to find out how to schedule an Ambassador program in your area. And, tell your friends and neighbors about this free community program also!

Camp vendors help public awareness initiative

Camp gives kids a world of good and now, thanks to the generosity of Ellen Ingber and Larry Fox of Larry Fox & Company and Lois Ross of New Dimensions, our banner is waving literally as well as figuratively! Both camp suppliers have donated "CAMP gives kids a world of good" items that are being used around the country at regional ACA conferences. A 3[feet] x 3[feet] appliqued banner and a 6[feet] table cover featuring the new logo are carrying our message coast to coast.
COPYRIGHT 1995 American Camping Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Woods, Ann
Publication:Camping Magazine
Date:Jul 1, 1995
Words:680
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