When I was on staff at a summer camp in my early 20s, one of my favorite activities was perusing the camp store when I had a spare few moments. Beside the barrage of candy and treats, we had a very nice selection of t-shirts and other branded swag. Summer camp t-shirts were a very important part of the camp culture were I worked, as they are in most summer camps.
We had a wide selection of t-shirts that were designed to match the summer camp theme. Alongside those t-shirts were the special private joke t-shirts. These were sayings or jokes that took off at camp. Some of these jokes finally made it to the immortal and high place of being placed on a t-shirt. The great thing about these private joke t-shirts is the legendary status they take on over the years. “Do you have the ‘Bo Knows Rocks’ t-shirt?!? Oh… that’s a classic. What year was that?”
One thing that has surprised me over the years is the number of summer camps that do not even have a camp store that sells Summer camp t-shirts and other branded merchandise. Beyond the complimentary t-shirt that each camper gets for staying the week, I can think of no better way to spread your brand than on a souvenir t-shirt that is offered in the camp store. Not only can you broadcast your brand around town for free, you can greatly increase your annual revenue by offering extra t-shirts for sale.
A great way to get started, if you do not already sell extra camp Summer camp t-shirts is with your staff. They know the things that the kids are talking about on a daily basis. You can get the low-down on the camp jokes for the summer and plaster it on a nice t-shirt. By the end of the week you’ll see these shirts all over camp and the extra money in your bank account.
When you are considering extra t-shirts to sell in your camp store, quality should be top-of-mind. I know that there is money that can be saved by going with a cheap t-shirt for your giveaway t-shirts, but there is also money to be made by going with top-quality t-shirts and printing for your camp store t-shirts. One of your biggest sales days is pick up day. You get parents and kids trying to spend the rest of the store account money on pick up day. That’s the day to showcase your high-quality t-shirts to parents. The kids don’t really care, but the parents do.
Beyond t-shirts, you can also sell custom printed blankets, bags, hats, water bottles, flashlight… the works! Of course, you already know about that.
If you haven’t implemented a camp store, what are you waiting for? That’s money that you’re leaving on the table. If you aren’t selling novelty camp t-shirts, give us a call. We can help.
We are camp people here at Dust Bowl. We LOVE camp and we are here to help. If you need ideas for building your camp store t-shirt inventory, just give a call. We can start brainstorming with you to find the best, most cost-effective way to make your camp t-shirts into legends.