We’ve worked very hard to make Blueprint4Summer very easy to use, but we understand that there are a lot of features and there’s a lot of functionality and we don’t want you to miss a single thing!
While you don’t have to register to search, there are certain activities (like Adding as a Favorite or Saving to Blueprint) that require you register and log in.
At the top of the page you can click Create Your Free Account at any time to register your account. Just complete the form and click Create My Account. Then check your e-mail for the confirmation email and click the link in that to come back to the site, you’ll already be logged in.
You can always click Sign In at the top to sign in before searching at the site.
But sometimes you’ll forget and you’ll get so into searching that when you go to favorite a session or add it to your blueprint you’ll remember you weren’t signed in, you’ll see this log in window that will get you right back to what you were doing, and if you haven’t created an account yet, you can click Create Your Free Account right in this window to create it so you can get back to searching.
Once signed in you can update your account information by clicking on your name at the top.
Then in the menu that drops down, click on My Account from the drop down menu. This is also where you’ll see all of your Blueprints.
When you click the Go to App or Search Sessions buttons above this is the first screen you’ll see:
We want you to be able to get right into the system to search the thousands of available sessions so you can find sessions that you want to attend this summer. But before we get to the search screen let’s start at the top, this is the top of the app’s page:
If you’re not logged in, a little bit under the Sign In and Create Your Free Account buttons you’ll see the button, click that to see the one page tutorial. This tells you everything you need to know to get started and is pretty self explanatory. We’ll go into more details later about each section you see below.
Now that you’ve been introduced to the best way to get back to the home page, let’s get into the search screen, which is really the heart of Blueprint4Summer’s web app.
We’ll start with the keywords, these are optional in your search but can help pinpoint more specific sessions. This is where you enter the names of specific activities that you’re looking for like soccer, ballet, programming, or even the name of a camp that you’ve heard about like YMCA or Craft Alliance.
Once you’ve entered your keywords, which are optional, you can choose categories that you may be interested in. Our search will consider all of the other search criteria you enter and will only search with sessions within these categories. So if you don’t get quite the results you’re expecting try adding more categories or choosing no categories to search all sessions.
When you select categories they will color-up, these colored icons will play a part in identifying sessions a little later in this tutorial. We want to make it easy for you to identify sessions with the focus you’re interested in.
Some sessions are able to cater to special needs students, offer special sessions for gifted students, some offer before or after care, and some offer scholarships or financial aid. Check these boxes to find sessions that offer those attributes.
We understand that you may have other activities planned for summer like family dinners or morning appointments, so we wanted to make it easy for you to find sessions that happen during the time of day you want them to.
If you are looking for sessions that start after 12 PM and end before 10 PM for your teenagers check Afternoon and Evening/Night.
We know you don’t want to spend your summer driving all over the place, so we’ve made it easy for you to find sessions close to you. Just enter your zip code or addressand choose how many miles you want your search radius to be and we’ll show you the sessions within that radius. If you don’t find the sessions you’re looking for within the radius you choose, try expanding it just a bit.
Summer is a busy time, maybe you only have a couple of weeks where you’re able to get your kids involved in a local activity. Click Select date range… to choose the dates that work for you.
When you click Select date range… a calendar will pop up, use the arrows at the top left and right to move through the months, click on the day your range starts, such as July 5th shown below, then click on the end date for your available range, July 25 shown below. After you choose your date range click Apply at the bottom left to make sure your dates are saved.
Cost is always a factor when it comes to summer activities. We have sessions ranging from free to thousands for pre-college prep. We know there’s something to suit your budget and your goals, the cost area will help you stick to your summer budget.
Looking for an all boys camp or all girls camp? We have those too, just select the gender icon that your child identifies with to find sessions just for them. The icons will change color to show you which one is selected. By default we search all sessions, for boys, girls, and both.
Most sessions have specific age ranges that they cater to, if you have a 13 year old child you probably don’t want to see all the sessions for 5 and 6 year olds. So just enter 13-13 in the Age Range and you’ll see all the sessions that have programs catering to your 13 year old.
Here’s what a sample search screen might look like before you click “Search Sessions.” Here I’m looking for sessions about movement in the academic, cooking, dance, music, and nature categories that are within 50 miles of 63110 and they should only cost up to $400.
When you’re happy with your search criteria, which you can edit or change later, just click Search Sessions.
This is where you see the sessions that match your criteria best. In this case we only have four sessions, but we want to show you just how specific you can get and still get results that match your needs. If you include a distance parameter in your search, such as 50 miles of 63110, the results will be sorted by closest to that zip code. If you do not include a distance they will be sorted by date, with the soonest session first.
On the search results screen there are many things you can do, let’s start with filtering. Choose from the drop down the way you want the results displayed and they’ll be reorganized accordingly.
