This series has been created to give you some insights into the principles behind Barracudas Activity Day Camps and the growth of the company over the years.
So far we’ve shared the early years and first stages of growth with our first summer camps in the South East. This will give you an idea of how we put kids at the centre of everything we do - and always have done. This is the foundation of Barracudas holiday club and what we’re built upon.
This time we’ll give you some insights into rolling out our camps to new seasons and regions. Confident that Barracudas successfully fulfilled a need for parents and children at our school holiday camps, the time was now right to expand!
The early 2000’s saw quite a few changes to the operations side of the business. We moved the Head Office to bigger premises in St Ives, Cambridgeshire to accommodate our expanding team. In 2003 we took on larger storage facilities for our growing fun activities equipment. By this time we had 16 kids camps and with each new camp Barracudas invested in a full set of equipment. We had to offer the same level of activities at each camp to make sure every child had the same opportunity for fun. Anything less wouldn’t have met our high standards and the expectations of the kids and their parents!
At this stage of Barracudas growth there were many changes going on in the background. Not only the logistics of office space and storage facilities but also staffing and training. With an expanding business and developments in the childcare industry, operations and processes had to become more sophisticated. We’d always had fantastic equipment and a high expectation of staff to be able to deliver quality activity camps. As Barracudas expanded it was vital that we could sustain that growth and not compromise our quality of care as a result of these changes.
In 2004 Barracudas opened our first Easter camps. This was a carefully considered decision. We knew there was a need for our fun activity camps in the Easter holidays - we’d had lots of requests from parents over the years. We needed to be sure that we could offer the same level of experience for children during the Easter break when the weather is less predictable! Barracudas always offers a wide range of activities to suit every child but we had to make sure that we could still provide the same exciting opportunities for kids during those days that we would need to entertain them indoors. We opened 3 Easter camps in this first year and because we prepared so thoroughly, they were all really successful.
There have been plenty of learnings over the years. The activity camp environment has become more sophisticated and our business has developed alongside a huge advancement in technology too. Over the years we had to keep to our defining values of communication, fun, innovation, personal development, professionalism and teamwork so our growth didn’t compromise our quality and now this is just part of our DNA. Barracudas is constantly pushing the barriers to make sure we’re not only offering the best experience at camp but also the best customer experience for our bookers. From new booking systems, to improving communication methods and always offering the best activities for kids at camp. It’s all about our principal values!
It’s not always been easy and there’s been many changes that we’ve adapted to at Barracudas over the years. By the mid 2000’s Barracudas had grown from 2 summer camps in London and Surrey to 28 summer camps and 6 Easter camps throughout the South of England. At each stage of growth Barracudas held its defining values and original mission to offer children exceptional holiday clubs, maximizing the fun in the school holidays.
Keep an eye out for our final blog to get insights into where we are now and what’s next for Barracudas.