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Evaluating School Camp Registration Software

If you’ve evaluated registration software lately in anticipation of upgrading your camp and auxiliary program registrations, you may have noticed that most of the programs on the market are designed for camps not schools.  Does this distinction matter and, if so, what does a registration program need to have to make it a good fit for an independent school? Read on to hear what schools say they need from camp registration software.

Registration software designed with camps in mind generally offers functions that are already being handled well at most independent schools – like alumni tracking, staff management, store management, a photo gallery and student/parent communication.  Putting such software in place to handle camp or auxiliary program registration at your school risks adding duplication and confusion to your system.  At the same time, chances are good you’ll pay more than you need to if you buy a system with functions you won’t use.

So what are the registration software functions that are useful to independent schools? Talking with our school clients, we’ve identified the four key capabilities schools should look for:

1.    Easy family registration

The first task a registration system must get right is being an easy, quick registration experience for parents. This requires a clean and intuitive system, where all students in the family can be registered and paid for at the same time.

2.    Easy administration

Schools have a lot more on their plates than just running a summer camp, so they can’t be bogged down with a system that’s difficult to administer.  An easy to use system should include the following:

  • Customizable reporting;
  • Automatic checks for double-booking;
  • Ability for school to build their own forms;
  • Ability for school to accept all forms of electronic payment options and assess surcharge or service fees if desired;
  • A robust camper profile screen that shows critical information in one glance such as contact information and status of all required forms and applications;
  • Useful registration management tools such as wait lists, capacity limits, deposit management and auto-charge.

3.      Flexibility

To be useful to an independent school, the registration software should have the flexibility to register participants for after-care programs, field trips, theater performances and other events throughout the year.

4.      Seamless Appearance

Finally, the best system for your school will appear to users as a fully integrated part of your website. To do this, your summer camp or other program registration pages need to have the look and feel of the rest of your website and your school. This consistency supports your school brand and lets parents know they can expect the same high quality from the summer program that they trust during the school year.

So that’s it.  Most independent schools will find that they do need these four capabilities in a registration system and not much else. They don’t need a system that posts menus and photographs, tracks employee status, or assigns kids to cabins or teams.  Keep these key functions in mind if you are evaluating a registration system for your school.

If you have any questions about summer camp registration software, feel free to contact a Diamond Mind representative today.