Creating Online Permission Slips with Digital Signatures

Olivier Rousseau
17 July 2023 2 min read

Managing permission slips for school field trips and summer camps can be a logistical nightmare for administrators and camp managers.

Thankfully, there are many innovative solutions like Cognito Forms, Smartwaivers & Jotform to help you create online permission slips.

These tools not only simplify the process, but also eliminate many frustrations such as illegible, torn, and lost slips. For these reasons alone, digital permission slips are often a better alternative to pen and paper.

The limitations of generic form building tools

However, these tools have limitations.

As generic form building tools, they are designed to appeal to a wide variety of audiences, needs, and industries. They lack the integrated communications functionalities to truly streamline the permission slip collection process.

In many cases, they don’t offer the communications tools to:

In this article, we’ll discuss how Activity Messenger, a platform designed for school administrators and camp managers, allows you to digitally sign permission slips, collect payments & streamline communications

How to create an online permission slip

Just like with most form building software, permission slips are created using a simple drag-and-drop editor where you can choose 80+ questions types.

Simply copy and paste your terms and conditions, add the fields you need and make to include a checkbox to indicate that the guardian has read and accepted your terms. It really is that simple.


And here are some of the most commonly used questions when creating a permission slip:

  • Header – title and description
  • Parent name
  • Participant name
  • Emergency Contact
  • Date and time of the event or trip
  • Allergies or medications
  • Payment Options
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Liability and Waiver
  • Permission to Take/Share Photos
  • Digital Signature
  • Document Import


And your forms don’t have to be boring. Activity Messenger is fully integrated with Canva, so you can easily create and incorporate eye-catching designs that stay on brand.


Success Story: How Summit Academy moved from pen & paper to online permission slips

“When we started it was all paper based. So we were printing, sending out and manually keeping track of who brought things back. It was a very cumbersome and extremely time-intensive.

The number one reason we switched to Activity Messenger is that parents are able to sign a permission slip on their phone, just by using their fingers”. Read more

Mobile attendance tracking (also helps you track who hasn't signed) 

Once parents have signed their permission slip, Activity Messenger provides a centralized dashboard for you to view and track attendance. You can track who has registered, submitted waivers, and paid for the field trip. You can even receive notifications every time someone fills out a form if you choose to.

On the day of the event, you can track arrivals and departures and add even add notes, all from your mobile phone or iPad. The system even timestamps arrivals and departures for you as you check people in.

Need to remind parents about an upcoming event? Activity Messenger automates and sends an SMS/email reminder to all participants prior to the event. We also offer tools to communicate with parents on the day of the event.

This means you can send bulk messages to all parents or select specific people based on context, such as a child-specific emergency.


Did you know? Activity Messenger is much more than a form builder
Replace MailChimp for your newsletters
Replace SurveyMonkey for your surveys
Class Management Software

How to send permission slips by SMS

Now that you’ve created the perfect online permission slip, you need to get parents to sign it.

And most people just email it out. But we all know how that ends. Some say they never got it, others ignore it, and many just miss the email. So email may not be the ideal way to get important documents signed by busy parents these days.

Why you should SMS over email to collect digital permission slips

That’s why using SMS/text messaging to send your digital permission slip can help increase the percentage of waivers that get signed on time.

But since no one has time to individually send dozens or even hundreds of texts to parents, Activity Messenger sends bulk SMS for you. And you can even automate a follow-up text only to parents who have not yet signed.

With just a few minutes of setup, you’ll have a system in place that automates the process of chasing down parents for you.

Collect payments and permission slips at the same time

Often, a field trip or event requires an additional payment from parents. But who wants to collect permission slips and payments separately? With Activity Messenger, you can collect payments on the same form that you collect digital permission slips. So every time a form is filled out, you can be sure that both the permission slip and payment are complete for that child.

Payments can be taken by credit with stripe or offline. In either case, an invoice is generated and sent to the parent with their copy of the completed permission slip.

Data Storage & Bulk printing

Every time a parent signs a permission slip, two things happen. A PDF version of the signed document is created in your account. And a confirmation email with the parent’s copy of the permission slip is automatically sent to the parent.

These documents are easily accessible by your staff from the attendance list on the day of the even, and can even be printed in bulk to have hard copies on hand during the trip.

Bonus idea: Bulk certificates

Do some of your field trips or event require students to learn new skills or exert themselves physically during the trip or event? Why not recognize their achievements with a certificate?

Issuing certificates after a school field trip can serve as a token of recognition for students by acknowledging their participation, engagement, and effort during the trip.

Here’s how Activity Messenger helps you issue bulk certificates using Canva.

Certificates also act as tangible evidence of learning experiences outside the traditional classroom environment. They document the educational value gained during the field trip, showcasing a student’s ability to apply knowledge and skills in real-life situations.

Parents and kids will love them!

Written by Olivier Rousseau Olivier is a Sportball Franchise owner who has been operating for over 10 years with locations in Montreal, Quebec city & Ottawa while also coaching business owners as Sports Marketing Consultant.

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