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Become a Destination For Everyone In The Family

Posted On: April 30, 2018 by ClubProcure in: Clubhouse

Become a Destination For Everyone In The Family

For many clubs across the country, diving board, pool houses, first tees and more will be lined with club kids. Each anxiously awaiting their first cannon ball, candy bar or tee shot of the summer. It is not naïve to understand these kids offer another revenue opportunity for your club, and stocking your club with kid’s treats is much easier than building out an entire summer long kid’s camp. That does not mean it isn’t worth it.

Armed with that knowledge, many clubs are taking every step their budget, staffing and facility allow in order to include activities and camps for their young members. When all that stands between a kid and an ice cream sandwich is the memorization of a few numbers, suddenly the value you provide your younger families extends beyond autonomous access to sweet treats, and begins wading into an invaluable resource for the entire family.

As more clubs are turning into multi-generational facilities, the club industry is taking many important steps to become a destination for everyone in the family. We were able to catch up with Janine Budzius, General Manager at Philadelphia Country Club (PCC), to discuss some helpful ideas to keep in mind when creating a summer camp for the kids at your club.

Explain your summer camps for kids more broadly.

PCC currently offers a variety of camps including a general summer kid’s camp, with weekly themes, that is offered for eight weeks. We also offer sport specific camps that include: four weeks of squash camp, summer long tennis camp and three weeks of golf camp.

What level of commitment is involved from you and your staff?

All PCC summer camps are organized and run by PCC employees. The Summer Camp is managed by our Membership Director, Brian Gardner and led by our Camp Co-Directors, Julie Richmond and Jim Groff. The leadership of this group of professionals promotes continuity and consistency in the programming which the members appreciate. We hire and train additional seasonal camp staff to run the summer kid’s camp and all other camps are run by our sports professionals. 

How important do you feel it has become for your club to offer those structured environments for the youth at your facility?

Our mission as a premier private club in Philadelphia is to be full service and family focused, so it is very important to PCC Members that we offer a wide variety of junior programming to keep children of all ages busy and having fun for the entire summer. Our sport specific camps introduce our Juniors to sports they can play for life and enjoy. Our Junior programming is a mix of competitive options, casual and social opportunities for play and lessons and clinics for skill improvement. 

How have the camps grown? What type of feedback do you receive from families? Has membership steadily grown among younger families? 

As our kids grow here at the Club they begin experiencing different aspects and activities PCC has to offer. Our younger members enjoy the kid’s camp that includes crafts, trying each activity and sport that PCC has to offer, learning from our culinary team and a variety of games. As the children get older they enjoy more sport specific camps and programming. Our families are very happy that they can grow with the Club. The average age of our new members joining has steadily decreased over the past five years so our Junior camp programming has become even more important. 

What are your recommendations for others? What has worked well for the Philadelphia Country Club?

We recommend listening to the members and paying attention to what they are looking for. We had many requests to continue camps into August because more and more of our families were staying local throughout the summer. They still wanted their kids to have an opportunity to learn and participate at the Club, so four years ago we added an additional week and now run camp into August. We also recommend getting your entire Staff involved in the junior programming and coordinating schedules as much as possible. For example, we offer a themed week for summer camp called “Little Chefs Week”, which is an opportunity for our Culinary Staff to join the campers for the week and help with activities such as mini cooking lessons, learning about food nutrition and making healthy afternoon snacks. Enhancing your camper’s favorite weeks like Super Hero and Celebration week (who doesn’t like celebrating Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween and Easter a second time during the year?) and adding several new themes every summer keeps the camp fresh for repeat campers (Jurassic Week, Imagineers).

For more information on how VGM Club can help with all your facility needs, visit www.vgmclub.com or contact us at 800-363-5480.