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Best Times to Run a Youth Program

January 9, 2024
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Discovering the perfect time to offer your youth program can be challenging. Ensuring that you are catering to times that do not interfere with school hours can narrow down the times your program can run. Navigating your schedule ensures that your youth programs align seamlessly with participants' availability. Keeping an eye on avoiding school hours and optimizing time slots that benefit your program the most is essential to maximizing your time while managing your program. As you fine-tune your schedule, it's crucial to consider the peak times when your camps will be filling effortlessly.

After-School and Evening Youth Program

After-school and evening programs are essential for youth camp organizers. These types of programs offer a range of benefits beyond the typical camp experience, such as a wide range of activities to help participants find their passion, create a positive mentorship relationship, and support busy and working parents. Types of programs can include sports, arts, music, and so much more.

Your organization can provide participants with ongoing support and mentorship. After-school and evening programs can offer a safe space for participants to seek guidance, receive help with work and school, and develop social and emotional skills. This type of program creates a sense of community among the participants and also offers another consistent, trusted adult mentor in their lives whom they can look up to.

Offering after-school programs can benefit families by providing a convenient and reliable option for their children's care. Many parents or guardians work beyond school hours and can't be home simultaneously as their children. So, after-school program organizers can support parents by eliminating the stress of finding alternate child care during those hours, and they can feel comfortable knowing that their child will be taken care of until they have completed their work day.

Parents can easily and quickly register for your programs on the go using Citrus' online sports registration software. Busy parents who have last-minute commitments can register their children for a service your organization offers so they can ensure their children have a safe place to be in the meantime. This helps parents build trust with your organization while helping you get more participants through the door and more money in your pocket. Investing in the best camp registration software can remove any friction that may prevent parents from registering with you.

By offering after-school and evening programs, organizers can expand their community impact, enhance the learning experience, and provide young individuals with a safe and fun environment. These programs offer extended learning opportunities, enrichment, and variety while providing crucial support and convenience for families.

All while providing families with the support they need and the mentorship and learning opportunities for children, Afterschool programs also have the opportunity to offer their services all year round, essentially any day of the week. It is tailored to fit around school hours. Better yet, those who register with your organization throughout the school year are more likely to stick around in the summer, too!

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Summer Camps

As the school year ends, the summer season presents an ideal opportunity for youth camps. With warm weather and extended free time, organizing a youth camp during this period can benefit organizers and participants. Without the limitation of school, young people can attend camps during the day, any day of the week. Use the time flexibility to your advantage. Whether it's sports, arts, or a science camp, summer is the time for participants to try out new activities with all their free time.

Summer is the perfect time to plan for multi-day camps or overnight camps. With the ideal summer camp registration platform, creating events and opening up registrations can be done in less than 3 minutes. Housing all important participant information with summer camp management software makes searching and navigating information faster than ever, ensuring that your camps run smoothly.

Another benefit of offering summer camps is the unique opportunity for young individuals to develop meaningful connections and build lasting friendships. School is the primary place for them to form meaningful friendships, particularly younger ones, so summer camps offer another space to develop genuine relationships with peers with similar interests.

Beyond the joy of friendships, summer camps provide an environment rich with learning opportunities. The relaxed summer camp environment encourages exploration without the pressure of grades or assessments, so campers can acquire new skills, explore their interests, and expand their knowledge. Whether through specialized workshops, hands-on activities, or immersive experiences, campers try new subjects that can lead to finding a new passion.

Also, summer campers aren't just a benefit for campers but for their parents as well. As hard as you try to set up a fun, engaging, and entertaining summer camp, the only way to get campers to attend is to sell it to their parents. And during the summer months, parents are looking for a safe place to have their child spend their days while they are at work. So offering summer camps gives parents another option to have their child be looked after and safe while having a great time.

So overall, offering summer camps is a great way to go! The summer break allows campers to fully engage in different activities and experiences provided by a youth camp. It will enable them to step outside their comfort zone everyday and embrace new challenges.

Outside Your Typical Sport Season

Offering a sports camp is an excellent way to foster campers' athletic development, team building, and personal growth. While most sports camps are traditionally held during the regular sports season, there are many advantages to offering a sports camp outside the regular season. You can allow athletes to work on sports-specialized skills, physical training, and conditioning or focus more on mental development.

Offering sports outside the competition season allows athletes to focus on skill development. During the regular season, athletes often concentrate on team practices and games or tournaments, which leaves less time for athletes to work on individual skills. So, providing an opportunity for athletes to receive specialized instruction and feedback outside of the season is a major plus for them, especially those who want to take their training to the next level.

Also, during the off-season, athletes look for new ways to stay in shape and improve for the next season. Without the demands of games, traveling, and daily practices, athletes can focus on building strength, endurance, and overall fitness through a specialized camp. Camp organizers can design sport-specialized training and conditioning programs that help campers reach their fitness goals.

One way to offer off-season mentorship is through private sessions. With the right private lesson management software, your organization can have a constant flow of individual training sessions booked around your availability. Citrus allows you to customize your availability, accounting for holidays and time off, and it is catered to you. This functionality allows your customers to book time with you to get one-on-one training. Depending on your organization's availability and size, one-on-one sessions can be a great way to keep a flexible schedule while providing services in the off-season.

Beyond the physical components of the sport, there is a lot to be said about the mental side of the game. More and more research each day shows how important it is for athletes to invest time in developing their mindset. Creating a solid mental game and mental preparation helps athletes set goals, overcome challenges, and develop mental toughness. The camp environment pushes athletes to step out of their comfort zones and find new strategies for their next season and all areas of life.

Organizing a sports camp outside the usual sports season can offer athletes, coaches, and organizers several advantages. By providing tailor-made skill development, intensive training, and opportunities for personal growth, a sports camp can be transformed into a dynamic and impactful experience. This approach helps to broaden the athletes' perspectives and enhance their physical performance while promoting overall development that extends beyond the sports season into their daily lives.


In the landscape of youth programs, finding the opportunities to offer your program's services is a challenging yet rewarding journey. Considering school hours is a great start, but there are other ways to cultivate a productive schedule for your youth program. Crafting a schedule that fits into the lives of kids and their parents can highly increase attendance, boosting revenue and a loyal customer base. Prioritize times when parents are looking for a safe place for their children to stay and when kids are looking to explore their interests, such as afterschool, in the summers, and during the offseasons of their sports. Ultimately, the purpose of youth programs is far beyond mere activities; they shape experiences, foster friendships, and inspire passions. With a great schedule and strategic planning, your program has the potential to leave a positive mark on the lives of young participants.

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