Ask an Expert: Kay Yuspeh
“How can clubs create children programs that provide exercise for kids and give parents enough time to exercise?”
KY: There are a few type of programs, weekly or one-day events. We believe exercise is a lifestyle, and the sooner you learn that, the better it becomes part of your life. We encourage kids to exercise, and we have an educational program for 10-14 year olds to take. After passing the program, we allow them in the fitness center during junior hours.
For that age group and older, there is also sport-specific group training or personal training. There is “moving and grooving” for the little ones. And there are junior parties on Friday or Saturday nights (must be at least three hours).
“What types of children’s programming benefits the club the most?”
KY: The programs that make the most money benefit the club the most. Our programs range from $4 an hour to $15 for a class. Tennis lessons are $24 an hour for a drill.
“What is the best type of equipment/play materials for a club playroom?”
KY: Safe equipment is best. Get rid of all broken toys. Again, it depends on the space at your club. Space mazes are always popular.
“How can clubs easily start summer children’s programs?”
KY: Partnering with a recreation program helps fill and expose your summer program or camps. They prefer to partner with a club that offers something different than what they have. Check out the competition in the market place and try to fill a void. We have a three-week camp that teaches some skills (tennis, swimming and karate) since the other camps are only one-week babysitting type camps. Also, check your talent within your staff to see if there is a program you can offer.
Get your material out early since mothers start checking in March. One-week camps are fillers, such as super heroes camp, sports camps, photography camps, etc.
“How does children’s programming build an additional revenue source?”
KY: Parents will spend money on their kids where they may not spend on themselves. Offer the right programs and the non-dues revenue starts to grow. Always ask if they have a friend that would like to join them in the program.
Five Necessary Items for a Successful Children’s Program
1) The right person running the program (must love kids).
2) The right time of year.
3) The right length of time.
4) The right price (value).
5) The right equipment and ‘WOW’ factor.