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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
5/9/2006

FORT MYERS, FL - Students in fifth 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 19 through 30 at Florida Gulf Coast University in Alico Arena.

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

Each team develops a business plan, designs marketing and advertising, buys inventory, prepares budgets, manages cash and forms a council responsible for park operations and taxes.

The last night of the camp, families and friends purchase mock admission tickets, buy from the children's businesses and play out the program. Success is 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," associate 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.

Wachovia, McDonald's, Wal-Mart, Germain Motor Sports, KL Homes and Moe's Southwest Grill are sponsors.

Space is limited and participants are encouraged to register early. Tuition is $450 and includes two souvenir T-shirts and a field trip.

For more information, media representatives should contact Burgess at (239) 209-9123 or visit the camp web site at www.fgcu.edu/dburgess/themoneygame

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