If you choose closest to… or farthest from… you need to enter a zip code, which you can update for that set of results at any time while on that screen.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for we’ve made it easy for you to update your search criteria, just click the Edit Search Criteria button at the top.
There are many things you can do with your search results, save them, send them to a friend, view them on a map, and more. You can see these options in the buttons at the top right.
If you’re happy with your search results and want to save your search just click “Save” at the top. Enter a name for your search, like “Academic and Arts under $250” and a description for more details, “Sessions for John.”
When you’re logged in these will show up under “Saved Searches” in the top menu.
You can easily delete saved searches by clicking on the red trash can icon on the right. To rerun the search just click its title.
Let’s get back to the search results!
You’ll see many of these “bars” of sessions on your results screen. These session bars have a lot of information in them.
While there’s a lot of information shown in the listings, there’s even more when you go to the session page. To get there click the Session Name (in blue in the listings).
This is the page that tells you everything you need to know about the session (on the left) and its parent camp (on the right).
There’s a lot of information shown here but we’ll break it down so you’ll be a pro at navigating these sessions in no time!
The main block of the session page is the Session Details Summary at the top. This is where you see the session name (top in bold), session icons (which categories this session belongs to), the parent camp’s name (in bold under the icons), and the parent camp’s logo (on the left), the date(s) and time(s) for this session, the ages the session caters to, the cost for the session, the registration deadline if there is one, and a button to See More Camp Details (which you can also see on the right above).
And if you aren’t sure about an icon, just hover over it and it will tell you what it means:
Under the summary area you’ll see links for the session that will allow you to add it to your favorites, add it to your blueprint, or you can go and view the website for more information.
Under the buttons is the long description that goes through all of the details for the session. It’s important to read these details to make sure the session is what you’re looking for. Under that is the map where you can see the location of the session.
A little further down the page you can see all the other sessions by that same parent camp because we figure that if you found that session interesting maybe the camp has other sessions you might be interested in:
Before we add that session to our blueprint let’s view the parent camp’s information by clicking on “View More Camp Details.” This is where you’ll see more details about the parent camp, the age ranges all of its sessions cater to, its main address, phone number, links, its description, and location map, and a list of sessions that it offers.
The links include links to its website, Twitter feed (if applicable), Facebook page (if applicable), and You Tube Channel (if applicable). You can also favorite a camp.
To get back to the session either use the back button or click on the session title from the list under the camp.
Now that we’re back at the session page we can favorite the session by clicking “Mark as Favorite”
will change to ‘
Then you can go to the menu at the top and click Favorites to see your favorited sessions and camps:
You can view your favorites in the default list view, on a map, or you can print them or send them to someone. You can always remove something from your favorites by clicking its red heart. It won’t disappear immediately but it will as soon as you come back to that page.
You can also view your favorites on a map:
Let’s say you want to send your favorite’s list to your spouse, just click Send, fill in your e-mail address and theirs, and click Send.
Getting back to the session page, the most important button on this page is the Add to Blueprint button next to the red Mark as Favorite button.
When you click Add to Blueprint, if you’re not logged in you’ll be prompted to log in. If you are logged in you’ll see this window where you can choose the name for your Blueprint, this will generally be the name of the child that you’re setting up sessions for (you can change the name later). When done, click Add.
You’ll be taken straight to your Blueprint page where we’ve assigned a random color to your child’s Blueprint.
You can change that by clicking the little pencil icon next to their name, you can also change the color of their Blueprint.
Once you’ve made your changes click Save. Now you’ll see that you changed his name from Johnny to John and the color from mustard to medium blue.
It’s kind of boring with just one session, so what happens when we add more Blueprints? This is where color comes in handy.
Even more so on the calendar view:
But that can also get a little muddled so if you only want to see one Blueprint just check the box on the Blueprint you want to see. In this case, John and only that Blueprint will be shown.
Back to our original Blueprint with just John. What if you forget which session John was scheduled for?
Just click the colored session bar and a window will pop up with all of the details:
You can even change the Blueprint from John to someone else if you made a mistake. And once you’ve gone to the session’s website, registered, and paid, you can come back and click “I am enrolled” and you may be entered in a drawing for a gift card! This is also where you can delete sessions from your Blueprint.
Because we know you probably have enough calendars we make it easy to add your Blueprint to your Google Calendar just by clicking “Subscribe to iCal” then just copy and paste the code into your Google Calendar when you create a new calendar (your link will say blueprint4summer.com not localhost:8080).
Or you can print your Blueprint when you’re in list view or calendar view.
Or in Calendar view.
We hope you enjoy using Blueprint4Summer to plan your family’s summer fun!