Marketing the allure of your summer camp is fundamental in maintaining and increasing attendance. Whether you’re operating an outdoor adventure camp, a bible camp, a coding camp, or an athletic camp, finding ways to grow the number of annual attendees is critical to turning a profit and staying in business for the long run! In a society that has gravitated away from outdoor activity towards social isolation due to social media, video games and technology in general, summer camps need to find ways to capture back the attention of the younger generation.
Businesses, Churches and Capital
It’s fairly obvious that while businesses chase profits and growth, churches have a totally different aim. Regardless of the denomination or creed most churches are in the business of saving souls and bettering people. Despite the huge difference in the underlying goal there is a commonality between churches and businesses that many overlook, and even non-profits, they all need cash and capital to achieve their goals!
A few days ago we posted my interview with Danielle Kelly from The Neon Museum in Las Vegas. During the interview she mentioned that I must reach out to the Society for Commercial Archeology. She said if you love the older, lesser know signs and buildings of America’s roadsides and are interested in helping preserve them, those are the guys to talk to. So I did just that and they didn’t disappoint.
When I spoke to Ralph Wilcox, the Society for Commercial Archeology’s secretary, I envisioned this Indiana Jones-esque group of individuals combing through dilapidated commercial buildings in search of relics from the past. OK, so I over romanticized a little bit, but in truth the SCA is the largest national organization devoted to the buildings, artifacts, structures, signs, and symbols of the 20th-century commercial landscape. (more…)
Update: 4/22/2013: While I was attending the 2013 International Sign Association’s Sign Expo in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of sitting down with Bryan over lunch to discuss the latest happenings with the Vegas Vernacular. It had been about 6 months since our first interview and I wanted to get an update on the organization, what they are currently working on and what’s next……oh and to get my print of the Desert Moon Motel I ordered!
Although I loved meeting Bryan at the art exhibit back in September of 2012, this time around was even better. We went to an incredible little place to eat, called EAT, in old downtown and just talked signage. It was the first time I had ever just walked around that area and it really gave me an appreciation for what Bryan and his team are trying to document. Once you get away from the Strip, you realize that a whole other world exists. Just walking and driving down Freemont Street – away from the tourist traps – you quickly realize what Vegas was truly about. It’s not about the massive Casinos. It’s about the hundreds of family owned motels and businesses that lined the streets. Each one with a unique story. Each one on the verge of disappearing.
Although they have accumulated around 50,000 images, there is still more to be done. Much of their current projects are based on immediate necessity. Not only are the smaller motels and building being closed down, they are being torn down. Bryan said that just knowing what properties are next is difficult. Then trying to get in to photograph them can be an even bigger challenge.
But, aside from the constant need to document the signs, Bryan and his team are right in the middle of creating a platform to catalog and display the images. The best part of the platform, they want to make it available to other organizations, in other cities, to allow them to accomplish the same goal as the Vegas Vernacular. A national platform for all to use as inspiration and education. They have also spent some time trying to track down the artists, like “King” Richard Harris, who actually created the hand painted signage. Their personal stories are as much a part of the dialogue as the signs they created!
For the most part, things continue at breakneck speed for the Vegas Vernacular and the ever changing landscape of Las Vegas sure keeps Bryan on his toes. Let’s just hope he is quick enough to document it before it’s gone! (more…)
Born From Necessity
As I sat across from Danielle Kelly, the executive director of The Neon Museum, I almost forgot that we were discussing old, beat up, and sometimes forgotten signs. In fact, I felt that we could have been talking about a recently discovered Picasso or Van Gogh original. That’s how passionate Danielle is about her beloved museum and the works of art that she and her team painstakingly curates.
Founded in 1996, The Neon Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and restoring iconic Las Vegas signage to display and educate future generations on the area’s unique art form. But, according to Danielle, the path to what visitors see today when they come to the Neon Museum is a far cry from where they started. (more…)
Your mother always taught you to say “Thank you” when someone did something nice, and she made you write countless notes for every birthday, Christmas and graduation gift.
Even though you grumbled about spending your Saturday morning writing out card after card until your hand cramped, you knew Mom was right. When someone gives you something, it’s polite (and socially expected) to acknowledge their kindness with a thank you.
According to Wikipedia:
- Power is defined as the ability to influence the behavior of others with or without resistance.
- Design is a road map, complete with specifications, plans, costs and activities, or a strategic approach for someone to achieve a unique expectation.
I know that charitable organizations rely on donations from people like me to support the people they help. And I like to think I do my share: my husband and I donate annually to the children’s hospital and our local NPR station. Last year we gave everyone goats for Christmas (no, not REAL goats. Virtual goats from Oxfam. Our relatives just got cards saying they got a goat, but that it was currently residing in a third world country. Everyone was thrilled).
For most of the country, summer is in full swing and that means getting out and enjoying the park, the pool, or the beach (yes, I know it is sweltering right now in some parts, but hey, it won’t last forever). No matter the temperature, summer is when people want to be out of their houses and for a non-profit, it is a great time to take advantage.
As a continuation of our Success Stories series, I recently had the privilege of sitting down with Brad and Monnica Manuel, co-founders of Operation61, a non-profit organization dedicated to the eradication of human trafficking to talk about their organization and their thoughts on building a successful non-profit.
When did you first become aware of human trafficking?
Monnica: We had heard little pieces here and there. One trigger was the movie, “Taken,” which made us start asking more questions, doing more research. We originally had the mindset that it was a third world country issue. There are 27 million slaves worldwide (that includes sex slaves and labor slaves). Then we began to break it down to what’s happening here domestically. Somewhere between 100,000 and 300,000 children are sexually exploited in the United States every year. We wondered if it was happening in Utah. We found out that there are organizations that are assisting victims right here in our own backyard.