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Martial Arts Summer Camps: Tips to Heat Up Student Retention and Revenue

Girl practices punch at martial arts outdoor summer camp

Our three-week martial arts summer camps usually bring in $12,000.00 to $15,000.00 each. We look forward to these events as a way to generate more revenue for our school and to engage students during a time where attendance usually thins out.

Whether you’re running your first martial arts summer camp or hoping to optimize your upcoming events, our marketing and logistical plan can help you increase income and attendance.

Martial Arts Summer Camp LogisticsScheduling & Length

We hold three to five three-week camps throughout the summer. Typically, we host camps in June, July, and August. We prefer to offer full-day camps; however, half-day camps can be more manageable if your school is not equipped to run full-day camps.

Themes

Themed camps are popular and can command a higher price. In June, we host a Ninja-themed camp. Each camper receives a ninja outfit and every activity corresponds with the theme. For July’s army-themed camp, attendees receive nerf blasters. In August, we hold a Star Wars camp. Camper get their own light sabers and we watch the movies during snack and lunch breaks.

The Price of Admission

We charge $169 per week for our camps. Beginning in February, we offer the following pre-sale discounts:

  • 17% off three-week camps
  • 13% off two-week camps
  • 10% off one-week camps

Early-bird discounts are applied per registrant; therefore, if you registered two family members for one-week camps, each would get 10% off each camp, rather than 13% off.

Food & Beverage

We provide snacks in the morning and afternoon. Campers must bring their own lunches and drinks.

Field Trips

We occasionally include field trips in our martial arts camps to keep attendees interested and involved in the programming. We take the campers to a softball field to play kickball, whiffle ball, and soccer. We also plan a pool party and provide a picnic lunch, which includes hot dogs, chips, and soda pop.

Staffing

As a school owner, I do not have the bandwidth to manage our summer camp program. Instead, I incentivize our Head Instructor to oversee these events in exchange for a substantial share of the profits. To supplement our regular staff, we offer a discounted price to any campers between the ages of 13-15 who will serve as “camp leaders.” We accept up to four leaders per camp.

Martial Arts Camp MarketingPromotional Pricing

We begin marketing early to ensure we fill our summer camps. Five months prior to the first session, we begin offering discounted pricing as follows:

  • February – March: 17% off three-week camps; 13% off two-week camps; 10% off one-week camps
  • April – May: 10% off all camps
  • June – August: full-price for all camps

Marketing Communications

We communicate about our events through a variety of channels to maximize our reach:

  • Posters and handouts in our school and local businesses
  • Mat chats during classes at our school
  • Facebook Event posts
  • Facebook Ads
  • Emails marketing campaigns
  • Text messages

Scarcity & Urgency

We impose a limit of only 30 campers per week. We advertise these limits to creates a sense of urgency. We state the current number of spots available in our mat chats, blog articles, Facebook posts, emails, and text messages. We do this consistently so that it feels to our audience like we are counting down the limited availability.

There’s Still Time!

Think there’s no time left to run a camp? Not true. Simply adjust the timing of the promotions I’ve described to apply them to your event. Start today by creating your registration form so you can start marketing your camp.

Questions?

If you have questions, please feel free to contact me. I would be happy to help. You can reach me at tristarkarate@gmail.com or 815-932-5425.

About the author: Duane Brumitt is the co-founder and owner of Duane Brumitt’s Tri-Star Martial Arts Academy in Bradley, Illinois.