Some summer camps are so big that they have become brands in their own right and as it usually goes, with a brand comes to the merchandise. Hence printing T-shirts in bulk.
But let’s go back to the beginning.
As you may have guessed, this is a tradition that started in the US. Compared to their peers in the UK, American kids get longer summer breaks and parents get shorter holiday leave, which results in a lot of days with unattended children. Enter Summer camps.
On the other side of the ocean, while still not quite as popular, brits have been warming up to the custom. Nowadays there are over 100 accredited summer camps in the UK.
These provide a safe space for children to not only rest and have fun, but also make friends and learn new skills during the warmer months of the year. The influence summer camps can have over those involved should not be underestimated.
More than a way of life, summer camp is a culture.
Why is merchandise for British summer camps necessary?
To someone who is not familiar with the subject (myself included) this might seem unnecessary which is why I asked for our summer-camp-enthusiast intern Luna for her help with this research. As it turns out, there are lots of reasons why summer camps in the UK could potentially need printed T-shirts:
As a way to identify
Coloured clothes are a great way to create hierarchy and identify roles among a group of people. The most obvious example are hospitals where surgeons, internists and nurses each wear their own colour to make them easier to spot during an emergency. In a summer camp the different roles would be:
- Other types of staff such as maintenance, kitchen, etc…
As promotional merchandise
As I mentioned before, some of these summer camps have become brands of their own, which is why they started creating merchandise. Whether to sell or giveaway, these products have the same purpose here as in any other company.
- Promote the brand
- Create a new source of revenue
- Build an affinity with the customer
- Provide something of value aside from the main service
As a souvenir
Whether good or bad (some people remember the allergies more than the stories told around the fireplace) summer camps create memories that can last a lifetime and by adding merchandise to the mix, an extra layer of attention is added. Some articles even become collectors’ items, making the remembrance all the more special. Another benefit of the souvenir T-shirt is that whenever they’re worn offseason, they make free promotion for the camp.
As a uniform for special activities
T-shirts are sometimes given to children as part of a welcoming package. It’s also sometimes mandatory for them to wear them whenever they make a trip outside the camp so they become easier to identify.
Some of the activities that could potentially require personalised garments are:
- Day trips and/or excursions
- Sports team activities
- Competitions with other camps
- Customise your own T-shirt workshops (with techniques like tie-dye)
To celebrate international Summer Camp T-shirt day!
Yes, this is a thing and if the UK wants to start showing its summer camp pride, then they should get into the T-shirt printing game.
In order to get the creative juices flowing. Here are some real-life examples of personalised garments in summer camps and activities centres:
Text: Harald Meyer-Delius
Research: Luna Giontella
Printsome is a T-shirt printing agency in the UK based in London that delivers all across the UK, from printing T-shirts in Brighton to York and anywhere in between. So, if you’re after a T-shirt or custom clothing, get in touch for a quote and indulge yourself in some awesome customer service.