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Behind the Scenes of Electronic Registration Forms – by Jacquelyn Tyre-Perry

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Manassas Park Parks and Recreations School Age Recreation Specialist Jacquelyn-Tyre PerryAs a Department, we’re always trying to find ways to be innovative. Our goal is to make our registration process easier and more convenient for our patrons and for ourselves. Often people don’t get a chance to see the endless hours and all of the work that goes on behind the scenes to get something new approved and rolled out to our customers.

The Recreation Services team collects a lot of paperwork from year to year, and I do mean A LOT. For programs like Extended Care, Preschool, MP3, and summer camps, we collect hundreds of registration forms from families in addition to other necessary documents such as school physicals, vaccine records, and birth certificates. I’m sure you can imagine how cumbersome it can become trying to keep up with so many forms. Sometimes forms are misplaced during the process or important information is illegible. Keeping track of seven years’ worth of records becomes quite overwhelming even to the most organized of people. To remedy this, we looked into how to eliminate this nightmare.

In November of 2017, after much research, I found exactly what we were looking for. A company that offered the ability to move all of our paper forms online in electronic form. We can access our student’s records offline in the case of internet outage. We can even record accidents, incidents, illnesses, and injuries, which eliminates even more paperwork than we expected. However, like most great things, there was a lot of work to be put in in order to bring this idea to life. It had to go through a lot of hands and channels in order to get approved. Unfortunately, approval is not what we got right away. Nevertheless, you know that old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed – try, try, try again,” and that’s exactly what we did!

Fast forward a little over a year later to December of 2018. We found another company that offered all of the features and functionalities that we decided we liked and wanted for our electronic forms. After more research, webinars, phone conferences, negotiating, reading lots of fine print, many emails, and moments where giving up seemed easier, we FINALLY got the green light to proceed! In May of 2019, we added CampDoc to our lineup of software used to make life a whole lot easier. The first programs to utilize CampDoc will be the Extended Care and Preschool 2019-2020. So far, the feedback has been amazing with parents experiencing the process being faster and more convenient.

As a team, we collectively decided what we wanted and pushed forward through the no’s. We didn’t allow it to steer us away from our ultimate goal. A process that ultimately boiled down to a few emails and a couple of signatures took almost a year and a half of behind the scenes hard work. We hope all the families that have the chance to utilize CampDoc have a seamless and positive experience.

We can’t wait to see you this upcoming school year!

Jacquelyn Tyre-Perry is the School Age Recreation Specialist for the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation. She can be reached at 703-335-8872 or via email at
J.Tyre-Perry@ManassasParkVA.gov.

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