There’s something nostalgic about camps and the experiences tied to them.
For campers young and old, merely mentioning camp can conjure up memories of the lessons they learned, the friends they met, the skills they picked up, and the places they visited.
It’s a special connection that motivates us at JotForm to help camp directors, organizers, and operators collect the information they need without resorting to paper forms or manual data entry.
For the past year, we’ve taken steps to learn more about the different camps out there and become a resource on how to start and run a summer camp.
We even attended the American Camp Association’s spring leadership conference last year in Palm Springs and made another appearance at last month’s national conference in San Diego.
But we wanted to do something new this year by taking a deep dive into our data to find out how camp operators, volunteers, and directors collect the information they need.
Our analysis of 7,552 JotForm users who run almost every type of camp — from summer camps to religious retreats — found that their needs are just as diverse as the programs they oversee, the events they organize, and the campers who participate in all of it.
- Although close to 69 percent of these JotForm users are based in the United States, our analysis found a large number of users in other countries who operated, managed, or organized a wide range of camps. At the top of that list was Canada (with 513 users), the United Kingdom (with 248 users), and India (with 194 users).
- Of the 5,193 JotForm users we identified as camp organizers, volunteers, directors, or operators in the United States, about 20 percent of them were based in California (414 users), Texas (383 users), and Florida (257 users).
A high number of JotForm users in New York (220), Georgia (217), North Carolina (166), and Pennsylvania (162) also use JotForm to manage their camps.
We also wanted to know what kind of forms these camp professionals use to collect information.
Much like our findings about where these camp operators, directors, and staff reside, we found a correlation between the types of forms they used and the types of camps they run.
While some forms can be used for general purposes, such as registration and volunteer application forms, we also came across popular forms that were tailored for specific camps, including sports clinics and religious retreats or mission trips.
We’ll put it all into perspective by highlighting the most popular types of camp forms we found during our research and demonstrating how JotForm can help you create a customizable data-collection tool that’s second to none.
More than 20 percent of the JotForm users we analyzed — or 1,556 camp organizations — collected electronic signatures through their online forms.
JotForm makes it easy to collect electronic signatures from campers or their legal guardians when they fill out your forms. All you need to do is search for our E-Signature widget in our Form Builder and place it on your online form. Or you could add our Adobe Sign or DocuSign widgets to your form and collect electronic signatures that way.
Once a form is submitted, electronic signatures will be captured and archived along with any other information provided through the form.
Traditional summer camp form
Sports camp form
Church or religious organization form
Volunteer application form
Parental consent form
Using the right form to gather information about campers will ensure that you’re prepared for their arrival and any unexpected issues.
More than 71 percent of the JotForm users we analyzed, or 5,417 camp organizations, used traditional summer camp forms to collect information from adult campers or the parents and legal guardians of young campers.
These versatile, yet comprehensive forms will often merge several separate documents by asking for details about campers, emergency contact information, and medical disclosures. Some traditional summer camp forms even include liability waivers, explicit acknowledgements that must be signed, and legal consent from parents, guardians, or even adult campers to participate in camp activities.
Some camps, however, prefer to have campers or their family provide different information on separate forms.
They may require participants and their family to register first and then fill out a payment form once their spot has been secured. This can make the form-filling process more manageable and make it easier to organize and share specific information.
Well before the first day of camp, it’s important for you to know how many people will be participating so that you can accommodate them all. Keeping tabs on your registration numbers will also help you make any necessary changes because of surges or drops in enrollment.
You’ll probably also want to know where your campers live, how they’re getting to camp, who to reach in case of an emergency and how to reach them, and whether any special accommodations or medical conditions need to be addressed.
Camp registration forms can answer most of these questions and help you plan ahead so you don’t face as many surprises or stressful, last-minute decisions.
It’s no wonder why nearly 64 percent of all the JotForm users we analyzed, or 4,828 individual camp organizations, used our platform to create online registration forms for campers and their families.
Registration forms, ranging from simple to detailed, typically collect most of the information you’ll need from campers and their families. In many cases, you can incorporate other kinds of forms into your registration form, including parental consent forms, product order forms, transportation forms, medical history forms, and liability waiver forms.
This decision, however, may depend on your workflow and your organization’s operating model.
It’s no secret that playing sports can not only keep the mind and body healthy but also teach some important life lessons.
In some cases, athletic prowess can open the doors to life-changing opportunities, whether it’s a professional career or a college scholarship.
Sports camps can help young, promising student athletes stay healthy, reach their potential, achieve their goals, and even learn a few life lessons in the process.
