OK, I admit it.
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here is one of my guilty (not guilty) pleasures.
The trials might be revolting, but the kiosk coin challenges, banter in camp and of course, Ant and Dec, more than make up for that. If you’ve been watching this year, you’ll know all about the mischievous jester and silly pranks. I don’t think Jordan will be suggesting hide and seek for a while, do you?
While your camp is unlikely to be an Iron Age castle hosting 12 hungry celebrities on national TV for three weeks, you might still have a few non-negotiables that you need to tell your guests. Perhaps campfires have ruined your grass over the years, or you’ve seen one too many accidents caused by irresponsible pet owners.
You need to set some boundaries – without sounding like the fun police.
So how do you go about writing campsite rules? Here are my top five tips for tackling the tricky task of telling people what not to do.
1. Set the scene in advance
The introductory text on your website is a great place to frame your expectations in a welcoming and positive light. For example, if you have a policy on maximum group size, why not sell your site as the perfect place for cosy and intimate breaks for couples and small families?
2. Think about your tone of voice
Nobody likes being told what to do, or what not to do for that matter, so a good trick is to think about how you ask people to behave. Using a human tone of voice, even in written communication, is much more likely to get results. You wouldn’t approach someone and shout “NO BALL GAMES”, would you?
3. Keep it short
If social media has taught us anything, it’s that people have increasingly short attention spans. Expecting your guests to read every single word on a large display board, covered top to bottom in tiny text, is unrealistic. Think about where and how else you might be able to communicate your rules.
4. Add some do’s
Adding some positives can be a great way to give your campsite some personality. Perhaps the rules for your designated campfire area could include ‘sing ’til your heart’s content’, or ‘eat toasted marshmallows until your belly is full’. Raising a smile is an easy way to add to your guests’ overall impression of you.
5. And lastly: Review each season
It can be easy to get carried away adding rules for your campsite, so it’s worth reviewing your rules when you prepare for each season. Do you really need a 7pm curfew on vehicle movements? If the answer’s yes, that’s fine, but a quick check will help you keep tabs on your camp’s overall arrangements.
Deciding on the rules is one of the finest lines to balance. Don’t be afraid to set your boundaries, but always have your customers in mind. You might even find new opportunities to add in some humour and raise a few smiles.