Professional Development

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How Technology Saved a Fantastic Camp

Is Program Quality Enough?

Year after year, we're amazed by those who think outside the box to enrich kids' lives. Notions of what camp can be—or how an instructor can teach—keep expanding, thanks to the creative leadership and outstanding programs launched by these passionate, caring individuals.

They're changing lives. They're pushing the boundaries of childhood development and growth. They're developing young leaders, athletes and artists.

They're also running a business.

In this juncture, where the rubber meets the proverbial road, too many great programs languish or wither away. As brilliant as the idea may have been, as impassioned as its creator may be, the necessary supporting framework just wasn't anticipated.

It's hard to be a visionary and a pragmatist at the same time. It's hard to find time and resources for both. Yet, one without the other is destined to fail. We've seen talented leaders buried under administrivia, unable to contribute their true gifts and talents to their mission.

NuMinds Enrichment is one such organization. The popular educational enrichment experience driven by passion and curiosity was designed to be an added layer of exploratory learning that traditional classrooms can't typically provide. Yet, after one season with a home-grown registration and payment process, founders Ben Koch and Justin Vawter nearly closed up shop. Complicated technology actually caused some parents to turn away from the program in its second year.

Koch and Vawter learned—the hard way—the high cost of assuming that operational focus could be secondary to program excellence. Then they learned—the easy way—that the right tools can, in fact, leave room for a creative focus. In its third year, NuMinds hit its stride, doubling registrations and revenue, and leaving its founders time to focus on their young protégés.

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