Every morning at 7:30 the alarm rings and the business begins. I haven’t felt this busy since, well….ever. I am a counselor for the Executive Boys (ages 14-17) and like most teenage boys they like to sleep, but day after day we all get up and stumble over to flag for the morning ceremony that marks the beginning of each day. It usually takes me two cups of coffee to get going in the morning, but once that is taken care of its home free and smooth sailing.
From breakfast we either move over to cleanup (always a good time), or we get the chance to hear from a guest entrepreneur. We have had the chance to hear from successful people ranging from, Joel Apple, the man who popularized Oxyclean, to Jeffrey Boxer, a Denver based attorney. As a 23 year old looking for career direction, I definitely enjoy these sessions, but for the campers this is an unbelievable opportunity. Hearing the stories of those successful in areas of business ranging from entrepreneurship, to more traditional careers is a surefire way of preparing kids for future success. These campers , some from the young age of 11, get to hear success stories first hand and ask relevant questions from those who have been been through the world of entrepreneurship. More broadly, they have a chance to get exposed to the professional world in a meaningful way.
From there the campers go to their electives. Giving them a chance to dictate how their day looks is another way Camp Inc prepares young entrepreneurs for success. It challenges campers to take ownership of their experience. Those who enjoy sports have the opportunity to play at least two hours of sports a day. This is in addition to three hours of work on their companies or coding projects. Those who don’t enjoy sports have the ability to choose from a wide variety of alternative and stimulating activities. Campers have had the opportunity to enjoy lessons in Yoga, Interpretive Dance, hiking, arts and crafts, improv acting, and meditation.
New for this year is the Non-Profit curriculum. Taught by our Jewish Educator, Jordyn Steifman, campers have the opportunity to not only learn about the business of not for profit companies, but also form their own foundation. The campers themselves will be making the choices that dictate how the money is allocated. This sends a powerful message to campers as they seek to grow their personal wealth through entrepreneurial ventures. It causes them to ask important questions like, “How can I give back after I have achieved success and help those not as fortunate as me”? Sitting in on this segment of the day was powerful for me. I got the chance to see kids who had previously only discussed the profit margins of their companies switch gears and begin discussing ways in which they could better this world. This aspect of the day rounds out the experience at Camp Inc and helps prepare the campers to become well rounded adults.
This wide range of activities makes Camp Inc a place where kids have the opportunity to grow professionally while also enriching their personal lives, making them more open, accepting, and hopefully successful adults.
The day continues onward from there, which reminds me……I need to get to it!