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Children, Teens Learn the Ropes from Real Life; Two-Week Summer Camp Puts Participants at the Helm of Running a Business
5/19/2003

FORT MYERS, FL - Students in fourth grade or higher are invited to participate in “The Money Game,” a two-week summer camp to teach children and teens how to run a business, weekdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., June 16 through 27 at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Working in teams, participants in “The Money Game” will create a theme park where they begin businesses with $100 each in real startup money.

Each team will develop a business plan, design marketing and advertising, buy inventory, prepare budgets, manage cash and form a council responsible for park operations and taxes.

The last night of the camp, families and friends will purchase mock admission tickets, buy from the children’s businesses, and play out the program. Success will be measured by the business profits achieved, taxes donated to a charity, and real money the children keep.

Campers alternate learning about business concepts such as planning, investing, spending, cash management and ethics, with breaks for swimming, games and team activities.

Participants collaborate to use computers, the library and other creative activities to build their businesses. As entrepreneurs, they learn a valuable lesson on risk: Some may walk away with a lot of money or others may leave with none.

“The goal is to expand children’s knowledge of personal finance and encourage them to bring their families, teachers and community members with them on their journey,” assistant professor of accounting Deanna Burgess said.

Burgess and her husband David are co-directors of the camp.

“The Money Game” is offered through the FGCU Wachovia Consortium for Consumer and Financial Education, which supports educational events for seniors, children and web-based education designed to enhance consumer literacy and the financial health of citizens.

The Collier County Education Foundation and the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools Inc. co-sponsor the camp with Wachovia, McDonald’s, Wal-Mart and Miromar.

Space is limited and participants are encouraged to register early. Registration and tuition is $300 and includes a souvenir T-shirt and optional overnight stay in FGCU residence halls June 27. Transportation from Naples and Fort Myers is available.

For more information, contact Burgess at (239) 590-7341, (239) 209-9123 or visit the camp web site at: .

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