Today we will be focusing on what to charge for your camp or workshop and how to go about scheduling. I will share what has worked well in my studio over the years.
1) How much should I charge?
My tuition for the year covers August-May, the tuition remains the same each month regardless how many lessons are in that month and includes Christmas camp in December. Summer is billed separately. However, you can easily include your summer camp in your yearly tuition if you want the monthly cost to be the same even during those summer months. Camps and workshops take quite a bit of prep time and you want to be sure that you are paid for all the time you put into it. I personally charge the same as it would cost for 2 months of private lessons for the summer camp. Because this is a group experience and not private, my camp is longer than what they would normally get in a given month. For example, my camp this year is a little over 8 hours long. Normally a student would get 4 hours of private lesson and 2 hours of lab time in the span of 2 months. So with camp a little over 8 hours, they are receiving a little more than 2 “extra” hours. If you wanted to do a shorter camp then I would probably charge about 1/4 less what your regular tuition would cost.
Keep in mind when you are charging for your camp or workshop of any materials that they might receive. Are you going to include the materials in the camp tuition cost, or is it going to be an added fee?
2) How do I schedule when I have so many students going on vacations and other activities at different times?
– If this is your first time doing a camp or workshop, it may be best to survey parents- SurveyMonkey.com is free. This will give you an idea of what times may be more popular during the day, weeks that hardly anyone will be around, etc… I have students coming from at least 4-5 different districts, charter schools, private schools, etc.. So schedules vary a lot.
– I highly recommend giving several session options for families to choose from. I begin my session options the last week of May right after our spring recital party but before most of the students get out of school. This way there is no excuse even for those who take off as soon as school gets out. If I am doing workshops instead of a camp that year, I require a 2 workshop minimum (equal to 1 camp) in order to keep their spot for the fall. Otherwise they go on the bottom of my waiting list and right now that would mean they would have to wait at least a year before they would be able to get back in. Sometimes I have to remind newer families of this. There have been a couple occasions when I did have a student pay for their required sessions but did not participate because they were too busy.
-Decide how long you want your camp or workshop to be. My workshops are at least 4 hours long (each- remember 2 are required) and my camps are at least 8 hours long. When I first started doing summer camps, I had families come everyday that week (4-5 days) for an hour each day. This was when I lived in an smaller city where most of my students were within 10 min. of my house. It wasn’t until I got a family that travelled a distance a way that I started offering the camp as an 1 day – four hour camp. They would then choose which session would work best for them. Fast forward to know and I run my schedule more like you would see in your local community rec program schedule. I offer several sessions. One might be a 1 day- 4 hour session, the other two might be a 2 day- 2 hour each day session. I have families that like to just get it done in one day, and others that prefer the other. This is something I found from surveying parents.
-When I give my summer registration schedule, families must check ALL sessions they can participate in. I make it clear that if a session doesn’t have a minimum of 4 students sign up for it, that session will not be available so they need to try to give more than one option. They are welcome to put 1st choice, 2nd choice, etc… This also helps me tremendously when I’m putting the schedule together.
Here is a sample schedule of a couple workshops I offered years ago…
And another sample of my schedule options/summer registration form for my camp this year…
If you have any other questions on this particular subject in regards to camps and workshops, please let me know and I would be happy to answer your questions in the comment area.
Click here for Part 3.
Miss Part 1 of 3? Just click here.