Summer camps

Summer camps are the cash cows for hagwons.

Mostly because parents need something for their kids to do, preferably functional, and a day can take a long time.  Parents might pay a lower hourly fee, but as I said before, capacity is expensive, and if you can fill it, that is when profit starts kicking in.

The problem is, since schools stopped serving Saturdays, they reduced the number of weeks during the Summer holidays, in effect reducing the possibility to have camps for longer.  Therefore, your potential profit for the whole year just took a nosedive.  Thank you government.  I have tried extending into Saturday, but in effect, it just increased my capacity cost, increased advertising cost with very little revenue to show for.

I have said it before that government policies can effect your bottom line, very fast, this is one of those silly policies that turned a period of positive cash flow in a …. well  …. nothing at all.  Would love to see how others coped with the change.

Summer camps, on the other hand are a very good for teachers and students alike.  It allows to focus on non-traditional ways of teaching, because you can have the kids for a longer period. It also allows for those kids to enjoy English.  A bit less dreary and repetitive than the usual feed.

It is difficult to gauge what parents would like their kids to do in the Summer though.  I offer 5 different camps, with different approaches and see what the market decides.  I can honestly say, every year the market reacts differently, so as you run a school, and you allow for camps to run, you need to have a divergence of choice to make.  It can make or break your summer.

One other potential revenue stream, and I believe most schools run by foreigners make use of it, is organizing a language holiday. But you need to be prepared to take care of a lot of details.  Organizing these holidays is twice the work, compared to any holiday you might have organized for your own family.   You see, you understand your own family, but, you don’t know the families for whom you are organizing the holiday, and finding out their preferences can take a lot of communication and changes of plans.  Good Luck.

Personally, I enjoy doing the Summer camps, in a short time you can really see an improvement in abilities that are not normally developed in a standard classroom.  It is also a good opportunity for kids gain confidence in the language, which I find one of the most important thresholds for young learners to take.  That is, if the Summer camp is well-organized and focused  on the kids.

For teachers, it is also an opportunity to make a bit of extra cash, due to the increase of the time that is required to support the Summer camps. Although, I am sure, most hagwons would prefer to keep the costs as low as possible ….