As it turns out, a lot of sports camps use JotForm. In fact, slightly more than 42 percent of the JotForm users we examined, or 3,188 individual organizations, run camps for a wide variety of sports, including soccer, tennis, and basketball.
Whether you run a camp for football, badminton, hockey, baseball, golf, pickleball, or any other sport under the sun, JotForm has the tools you need to collect important information from participants and share it with your staff.
JotForm’s versatile Form Builder enables you to build an online form that can collect contact information, important medical history disclosures, and details on camp-related travel arrangements. You can even use JotForm to collect online orders for any sports gear, payments for your services, and electronic signatures for liability waivers.
If you need some ideas on how to get started, JotForm has dozens of sports form templates that were created by fellow users and our talented designers.
There’s nothing quite like getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life to do some introspection and get back to what really matters.
Retreats, camps, mission trips, and other religious gatherings can help participants tune out distractions, worship together, learn from each other, and receive the guidance they need. It’s an experience that enables people to return from camp and practice what they learned at home, at work, and in their communities.
In all, slightly more than 28 percent of all JotForm users that we researched, or 2,150 religious organizations, use online forms to manage gatherings and activities that help bring participants closer to each other through their shared faith.
With JotForm’s Form Builder, you can build online forms that collect contact information, any medical history disclosures, transportation options, lodging preferences, and details on where participants practice their faith. You can even collect electronic signatures for liability waivers.
A lot of time, effort, and resources go into putting a summer camp together, but one person can’t do it all.
After all, there are logistics to coordinate, activities to teach, separate groups to lead, issues to troubleshoot, and meals to cook or pick up — the list goes on. There’s simply no way to grow multiple arms or legs, much less be in more than one place at the same time.
You’ll need help if you’re organizing, operating, or managing a camp of any kind.
If you’re operating on a shoestring budget or just want help from some familiar faces, volunteers can help pick up the slack. And in many cases, you’ll find that people will be receptive to your appeal for help, especially if it’s for a good cause.
Not surprisingly, close to 26 percent of all the JotForm users that we researched (1,921 organizations) relied on volunteer registration forms to solicit help in running or organizing their camps.
JotForm’s Form Builder enables you to create customizable online forms that can collect all the information you need from prospective volunteers, including contact information, where they worked before, how they’d like to help out, when they’ll be available, and their emergency contact details. As a safeguard, you may also want them to sign the same liability waivers or parental consent forms that participants sign before arriving on the first day.
Camps are a great way to get young people out of the house so they can grow both physically and intellectually without getting preoccupied by computer games, cell phones, or other modern-day distractions.
But before these bright-eyed and bushy-tailed campers show up on your doorstep, parents or legal guardians must give permission for their children to participate in your camp.
Camps usually ask parents or legal guardians to provide their contact information, some of their child’s personal information, and their electronic signatures on some ground rules, legal disclosures, or terms and conditions.
Doing this not only ensures that parents and guardians are aware of any fine print but also ensures that you don’t run into any legal issues later.
Although only 6 percent of the JotForm users we examined, or 453 organizations, were using parental consent forms, many camp operators, organizers, and directors integrate this process into their registration forms. This eliminates the need for parents and guardians to fill out multiple forms and provide similar information more than once.
Still, some camp staff find that dedicated parental consent forms are easier to organize, distribute to staff, and archive for recordkeeping purposes.
The JotForm PDF Editor can help you create a professional and shareable document using submitted form information.
Much like JotForm’s Form Builder, all you need to do is drag specific fields with submitted form information, including electronic signatures, onto the PDF you’d like to create. You can even customize your PDF by changing the font, adding a business logo, and uploading a background image. Share your PDF by downloading it, sharing it as a link, sending it in an email, or printing it out.
You can create different PDFs using the same submitted form information. For instance, you can create a polished PDF that reflects your branding, and share it with campers and their families, and you can save a simple copy that contains only essential information for camp staff or volunteers.
If you’re looking for a place to start, check out our collection of summer camp PDF templates that were created by some of our talented JotForm users and in-house designers.
Camps play a critical role in society, and that’s why we at JotForm make it a priority to help you spend less time dealing with paperwork.
By making it easier to collect, share, and archive information in less time without doing manual data entry, JotForm enables camp organizers, directors, and operators just like you to channel more of your energy into creating memorable camp experiences.
With JotForm’s Form Builder, PDF Editor, and the JotForm Mobile Forms app, you can collect, share, and pull up important information almost anywhere, even when there isn’t a stable internet connection.
If you haven’t done so already, give JotForm a try today and see how we’re helping thousands of camps around the world create adventures of a lifetime.