for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
at Davidson College

for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
at Davidson College

Constantine Desjardins ’24: Pioneering Year-Round Sustainability for Camps with Direct Camp

Constantine Desjardins ’24 is setting the stage for a new era in the camp industry with his innovative venture, Direct Camp. With a mission to enhance the operational efficiency and financial stability of camps, Constantine is leveraging technology to unlock new revenue streams and ensure that camps can thrive not just during the summer, but year-round.

Inspired by the success of platforms like Airbnb, Constantine recognized a significant untapped potential in the off-season periods when camp facilities often sit idle. Research indicated that by renting out their facilities to outside groups such as corporations and recreation organizations, camps could earn up to $100,000 annually. This additional income could triple their profit margins from 3.4% to 10.2%.

Direct Camp’s platform is designed to streamline rental management and make it easier for camps to offer their facilities to a broader audience. By doing so, camps can support their financial health without increasing traditional summer camp fees. Renters, in turn, gain access to unique, cost-effective venues that provide a refreshing connection to nature. This symbiotic relationship ensures that both camps and renters benefit from the arrangement.

Constantine’s approach to identifying potential customers for Direct Camp is strategic and well-defined. He has pinpointed two main customer segments: existing camp renters and new camp renters. For existing camp renters, particularly for-profit overnight camps that already offer facility rentals, Direct Camp aims to enhance their current offerings by making the process more efficient and attractive. These camps, especially those in warmer climates and accessible by car, are targeted through email marketing, referrals and partnerships with camp associations.

For camps that do not currently offer rentals, Direct Camp aims to lower the barriers to entry by providing essential services such as insurance, security, and maintenance. This makes it easier for these camps to start renting out their facilities and tap into a lucrative revenue stream that they had not previously considered.

The solution that Direct Camp offers meets the pressing needs of camps and renters alike. For camps, it means increased revenue, efficient management of rental bookings, payments, and contracts, and an expanded customer base. 

Constantine’s journey with Direct Camp exemplifies the spirit of innovation and business impact. By addressing the financial challenges faced by many camps and providing a platform that benefits both camps and renters, he is paving the way for a sustainable future for these cherished institutions. His work with Direct Camp and his participation in the Avinger Impact Fund reflect his commitment to making a meaningful difference in the lives of campers and the broader community. Through Direct Camp, Constantine is not only helping camps thrive but also enriching the experiences of all those who interact with these unique and valuable spaces.

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