Post by Frank Gil

We have all been there. You launch your camp, retreat, or mission trip registration only to have a handful of people register in the first month. Then when the deadlines hit, you have kids flooding your registration or even worse, they are begging for a spot after the registration is closed. So frustrating, right?!


A couple of years ago, my pastor-buddy, Nick Farr, did something I had never seen before. He gave incentives for the first few people who signed up for his camp. I was blown away by that idea and immediately tried to apply this idea to my group for camp. What happened next was something that has never happened in the history of my Youth Ministry life. Over 80% of all the students who ended up going to camp that year registered on the first day!


Here is how it happened:


I announced that camp registration would be open online on a Sunday at noon. I gave them over a month of promotion to make sure they could be by a computer to register when it was time. In the promotion of camp we announced that the first five people who register for camp will be a part of the FUSE Camp Five. The FUSE Camp Five receive all kinds of special promotions that no one else gets and the best part about it, it cost me almost nothing! Let me tell you about what the FUSE Camp Five receive.


The first five people who register for camp get to:

  • Choose where they want to sit on the bus

  • Choose who they want to sit with on the bus

  • Choose the bunk they want to sleep in before anyone else

  • Skip the line at every meal to get their food first

  • A special shirt that only the first five people recieve


The only thing that cost me any money was the shirts. There are all kinds of incentives you can offer to get students registered early. You could offer the student an option of a discount to the next event, choose what activities they may want to do before anyone else, or to design the next shirt for the whole group. I love doing this because I don’t have to run around getting kids to register at the last minute. I was able to turn in all the names for registration and order shirts and supplies with plenty of time.


What will you do for your next registration sign up? What incentives will you offer?