Patrick Kearns, Executive Director of 4-Star Camps, joins the BeyondTheBaselines.com Podcast in the third of our series “From The Director’s Desk.”
Patrick Kearns, former Director of Tennis at Farmington Country Club and The Country Club of Darien, joins us as the Executive Director of 4-Star Camps based at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Although this past summer he had to cancel camp, this summer he is also looking to possibly defer camp for another year. He explains that Covid-19 really is acting as a catalyst to what might have been happening in the industry prior to 2020.
Camps and Clubs are big business. With a family’s average spend between $13,000 to $15,000 per summer for camp, it’s an industry that accounts for millions of dollars over the summer months. The number of camps, due to Covid-19, will be reduced over the next two summers. From a facility standpoint the courts might not be fully available due to the virus.
Camps have to have a niche says Kearns, and he relates to us how he would have liked to stay a bit smaller in the beginning while really creating, very early, a tight niche in the camp industry. When he reopens in 2022, he believes he can run a more profitable camp in a reduced industry with a tighter focus after pivoting to a tighter niche.
The Top 3 Requisites For Being A Director Of Tennis
Patrick has always taken the role of Director of Tennis, and now Director of Racquets, to new heights – both as a Director himself and now in his new role as owner of Tennis Mavericks. His new business venture is aimed at supporting and aiding tennis professionals to grow their programs and look through the filtering wind screens and fences. In our podcast, Kearns takes us through what he sees as the three pre-requisites for an excellent Director of Tennis and Department Head.
How Can We Build On The Growth Through Covid
Patrick was one of the industry leaders at the beginning and peak of the pandemic. Following an example he saw from his wife’s work in the medical industry, Patrick, with the approval of the USPTA, built the single biggest industry support group on Facebook. With information being fed to him from the the tennis, golf, fitness, medical and camp industries, Patrick supplied the country club industry with an unrivalled source of information.
In looking forward to 2021, Patrick points out that outside courts below the Mason-Dixon line might open earlier this year. Due to “cabin fever” Patrick sees a possibility of clubs opening in Virginia in late February, depending on weather. An end of March opening might be a real possibility to extend the season and bring people back on to the courts earlier than ever in New England and build upon the growth we saw in tennis in 2020. Listen in on one of the leaders of our industry.