Do you have a few staff available year round? If so, consider using them to run activities at school Spirit Days.
Our local schools have certain days (3 or 4 per year) that are designated as Spirit Days. During lunch, parents and teachers run activities based on a theme. Each Spirit Day has a different theme. Occasionally the schools will contact us for our help. After all, we are constantly programming activities and events – it’s what we do – just like any camp or recreation department.
Once you know the theme (if there is one) you can easily put together some games and activities. In the past we have done things like shoot the recycled paper into the trash can, hula hoop contests, game shows, relays, a water balloon toss, Minute to Win It challenges, and more. If you need more ideas, Google “spirit day ideas”. There are plenty of resources online.
You’re probably going to want to target elementary schools and maybe middle schools. Don’t even bother with high schools. They normally have spirit days down to a science. Besides, they’re usually not a camp’s target age group anyways.
Contact schools that you would like to market to and pitch them the idea that you would be willing to help them out on Spirit Days in return for giving out camp information to the kids, leaving brochures in the office for parents or setting up an evening presentation for parents. If you visit schools where some of your past campers attend, they will most likely be excited to see some of the staff from the previous summer. When the other kids see your past campers’ excitement, their interest will be peeked as the campers talk about the great time they had at camp and how they know these cool people who came to their school to run these fun activities.
Your “Street Team”
Put together a team of staff from the summer. Many camps keep some staff around for outdoor education programs, ropes and team-building programs and to help with weekend groups. Use your “Street Team” to market your summer programs at schools, camp fairs, etc. Also, have the team market to potential weekend groups.