If you have ever called the office here at Sacramento, you have probably talked to one of the lovely ladies in the office. If you have booked a group (or hope to book a group), you will talk to Molly Williams. Molly is the the guest services coordinator here at camp and she handles all group bookings. In the spirit of alliterations and anecdotes, Molly is a mailbox, all communications go through her. From the time a group books, to the time they arrive at camp, Molly has guided a group through all of the numbers, meals, lodging, and general logistics of having a group at camp, while also communicating all of those details to our staff; it’s a lot of information to juggle. But she does it with such grace. I asked Molly some questions about guest services to answer what inquiring minds want to know!
What are the basic steps to getting a group booked?
Having some specific dates in mind for their group is a great start! Once they settle on date, they pay $100 booking fee and we work on getting a contract out to them that cycles through office for approval. Once they get their contract, or 90 days before the group’s arrival, we like to have their final numbers and 10% deposit.
What do you wish group leaders knew?
Our dates fill up quickly, especially in the summer, so call or email! Generally, we have more than one group here at a time, and many of our resources have to be worked out between multiple groups, so please let us know if you need more space, In the same vein, let us know if your numbers drop so we might be able to give lodging to other groups, and don’t over prepare food.
How often would you prefer to hear from the group contact?
As often as necessary! Starting from 3 months out at least once a month, and then the week before the event. But anytime they have questions, I want to be able to help answer them.
What makes your job harder?
When a group leader is hard to get in contact with. ( Responding quickly makes Molly happy, you should hear her joy when a group leader emails, or calls her back!) It is also difficult when we have a popular week/weekend, and a group is still unsure about booking it, and doesn’t respond to my attempts to contact them. (We know that booking an event is hard to plan around, especially when lots of people are involved. If you are interested in a date, just check in and let us know you still want it.)
How do you go about booking activities?
I don’t actually book any of the activities. It all goes through our activities coordinator, Solo. When a group schedules an activity, he will make sure we have the staff available to facilitate that activity. If a group comes into the office while they are here, and has not scheduled any activities, Solo may have a hard time making those activties happen due to staffing that day, but we always try as hard as we can to make them a reality! No matter how small a group, call ahead to get your activities planned.
What makes your job rewarding?
I love getting to build relationships with people who come back year after year. There is nothing like watching God work in the lives of individuals and groups! I love what I do! Camp Ministry truly is a calling and there is no doubt that this is where I’m supposed to be at this time in my life.
Any last thoughts?
Do not be afraid to contact me “too much”. I would rather hear from you often, than not at all. And don’t be afraid to use the call box. Please don’t sleep in your car because you can’t find your room, forgot your linens, or your door is still locked. Let us know. Someone is on call to help with those guest emergencies.
We are about our guests. In fact the office motto is radical hospitality. So we invite you to be our guest, and put our service to the test.