Success Story

— Camp Funderblast — Camp Funderblast — Camp Funderblast

— Camp Funderblast

Camp funderblast hero 2, Camp Funderblast

How Camp Funderblast Director, Veronica, Saved 5 hours a Day and Grew her Camp Thanks to Technology

Saves 5h/day SmartRec is saving her crucial time, which she estimates to be upwards of 5 hours a day!

Business Growth She’s been able to scale her business and take care of tasks with higher importance.

“SmartRec has allowed our business to grow because I wouldn't have been able to with the way I was working. I was at my capacity. It wasn’t scalable.”
Veronica Cowen Owner & Founder at Camp Funderblast
Camp funderblast group of kids at camp tall portrait

Other camp professionals will totally relate to this – when you need to look up a child in your spreadsheet or system, but it won’t find the name unless you spell it perfectly (no typos, no out of order letters). With SmartRec, the search function in the client database will find children's’ profiles that are similar to or match the name you search and believe it or not this simple difference saves me tons of time.

Camp funderblast image of kids eating icecream

Camps are complex creatures; providing a service to two groups (parents and kids!) means that you have a lot of priorities to manage: Safety, fun, facility maintenance and parent satisfaction... just to name a few. Veronica was balancing it all, virtually by herself, until SmartRec came along!

The transformation of her daily life has been significant. SmartRec is saving her crucial time, which she estimates to be upwards of 5 hours a day! With that, she’s been able to continue to scale her business (add a daycare, afterschool program and 2 more camps!) and take care of tasks with higher importance. Keep reading to find out how Veronica was able to run her camp smarter with SmartRec.

Get to know Veronica & Camp Funderblast

Based in Mill Valley, California, Veronica started Camp Funderblast in 2013 with one location at a local pool and tennis club. As a sociology major with over two decades of camp experience, Veronica saw starting her own camp as an opportunity to test out a hypothesis: she asked herself “what would happen if we created an environment where counselors focused on spreading positive energy? A place where kids learned about their own energy, how it affects themselves and those around them. Would this make the campers feel more loved and safer?” Her thought was that hopefully, the kids would start spreading positive energy, love and confidence among themselves.

Camp funderblast veronica story time

What does it mean to be a Funderblaster? Hear what one of the campers has to say:

“It means to spread light and positive energy, while having fun and having a blast!”

(watch the full video: https://www.funderblast.com/)

Well, her hypothesis was right, and many more parents and children were drawn in by this concept and the environment it created. Five years later, in 2018, Camp Funderblast had already grown to 3 locations. However, it left Veronica working 18-hour days as admin work piled up. Spreadsheets were used to track accounts and finances while individualized products were created by Veronica via Weebly for parents to purchase online as the registration process. It was time consuming, and it wasn’t scalable. Staffing for the admin side of the business wasn’t easy either. Unable to find consistent help, Veronica knew she needed to make changes if she wanted to continue with her work and reach more children: “it just wasn’t sustainable, and I knew I was beyond my limits.”

Why eCommerce for camps was the answer

On the hunt for software that had the flexibility for the different types of registration abilities her camp needed, as well as an easy user experience for both herself, staff and parents, Veronica did demos with over 10 software companies before she found Amilia’s SmartRec eCommerce for activities software. It was the only software where you could register for drop-in days along with offering the following must-have camp modules:

  • Multi-item check-out, so registering more than one kid for several activities was easy for parents.
  • The ability to set up your registration process in your own website, so parents don’t have to navigate elsewhere to sign up.
  • Payment flexibility, whether it be online or offline options, or to set up personalized payment plans.
  • More efficient billing and payment tracking, where parents pay up front for what they have committed to and are automatically reminded when payments are due.
  • An available, quick and friendly chat and support team for when Veronica had questions.
Veronica shares that SmartRec also has intuitive functions that help her save time and make her day-to-day easier that she would have never thought of: “Other camp professionals will totally relate to this – when you need to look up a child in your spreadsheet or system, but it won’t find the name unless you spell it perfectly (no typos, no out of order letters). With SmartRec, the search function in the client database will find children's’ profiles that are similar to or match the name you search and believe it or not this simple difference saves me tons of time.”

Another huge win for Veronica was that she finally found the stable and reliable partner she needed: “During registration peaks, the camp management platform is able to capture hundreds of registrations at the same time without lagging or crashing, which takes a huge stress off myself and parents.”

Camp funderblast monitors employees

Blast off for Camp Funderblast!

Since her first summer with SmartRec in 2019, Veronica estimates that between automating registrations, the financial reporting and the easy-to-access camper profiles (just to name a few) that she saves about 5 hours a day. With these 5 hours, Veronica has created an opportunity to scale her business even more since her time can now be put towards other projects and priorities such as hiring, planning for new locations and more technical aspects of the business such as insurance.

Today, the camp has five locations, an afterschool program and a daycare. With almost 1000 campers in 2022, the impact of SmartRec is clear. Veronica has been able to reach more communities and bring her amazing approach to new parents and children. The positive effect of automating repetitive day-to-day tasks is clear to Veronica: “it's allowed our business to grow because I wouldn't have been able to with the way I was working. I was at my capacity. It wasn’t scalable.”

On top of allowing her business to scale, SmartRec also gives Veronica peace of mind that she has a tool she can rely on. Smartrec and the Amilia team are constant and reliable partners that help create stability for her camp. No more pulling 18-hour days or struggling to find the administrative help she needs, because with SmartRec, Veronica’s day-to-day has truly transformed.

A fun future ahead!

With Veronica’s incredible energy and leadership, the future is bright for everyone at Camp Funderblast. Equipped with the tools to help her grow, she looks forward to continuing to expand her camps to reach a wider community, welcome new campers and keep the positive mindset and energy work growing amongst the youth in her area. On top of that, Veronica’s outlook is more positive than ever. Who wouldn’t be with an additional 5 hours a day to put towards what she chooses and the foundation set up to continue growing?

Did you know?

Camp Funderblast has a mascot!

Designed by Veronica, his name is Louie the Lightning Bolt and he’s the perfect shape to hug!