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Fundraising Camp

The Plymouth North (Mass.) Booster Club recently pulled in a $2,500 profit from a day camp put on by the high school's football team. 

As a 30-year veteran of teaching middle school physical education, Kevin Cobban has a firm grasp on planning and organizing games and activities that keep kids busy. Recently, that expertise helped him successfully host a vacation day camp fundraiser for the Plymouth North (Mass.) High School football team, which he coaches.

"I was looking for new fundraisers, since I was tired of asking parents for money, or asking their kids to sell things," Cobban says. "I started thinking back to what I did on vacation weeks when my daughters were young--I would take them to the school and we'd run around the gym and play games. And I thought, 'What a great idea.'

"I turned it into a fundraiser by holding a camp for fourth through eighth grade kids during our February break," he continues. "I teach at the middle school, so we held it there. Each day ran from 8:00 to 12:30--parents could drop the kids off on their way to work and pick them up on their lunch break."

It took about a month for Cobban to plan everything and make all of the arrangements. After filing the paperwork to use the school gym and cafeteria, he started getting the word out.

"The fundraiser was for the booster club at my football team's high school," he says. "So the president printed flyers and we dropped them off at all of the town's elementary schools and sent them home with every kid in the middle school. We also advertised in a local newspaper, and sent a mass e-mail to the local Little League and softball associations. Once that was done, planning was easy."

Each day there were 15 student-athletes from Cobban's football team who served as counselors. "They rotated, so they didn't have to do it every day," he says. "Instead of selling things, they were fundraising by providing a service by running the games and activities. But I was always there to make sure everything went smoothly.

"I've been teaching phys. ed. at this middle school for 19 years," Cobban continues. "Some of the parents who brought their kids to the camp had been my students, so they knew their kids would be safe and have a good time."

Camp fees were $125 per student, with a $25 discount for a second household member, or a one-day fee of $35. The costs involved were the use of the school and its food service (for serving lunch to the campers), and t-shirts that the campers received. "Once we paid those, the rest went straight to the booster club," Cobban says. "We made a $2,500 profit, in four days.  

"I was very happy with it and with how many kids we had for our first time doing it," he continues. "We're going to keep it up and hopefully get bigger and better because it's a great fundraiser--and the parents gave so much positive feedback we're planning on holding another one for our April vacation."

It went so well, in fact, that there's only one change on the horizon for the next time. "We may serve lunch earlier," Cobban says. "That's the only thing we heard about--all of the kids started asking for lunch around 10:30, so we might eat a bit earlier than noon."


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