Is there ANYTHING better than the enthusiasm of delighted patients? (Delighted kids are nice too, but I'll stick with parents since they're the ones paying...)
Anyway, here's a way to amaze parents so much they'll be drooling all over themselves to refer friends to your camp and keep coming back year after year:
Make every camp family feel like they're your only customer, no matter how many other customers you have.
The way to make every family feel like they're your only customer is to make them feel important.
Look at it this way. Most parents can't accurately assess your skills as a camp director, but they can definitely assess the experience they have with you. That means it's probably worthwhile to bend over backwards as much as you can, not to the exclusion of other customers, but for the benefit of each individual one.
Giving "progress reports" to parents while their kids are at camp is one place to start. Schools give progress reports to keep parents abreast of how their kids are doing academically, so why not give parents camper progress reports to keep them clued into how their kids are doing at camp?
When you have a dental procedure, does your dentist call you the next day to see how you're doing? Mine does, and it blows me away every time. I can't believe she takes the time to call. She's got a booming practice with four locations, and usually I wonder if she's calling all her other patients too. But it really doesn't matter since she's talking to me and me alone at that moment in time. It makes me feel good.
If you've got kids coming and going to camp without having much contact with their parents, see if you can't reach out. Can you connect to each one on a regular basis during the summer, if only to say hello and let them know their kid's doing fine and oh by the way do they have any questions?
Surely this action will take lots of time. But if you want to absolutely delight parents and in turn build a camper retention and referral system that can't be beat, it's also a marketing strategy you can't afford to miss.