Hospitality 310: Small Details

Good hospitality is the cheapest, easiest, and most effective way to maximize your campsite’s potential and keep it running at a profit (or at least not at a deficit).

Hospitality is first and foremost about making people feel valued (read The 3 Needs for more information on what that’s so important).  After your camp has mastered the basic hospitality actions of greeting people well and being available, you are ready to add in even more hospitable gestures to make your guests, volunteers, and donors feel like they are the most important people to your campsite.

And at the moment you are interacting with them, they should be.

Here are just a few possibilities when considering ways to be as hospitable as possible:

1) Help with Luggage:  Think about the quilters and scrapbookers who come with what looks like a year’s worth of luggage.  For these people, someone to lend them a hand moving everything will be the most significant memory of hospitality they have.

2) Linens:  Providing linens for everyone automatically “classes-up” your campsite.  If that isn’t a possibility, have a place where you keep a few sets of extra (plain white) linens for people who forgot theirs.  Make sure the group leaders know these are available if needed.

3) Snacks:  It is quite amazing how something as simple as a bowl of popcorn in the evening can change the perspective of a guest or volunteer.  Consider the preferences of your group (whether guests, volunteers, or donors) and try to have at least a few snacks available to them.  They don’t need to be expensive, just available.

4) Updates:  Especially important for the summer season, sending out frequent updates to parents can make a huge difference in their attitude towards your campsite.  Maybe your camp Tweets daily, or updates their Facebook page often, or sends out afternoon e-mails every day.  Whatever works for your campsite, try to update people about what is happening frequently.

5) Good parking:  This hospitality tip is specifically in reference to registration times.  It can be very frustrating for parents to have to park a long distance from the registration site because there isn’t closer parking.  If you just don’t have the space for everyone, consider extending your registration time to try and limit the problem of parking.

6) Tours:  People feel a greater sense of ownership over a space when they feel like they know it.  Because of this, tours will help parents feel more comfortable, volunteers more committed, and even donors more generous.

7) Information packets w/ maps:  People want to know about your campsite, and they want to know how to find things.  Depending on the group, it is also helpful to have information available about local attractions, churches, restaurants, and where they can go to buy anything they forgot.

8) Signs:  This is a small detail that affects the stress level of your guests; the less stress they have at finding where they should be, the more opportunity they have to relax.  Have clear signs for all important locations, and have them be as nice and fresh as possible.

Related Articles:

Hospitality 101

Hospitality 102: The Friendly Greeting

Hospitality 201: Being Available



  1. It is quite amazing how something as simple as a bowl of popcorn in the evening can change the perspective of a guest or volunteer.

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