Give Parents a White-Glove Experience
Ridgecrest Camps are separate boys and girls camps, with the mission of impacting lives for God’s glory through discipleship and adventure. Each summer, 4,000 campers head to the Blue Ridge Mountains outside of Asheville, North Carolina, for two-week experiences that feature upwards of 25 different activity options. Their philosophy has always been to provide the best experience for kids, care for them when they’re not at home, and make their parents' experiences better. What drew them to Campanion was how easily it helped them accomplish all three goals.
"Our goal is that parents' interactions with camp are as clean and smooth as possible. From registration to forms to watching their kids, Campanion makes a huge impact on them."
Phil Berry, Executive Director, Ridgecrest Summer Camps
To call Ridgecrest popular would be an understatement. They open registration each year in the middle of August and in the first hour, roughly 2,000 campers are signed up. For some parents, the need to take action immediately was challenging and frustrating if they weren't in front of a computer. "As busy as parents are, making it easy for them to register from their smartphone is a big deal." Mobile registration provides the opportunity for parents to enroll their kids in camp, no matter where they are when it opens.
"It’s amazing to have everything in one place. It’s her last year of camp and I’m wishing we had this sooner! Love it!"
Emilie R., Parent, Ridgecrest Summer Camp
All in the Family
Ridgecrest hosts a weekend family camp, and they use Campanion to send real-time reminders and updates to parents who attend with their kids. When they need to pivot from their normal schedule or want to send a reminder, they share this info using push notifications. These alerts relieve any tension for parents trying to manage their children. "It's an incredible touch-point and opportunity to get families the information they need to make the process smoother." Even something as simple as sharing a photo from the day and posting the next morning's breakfast time helps make family camp a success.
When it comes to covering the cost of using Campanion, Ridgecrest has chosen to roll the cost of the app into tuition, as opposed to asking parents to opt in and pay a fee. "We know the app improves the parent experience and if we over-serve them, then they will tell people and we don’t have to spend money on marketing." Their goal is service that is as white-glove as possible, and Campanion is a home run.
A Balanced Approach to Microposts
Ridgecrest's team shares 2-3 Microposts per day from each camp, but they don't attach a push notification to every one. Instead, they select a few key Microposts during the week to use along with a notification. This balanced approach helps make sure that parents don't get inundated with alerts, while still getting a real glimpse into what camp is like. As much as possible, they write the text for their Microposts ahead of time, which they then copy and paste into the editor. The Microposts allow them to tell a deeper story of camp. "We want them to see stuff happening, and not just when the photos are uploaded."
"Such a great app. Not that I wouldn’t scroll through hundreds of pictures to see my kid, but I appreciate not having to! The updates throughout the day are cute little reminders."
C. Meadows, Parent, Ridgecrest Summer Camp
Blowing Parents' Minds
Ridgecrest's parents embraced Face Finder with open arms. In the camp's first summer using the app, 88% of campers had training photos in the system, which eliminated hours of scrolling through the camp's 78,000 uploaded photos. "The facial recognition blew parents' minds. It far exceeded their expectations and ours."
Ridgecrest's parents only visit camp on the opening and closing days of each session. Campanion helps them get a clearer picture of what camp really is, whether that’s through pictures or Microposts. "Seeing what’s happening is really beneficial, especially for today’s parents who are very involved and very concerned with the hour-to-hour activity of their kids. This makes them feel like they’re closer than they actually are. I think that’s really helpful for them."
App Use is Through the Roof
4.8 Stars from
In 2022, Ridgecrest parents submitted nearly 1,200 reviews, resulting in a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. They opened 52,000 push notifications for Microposts and tagged photos, and shared 13,000 of the 70,000 photos they downloaded from the app.
"We were drawn to Campanion because we always want to be on the cutting edge when it comes to technology in camping, and put our best foot forward with parents."
Ron Springs, Director Emeritus, Ridgecrest Summer Camps