If you have taken on the responsibility of running a summer camp program, you are to be commended. Summer camps impart skills and values onto children that are not always emphasized at school. This is a special time for kids that will be remembered for their lifetime. Follow these tips to ensure that you create experiences that are looked back on fondly:
Choose Your Staff Wisely
Staffing your summer camp should not be taken lightly. When working with children, it is of utmost importance that you check the background of all potential staff members before offering them a position. As you screen applicants, look for attributes that will enhance the camping experience for kids, such as artistic or sports backgrounds. During interviews watch for signs of high energy, enthusiasm and a love for being around children. Summer camp is about having fun, and the kids won't have any if their counselor is not excited every day to be there.
Have Support Staff
Summer camp is not a controlled environment the way school is, and counselors need extra sets of hands and eyes to keep everyone safe and having a good time. Consider instilling a program where older campers are assigned to help with the younger groups, or if money allows hire a junior staff.
Keep Your Groups Small
Enough kids to make a soccer team is about the right size for summer camp groups. When hiring counselors make sure that you are taking enrollment into consideration and have enough staff members to cover all of your groups. With activities like swimming, hiking and sports, you can't afford the liability of allowing one counselor to be responsible for a large group of children.
Have Effective Means of Communication
In reality, your summer camp is double, if not triple, the enrollment size that you think it is. For every camper comes at least one parent who is anxious to know how their kid is faring. To make sure your parents are also having a memorable summer, update them regularly on your own time. Sign up for a mass notification service, such as DialMyCalls.com, that allows you to send voice broadcasts and SMS text messages to all the parents at once. You only need to upload their phone numbers into your web-based account, organize them into the same groups as the children, and then every couple of days send out a message that lets the parents know what their kids are up to.
Choose Stimulating Programs
Give careful consideration to the types of programs you will have in your summer camp, and ensure that they are individualized to be age specific. Your arts and crafts program for example should not have the 7-year-old campers making the same complicated birdhouses that the 13-year-olds are constructing. Try thinking outside of the box and come up with different programs as well, such as scavenger hunts. You can instruct the kids to find a certain number of different plants and then follow up with a quick lesson about how they grow. Camp can still fun, even when there is a little bit of learning thrown in.
Plan on Rain
Unless your summer camp is in the middle of the desert, plan on hosting some rainy days. Be prepared for this with a large seating area and movie projector, a variety of board games for different age groups, and impromptu arts and crafts. If you approach grey skies with a positive attitude and a plan in place, not even torrential rains will ruin your camper's good time.
Summer camp is an experience that kids will never forget. If you follow these tips, you are ensuring that the memories made at your camp are always going to be good ones.
We have added a queue system to our "Upload Contacts" option that helps you manage your phone numbers more efficiently.
Customers that are using version 2.0 of DialMyCalls no longer have to worry about being timed out when uploading large contact lists. Our development team implemented a new feature that will now utilize an upload queue when adding contacts to your account.
A pop-up window will be displayed as soon as you begin to upload a contact list into your account. You will see the name of the file that is being uploaded as well as a real-time status bar that will let you know when your entire list has been successfully added to your account.
The main benefit of our brand new uploading queue system is that you no longer have to remain logged into your account, waiting for the list to upload. Customers with large lists can now add the list to the queue, log out and come back a little later to check on the progress of that list - the days of being timed out in the middle of a huge upload are over!
*Only files uploaded in the past 24 hours are displayed in the queue window.
For a complete overview regarding how to upload contacts into your account, please click here.
Everywhere you turn these days in the startup / business community you hear about pivoting your business, it has become one of the most overused buzz words of the past couple years. However as overused as it is, it can play a pretty important part of your companies toolkit. Pivoting is what eventually brought DialMyCalls to fruition after years of running a wake up call service I had started back in the year 2000 which was aptly named WakeUpLand. Here's a quick story about how our little pivot was an entire game changer.
AND SO IT BEGINS
It all started when I created WakeUpLand out of my dorm room as a side project to better my web design skills. At the time there were no other wake up call services online, so it seemed like an interesting niche to target. After a couple weeks of getting the site up and launching it an order actually came in, at the time that $0.99 order blew my mind. Orders came in every couple days and I had many tired zombie-like days after waking up at 4am to make sure everyone received their wake up calls - I had not thought about the fact that I would be the one making all of these calls.
