The traditional idea of a summer camp is a group of children sitting around a fire toasting marshmallows and singing campfire songs. This concept hasn’t changed for generations; however, much has changed since these conventional camps became a part of the mainstream consciousness. In the 21st century, tech has become a key device we employ in everything we do, and children’s ongoing fascination with technology means there are constant discussions on how we can support children to enjoy and harness the potential of the digital world. Here, Justin Nihiser, CEO of Code Ninjas, the international coding franchise for kids, talks about the importance of creating the summer camp of the future, which not only allows children to thrive, but also creates further opportunities for growth for his global network of franchisees.
When building our own summer camp model, we did not want to ignore the success of the past. At their best, summer camps not only promote invaluable life skills, like team building and communication, they also encourage us to become willing and engrossed independent learners. We built our camps with these core foundations in mind, as we felt they acted as a wonderful launching point for the innovative new setting we wanted to build. At our camps, through working independently as well as in a collaborative setting, we are proud to support kids in staying mentally engaged and focused during the summer months. However, where we differ from tradition is that our camps, through our unique coding curriculum, cater to the tech-savvy generation of today.
The summer camp element of our franchise model adds fantastic revenue opportunities to our global network of franchisees at Code Ninjas. It not only allows them to build relationships with existing Ninjas and caregivers, but also opens the business up to new Ninjas whose parents may be looking for exciting summer activities for their kids. Our summer camps are a unique offering, and they are a great resource to keep children happy and engaged during the long summer school holidays. Usually spanning the course of a full week, camps offer students the chance to fully explore one area of digital development. We find that this really helps us convert Ninjas into full-time students as they not only love the curriculum, but from a week of fun and immersive learning they see the benefits of what they have learnt.
Choice is king
In today’s society, a variety of service offerings play a large part in converting and retaining customers. In the past, summer camps had more of a one-size-fits-all approach – we wanted to change that. As a result of this, we have built camps with a wide range of different outcomes and skill requirements. Each camp presents a set of unique activities aimed at different tech interests. This variety of content allows our Ninjas to develop new skills and have a great time with friends by doing an activity they love. Themes range from ‘Adventures in 3D printing’ to ‘Become a YouTuber!’ and ‘Building the beat: a music coding camp’; with many of our camps being suitable for ages five and up, there is an opportunity for all. This means that as a franchisee, you will be attracting a wide range of Ninjas, and you will have all the tools to keep them returning for more.
Summer camps will always be a huge part of the summer for kids. It is a wonderful opportunity for children to explore and develop independently of their parents. In my experience, summer camps can create lasting positive memories which you remember for the rest of your life. At Code Ninjas, we want to produce these happy memories, while also building a camp that celebrates the past but also looks forward to the digital age of today. We believe that with our summer camp model we have done this.
Finally, I cannot wait to hear all the stories about the success of camps from our locations across the globe. I am sure it will be an unforgettable summer.