By Nikki Jamieson
It’s not often you get a chance to do swimming and business models during summer camp — especially if it is for free. But this summer four local youth may have the chance to do just that.
Municipal District of Taber council met with Sean Prummel, business analyst at Community Futures Chinook, who came on behalf of Community Futures to request support for an upcoming youth camp.
The Alberta Youth Entrepreneurship Camp is a week long summer business camp for youth between 13-15 years old, and takes place at the Eagles Nest Ranch in Cypress Hills, Alta.
It aims to provide a meaningful and fun business curriculum for it’s participants, and is designed to improve their business, academic and life skills. Activities include the campers creating a real business and selling their product for real profits, along with other traditional summer-camp activities. The camp is completely free for its campers to attend, and accepts up to 60 campers.
“What the camp is, it’s a week-long camp, it (revolves) around starting a small business,” said Prummel. “I think the greatest part of the camp is there is no cell reception. So there’s no technology, it’s just the kids. It’s a lot of fun, and really, there’s not too many camps out there that are geared around letting the kids have fun and doing activities, but teaching them how to, the intro to starting a business.”
There is also a Youth Leader Training Program at the camp for those who are 16-18 years. Ten are accepted each year based on applications, and the leaders are responsible for guiding their business team through the different modules.
“A lot of families — especially country families — they always send all their kids over the years, because the kids just love it.”
Community Futures tries to send four kids from each region to the camp, which is entering its 21st year and is run largely by volunteers. However, because it is free to attend, Community Futures relies on grants and donations to keep it running.
“It’s free for the kids, we get donations, sponsorships. So it’s $650 per kid to sponsor every year,” said Prummel, adding that the Alberta government and rotary club were major sponsors in the past. “We try to get businesses, or local sponsors every year, I think we got two so far this year…so we’re still looking for two more sponsors for those kids.”
After Prummel left, Coun. Ben Elfring said his grandkids have gone to summer camp at Eagles Nest before, and it was a great facility.
Council passed a motion to support the camp by donating $350 and sponsoring the $650 cost of one kid attending. Reeve Brian Brewin and coun. Merrill Harris were not present at the meeting.
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