After a couple weeks of running on little to no sleep I ended up reaching out to a company that did wake up calls via toll-free number. We were able to negotiate a small deal and for the next few years I was able to load up my wake up calls into their system and they would automatically send them out. It was a great little side business netting anywhere from a few hundred to a thousand bucks a month, and basically ran on auto-pilot - not a bad deal for a few weeks worth of work!
THE RISE OF VOICE OVER IP
A few years later VOIP was becoming much more popular and I started looking at the possibility of sending our own calls rather than going through the wake up provider I had partnered with. The provider was taking 50% of my sales and if I switched to VOIP I'd be looking at a fraction of the cost, meaning a way better profit margin. I reached out to a developer who was a friend of a friend and pitched him the idea of sending the calls using VOIP. After a few months we were actually able to send out our own calls through our own platform, it was amazing, and instantly increased the bottom line of the company. WakeUpLand was rocking and rolling, but this is when a little epiphany hit me smack in the face...
THE LIGHTBULB MOMENT
A customer emailed in asking if we could send a call out to his church about an upcoming event. I politely answered "no", but then a couple days later, after thinking about it, I asked myself, "why can't we?" We had just created our own calling platform capable of sending calls at reasonable rates, the game had completely changed right in front of our eyes. I reached out to Chris the developer and the wheels starting turning. We were dead set on creating the best voice broadcasting platform we could come up with.
I finally met up with Chris, the programmer, at a hotel in Orlando, Florida - the room we rented for a weekend became our base of operation. Countless hours were spent sketching up ideas and storyboarding the entire website, trying to figure out how to make a somewhat complicated process as user friendly and easy as possible. Picture easels, poster boards, papers, empty cans of Redbull, and stuff taped everywhere - I wish I had taken a picture of the creative madness that took place that weekend.
I went to work creating the front end of the site and the user interface, he worked on the backend and phone dialer - it was a good 5-6 months before we had anything useable. It took a lot of back and forth with consultants and experts to fine tune everything to work how we wanted. We spent a ridiculous amount of time working on the Answering Machine Detection in order to have the most accurate AMD out there. After we were happy with the results we slowly launched with the name DialMyCalls.com in early 2008, the rest you can say is history. To this day we still have some of our customers who signed up that first week using the system, I love logging into the admin and seeing our old double and triple digit account numbers sending out broadcasts.
EMBRACE YOUR PIVOTAL MOMENT
Since its initial inception as a wake up call service website that was created in my college dorm room, DialMyCalls has become one of the leading voice and text message broadcasting providers available. We have had over 50,000 users sign up, including churches, universities, fortune 100 companies, and everything in between, to send their alerts through us. We have an amazing team of ten people who kick butt every day, two offices, and 7 figures in revenue. I'd say as overused as the word pivot is these days, it's something to definitely keep in your back pocket. Don't be afraid to try new things with your company whether it's brand new and you're throwing ideas around or a 5 year old side business just making a few extra bucks.
DialMyCalls is excited to announce a brand new feature that has been requested by you, our loyal customers – separate messages for live answer calls and voicemails.
We rely heavily on customer feedback when it comes to improving our service and our new feature that allows two separate recordings is a direct result of your suggestions! Customers of DialMyCalls can now create a recording that will play on a live answer and then create a second recording that will be played if an answering machine is detected. Customize your voice broadcasts more than ever by selecting two separate recordings.
Traditional Voice Broadcasting Method:
Choosing this method will allow you to select one recording that will play if our AccurateAMD™ detects a live answer or an answering machine - this is how our service worked prior to the introduction of our new feature which allows separate recordings to be selected.
New Method With Separate Live Answer & Voicemail Recordings:
- Live Answer Recording: Create a personalized recording that you can have our system only play when your voice broadcast is answered by a live person and not an answering machine.
- Voicemail Recording: In addition to the recording you made for a live answer, you can also create a second recording for voicemails. When you send out your voice broadcast and our AccurateAMD™ answering machine detection system detects that an answering machine has picked up, your "Voicemail Recording" will then play.
