Holiday clubs and summer camps can provide an invaluable opportunity for the students and parents of your school community during non-academic periods of the year. They are also an excellent chance to open your school to other members of your local community, providing services and relationship-building with a new audience.

In today’s post, we discuss the benefits of holiday clubs to both students and parents, before looking at how to run your school’s holiday club or summer camp with maximum efficiency.

Post-pandemic, Holiday Clubs Matter More Than Ever

As the world emerges from the impact of COVID-19, holiday club provision has become more important than ever as schools and students strive to ‘catch up’ on the learning, social interaction and revenue lost during lockdowns and periods of school closure. The advantages, however, go far beyond this and have been investigated in published research by Northumbria University in Newcastle.

The research – the largest study of its kind in England – reveals that holiday clubs provide many more benefits for both children and parents than had previously been recognised. Parents reported that holiday clubs give their children:

  • Somewhere safe to play – safety was a strong theme emerging from the research, with holiday clubs helping children feel safe while giving their parents peace of mind that they are being supervised in a controlled environment
  • Somewhere to learn new skills and experience new things, some of which they bring home (such as cookery skills and cultivating vegetables)
  • The ability to form or build relationships with others in their local community

The research found that children exercise more on the days they attend holiday clubs – and enjoy it – with less screentime and a wider variety of activities than they would otherwise have during the holidays. Interestingly, parents also reported that holiday clubs enable them to spend more quality time together as a family.

The press release announcing the research quotes Professor Greta Defeyter, Director of Northumbria University’s Healthy Living Lab, summarising: “Our findings suggest that holiday club provision offers the potential to have a far wider impact than previously evidenced on children’s health, wellbeing and education.”

With that in mind, how can your school make the most of clubs to provide these benefits to your school community during the holidays? With the right technology in place, running holiday clubs and summer camps doesn’t have to be an organisational headache.

Holiday Club and Summer Camp Organisation Made Easy

Whether your school already runs a successful holiday club programme or you are considering organising a new one, you need a flexible, user-friendly system to allow parents to sign up and make payments both from within and often outside your usual school community. This is where SchoolsBuddy can help.

Built to help schools manage complex activities programmes, SchoolsBuddy does everything from handling sign-ups and cancellations to taking online payments. Its ClubsBuddy module is specifically designed to make it easy to run holiday clubs and summer camps, with its own fully native iOS and Android apps that keep things simple for both parents and your summer camp teams.

ClubsBuddy handles all aspects of running your summer camp or holiday club, including:

  • Event management – you can manage all events in ClubsBuddy. Once activities are booked or set up, you can take registers, send invitations, message the group and more.
  • Handle bookings – ClubsBuddy allows bookings or sign-ups for free or paid events. Simply set the amount required for upfront payment and allow the rest to be added to the user’s ClubsBuddy balance. Customise the registration form to your needs and collect the data you want during member registration.
  • Take payments – allow parents to pay for camps, tickets and clubs on the same system with one unified balance, and complete with a ‘one-click’ chase payment feature.
  • Manage communications – communicate with all organisers, members and parents via ‘push’ or ‘in-app’ notifications and email.
  • Record attendance – at all events, know who to expect and record attendance via our mobile registers.
  • Emergency response – instantly handle any emergency with ICE information, absence alerts, medical data, map locations and travel updates available in your mobile device.

We have developed SchoolsBuddy with mobile features as the top priority, which makes it easy to use when you are out and about in a summer camp environment. From organising on the move to taking registers out in the field, it makes holiday clubs simple to run, as well as giving you a quick and direct line of communication with members and parents.

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