Here’s a little story I’d like to tell
About 3 camp ladies I know real well.
It started back in Two Thousand and 12,
When they were planning camp, like busy little elves.
They were looking for ideas based on campers’ interests
One of them said “Hey, let’s check Pinterest!”
…And that is how our Project: Pinterest started.
A little Bit o’ Info About Project: Pinterest
For the past two summers, our camp programs have been using Pinterest to support our summer camp planning.
While I imagine the idea of having a Pinterest board or two related to work is something a majority of the camp and out of school time field has done. We decided to try something a bit different. Instead of using Pinterest as a place for each of us to warehouse camp ideas, mixed in with our “For the Home” and “Dinner Ideas”, what if we used it as a program planning resource- a way to share ideas with the 100+ centers and camps within our agency?
Here are a few of the lessons we have learned along the way.
- Create a Pinterest account that is specific for your program, agency, or camp. We initially started the “Summer Camp 2012” board on one of our personal accounts. While this was a functional board, it really started to clutter that person’s account. It also meant that as an agency we didn’t have access to the account.
- Create multiple boards based on the different elements of your camp or program. Our first attempt was a solo board. We quickly noticed it got really crowded and hard to search. For the 2013 season, we initially broke the boards into our general camp topics: art, science, crafts, sports, etc. Since then we have added many boards beyond just program ideas. Boards, like camp leader inspiration, project-based learning and documentation, are there to support our leaders in the work they do. We also added general camp boards like camp culture, indoor & outdoor games, songs, skits and special events to support the transition from being a school year program to a camp.
- Designate a Lead Pinner. Our in our case, a Pin Queen. While we shared the responsibility of pinning ideas between the three of us, we designated one person the Pin Queen. Her responsibilities were to 1) keep the boards clean- it never failed, all three of us would see a great idea and repin it. She made sure items weren’t duplicated 2) check the links to make sure they work 3) check the comments to make sure they were work friendly and clean, the last thing we wanted to do was pin something that had profanity or inappropriate comments. 4) Track “Pin Popularity”. When our Pin Queen sees a certain topic or pin trending in our repins, she creates a special board for that topic and adds additional pins. This is how our Duct Tape pinboard started. 5) Keeping things Organized. We were asked to find resources and ideas that would promote recycling and upcycling found materials for our activities. We began pinning ideas for home made games and recycled crafts to our “games” and “crafts” boards. The size of these boards grew and became hard to manage. Our Pin Queen then created separate boards for “DIY Games” and “Going Green”.
Once we had things established. We pinned away. Currently we have over 30 boards and over 1,100 pinned program ideas and resources. We add new pins and boards on a regular basis to keep things fresh.
Some of the Benefits of Project: Pinterest
Pinterest has given us the speed and flexibility to provide resources to our camps. We are now directly connected to staff at many of our camp programs. It has helped to create an online community for our program staff.
The Development of Tapas Camp – We were asked to develop resources for a Tapas camp. Of the three of us working on camp curriculum, none of us really had a background in making tapas. We began by searching Pinterest for “Tapas and Small Plates” ideas. Once we found a few ideas we were able to write activity plans. But we wanted to do more. Realizing that this camp was a bit “out of the norm” we created a Cooking Camp-Tapas pinboard and started adding pins to it to support this camp.
NEWS FLASH! A Heat Wave Hits California – We believe that campers should spend as much time outside as possible. But what do you do when you are faced with a week of extreme heat? We were able to quickly respond to a request for more indoor games and activities to do with campers. Within 20 minutes we had a board created and a variety of pins selected for camps to begin implementing.
What’s next for Project: Pinterest
- Pin our Own Ideas – We know our camp leaders have amazing ideas. They are always sending us photos and stories about the great things happening at camp. One of our challenges has been “How do we share great things that are happening in Fairfield with the programs in Menifee?”. Since all pins have to be linked to a web address, we are currently looking into developing a blog page to highlight great work and pin the ideas onto our boards.
- Connect to Our Blog – Our Program & Resource Development team hosts a staff development blog with great It has a plethora of articles, videos, and tidbits to support staff in the work they do, along with various resources to be shared. We plan on updating the blog with more images so we can pin the articles on the Pinterest site.
Besides having a blast finding and pinning awesome ideas, this has been great way to connect program resource development to social media and our program staff. We receive feedback from our program staff daily that the Pinterest boards are user-friendly, easy to navigate, and a great way to share ideas. It has also helped us cut down on the amount of paper we use as we now share ideas virtually versus printed on paper.
Come check us out at http:pinterest.com/campcdicdc. If your program has a Pinterest account, let us know-leave your Pinterest account name in the comments and we would love to follow you. The more ideas the better-right!
What other online resources are you using to collaborate and share ideas with program staff?
I encourage you, if you haven’t already, to create a Pinterest account for your program, collaborate with your co-workers, and share ideas. Take the Pinterest challenge and start “collecting and organizing the things that inspire you”.*
For breakfast this morning, I had an Egg in a Nest made with 100% whole wheat toast and a Cool Lime Refresher while listening to The Beastie Boys License to Ill.
Author Profile: @eppispeppy
ElizaBeth Parker Phillips, or PEP to her camp friends, works for Child Development Centers, Continuing Development Inc. in California. CDI serves families across California in over 100 centers, offering programs of excellence for youth ranging from infancy to teen years.