On step 6 of the setup a call process, you will be able to preview both of your recordings to make sure that the proper one has been selected for the live answer as well as the answering machine. Be sure to double-check your recordings prior to sending out the broadcasts - you don't want to send out the wrong recording to all of your recipients!
If you have any questions regarding our new voice broadcasting feature, please contact us!
The community library provides a special service to its members in a nurturing, albeit, quiet environment. In recent years the benefits of the library and its services have become overshadowed by the internet and computer technology that allows access to many of the same services the library provides without ever having to enter one. With the money collected from memberships and over due books needed to stay afloat, librarians are finding themselves looking for ways to breathe life back into their bookshelves.
Here are a few ideas that a library should consider to help get their community excited about being a member again:
Start Book Clubs
People who avidly love to read usually love to talk about what they just read. Veteran librarians will remember the wild success Oprah Winfrey had with the book club on her talk show during the '90s. Set aside a place and time for book clubs to get together and discuss the latest novel. As a librarian you can get the ball rolling by making the reading suggestions, but over time the participants themselves will start to feel comfortable about making their own suggestions for what the club should be reading.
To keep these meetings engaging, start by talking about the characters or plot of the story. Try to avoid making it too academic with questions about symbolism or other writing techniques. If the conversation naturally flows that way let it, but avoid sounding like a High School English teacher.
Having story time for young children is a traditional part of the community library and a great way to start getting kids interested in reading early. If you have story time for kids at your library then this is also a great opportunity to reconnect with their parents. Have on display just outside your story area an array of books that may interest them. Choose new parenting books, the latest fiction novels, and/or celebrity cookbooks. As the parents peruse these suggested books while waiting for their child's story to finish, they will hopefully rediscover the love of reading a printed book over an e-book.
Stay in Touch
Remind your community that the library is still there by keeping in touch with them. Forget about sending those dated postcards in the mail and instead use a nonprofit notification service. With a service provider like DialMyCalls, you would have all of your members opt-in if they would like to receive alerts from your library. When you want to let them know about a new book release that they may want to get on the waiting list for, an upcoming reading or book club event, your message can be sent out immediately to everyone via personalized voice recording or SMS text message.
Turn up the Volume
Traditionally a library is supposed to be a quiet sanctuary, and most of yours should be too. Do however have one area where talking is not just permitted, it is encouraged. This will turn your library into a social zone and allow members of your community to get to know one another. The live face to face chats that the internet discourages are something that most people miss in their daily lives and one important service that you can offer that the web cannot.
Just as it has for small mom and pop shops, the internet challenges the library's survival. To beat it at its own game a librarian needs to find better ways to connect with the community and show the amazing services you are still able to provide. Increasing membership is fundamental to staying open, as is making those members look forward to coming back.
DialMyCalls is proud to announce the launch of our brand new mobile-friendly mass notification system.
Our voice and text message broadcasting has just become a lot easier to use on mobile devices – the mobile-friendly members area of version 2.0 is now live. Members of DialMyCalls can now create voice and text message broadcasts via our desktop website, iPhone and Android mobile apps as well as any mobile web browser.
With the launch of our brand new mobile-friendly DialMyCalls, we have created a seamless interface that allows members to add contacts, create recordings and set up broadcasts from any mobile browser with the same ease and simplicity as our desktop version.
Harness the power of DialMyCalls' mass notification system on the go by utilizing the service from any mobile web browser. Take a look below at the mobile-friendly version in action:
Members Area - DialMyCalls Mobile Site
Create A Recording - DialMyCalls Mobile Site
Setup Broadcast - DialMyCalls Mobile Site
Send Premium Voice Broadcast - DialMyCalls Mobile Site
Send Premium Text Broadcast - DialMyCalls Mobile Site
Detailed Broadcast Reports - DialMyCalls Mobile Site
To try out the new dynamically responsive DialMyCalls mobile, head on over to www.dialmycalls.com on your mobile phone and log in - the site will automatically switch to the brand new mobile-friendly version.
Sign up now and try our services for free!
Use the promo code DMCBLOG and get 25 free extra credits