How Much Do You Charge For Camp?

Youth basketball camps are a great way to build excitement and competitiveness within your basketball program. Today, we’re talking about a long-term approach that not only keeps kids interested in playing basketball but has them dreaming of the day they get to be a varsity player. If you’re looking to build a program that competes at a high level every year then a fun and competitive youth basketball camp needs to be a part of your basketball program!

When I get asked about pricing, one of the first things we do is figure out your mindset, or the goal of your camp. Typically, I’m coming into youth camp season wanting to build a program through my camps, and I’m not overly worried about the bottom line like I would be if it were a private camp.  There’s nothing wrong with private camps and making money off your expertise. It’s just important to decide ahead of time – is the end goal teaching players while making a PROFIT?… or is it teaching players while BUILDING A PROGRAM?

Camp Pricing 2

Next, we answer a few questions about your camp. Each answer will be a piece of the puzzle as to how much to charge.

  • What ages/grades will camp be for?
  • How many days will camp be?
  • How many hours per day is camp?
  • Will you pay workers or use volunteers?
  • Do you have any equipment needs? (balls, cones, pinnie jerseys, awards, etc)
  • Will you give out camp t-shirts?
  • Will you need to rent a gym or pay for custodians to be on site?
  • Does the school take a cut or will the money go back into your program?
  • Is the camp a fundraiser for your basketball program? (If yes, how much do you need to raise? Do you have other fundraisers?)

Once you’ve done a little number crunching based on the questions you’ve just answered you’ll have a good idea of what your bottom line will be. Again, if you’re looking to build a program the bottom line may not matter much because you want more kids in the gym. If you’re looking for a profit, the bottom line becomes more important even if it means less kids in the gym.

The last piece of the puzzle comes with a little homework on what others in the area are charging. One piece of advice, don’t compare your price to a college/university or professional player running camps! The price for these types of camps are inflated because of the name attached to them. They’re typically trying to filter out kids by charging more. You’re trying to get kids in the gym to build your program.

There will always be questions that arise, and new situations to address with every camp season. I’ve got plenty of resources and even a full course/bundle available online that makes running a youth camp way easier on coaches (and makes your efforts more profitable). Check that out here. But, I wanted to wrap up this post by sharing some insight into three situations that we run into every single year. Having a plan ahead of time for things like this helps make registration and the campers’ experiences so much better.Camp Cost 3

1. Do You Have A Plan For Families Who Can’t Afford Camp?

Over the years, I have had parents who just couldn’t afford camp. It didn’t matter how inexpensive it was there wasn’t money in the budget for basketball camp. My stance has always been that I will take a hit on the bottom line if it means I get kids in the gym. This was true when I ran my private camps and now as I run my basketball programs youth basketball camps. If a parent ever brought up cost as a reason their child couldn’t attend camp I removed the barrier. At different times I’ve asked, “How much could you afford?” and at other times I’ve said, “Don’t worry about it, just bring them to camp.” You’ll have to decide what works best for you.

2. What About Families With Multiple Kids?

If a family has three or four kids the amount it costs to send their kids to camp goes up extremely fast. Do you have a limit for families with multiple kids? I’ve seen camps say the first two kids are full price and all other siblings are free. Once camp did a half-price discount for two or more kids. It doesn’t matter what you choose, you just want to have a plan in place so you’re fair to each family and you’re not keeping kids out of the gym.

3. What If A Camper Can Only Attend Part Of The Camp?

This one can be tricky and gets hard to be consistent with. Once word gets around that one family got a discount because they could only attend two days but another family didn’t get a discount and can only attend for three days it looks like a coach is playing favorites when this may not be the case at all. To stay out of the drama I didn’t offer discounts. If family vacation conflicts with our youth basketball camp it just didn’t work out this year. I know exactly why parents only want to pay half price for attending half the camp but it opens a can of worms I didn’t want to have to deal with.

If you have more questions or are looking to set up a new camp or revamp your school’s camp format you’ll find everything you need in my Starting and Running A Basketball Camp From A-Z course.

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