Summer camp is filled with fun games, great friends and unforgettable experiences. The camper has had such an enjoyable time that they want something tangible to take with them as a reminder of all that fun; they may even want an item as a bragging piece to share among friends.
Enter the camp store… it’s a staple in the camp world. It’s a way for your camp to raise some funds, promote yourself, and a chance for campers to show off where they’ve been. But your first question might be: “What kind of products do campers really want?”. You don’t want to spend money on swag that campers won’t buy because leftovers means lost funds.
Here’s a few ideas for this summer:
1. Water Bottle- The best one to get is one that is insulated. It is generally hot in the summer, so having cold water will help your campers stay hydrated. Think about upgrading to a durable or sometimes advertised as ‘shatter proof’ version because it is camp after all.
2. Notebooks- Whether campers use it to write about their camp experience or jot down some devotional notes, these will be a big hit. Don’t forget to get pens to go with the notebooks.
3. Sunglasses- It's summer. The sun will be shining and eyes will need shading.
4. Duffle Bags or Crossbody Satchels- Crossbody bags are a great lightweight item that are easy for campers to put items into plus keep a fashionable look. Duffle bags tend to be more durable and bigger in size; a great option for students to use at the next youth event or summer camp. Tip! Skip the drawstring bags, yes they’re cheap but they’re too overdone and past their prime.
5. Hoodie- A great item for campers to have to slip on during those cool summer nights. Plus they can wear it year round aka promoting your event year round!
6. T-shirts- If you don’t come home with a camp shirt, did you even go to camp?
7. Lanyard- While many use lanyards to hold their keys, at camp they can be a great option for name badges, meal passes, or a pocket schedule. Tip! Lanyards are a great giveaway item to all chaperones, counselors, event staff you bring on – just a nice way you can say ‘thank you’ for volunteering their time plus helping them from losing something a value like a lodge room key.
Now you may be wondering what to put on these items. How about your camp theme or name? It doesn’t have to be overly fancy or elaborate; something that reminds the campers of the best week of their summer!
Tip! Look up local businesses close to you or close to your local retreat center. An advantage of finding a business close to your local retreat center is not worrying with the hassle and cost of shipping nor hauling it in your vehicle or on the camp bus. A local business to the retreat center may even be already working with the retreat center and be able to provide you with a discount.