Youth enterprise camp returning, sign up today

Sam Odrowski

Youth who are interested in developing a business of their own are encouraged to sign up for the “Head Start in Business” Youth Enterprise Day Camp that’s coming to Fort Frances next week (July 22-26).
The camp is for children ages nine-13 and is being held at the Northern Community Development Services (NCDS) building (304 Scott St.).
The five-day camp teaches participants about what it means to be an entrepreneur and how to turn their business ideas into a reality.
“So we start them with an idea, we sit down and sort of do a little brain storming map and try to figure out what they’re passionate about and then base it off of that,” explained camp organizer Cierra Parkhill.
“We want the kids to be interested in their business and have a personal connection or driving force behind it,”
After they’re done brainstorming with camp attendees, they figure out what supplies are needed to start their business, the cost of those supplies, how many items they can make, what the overhead costs are and how to determine pricing.
From there the kids can determine their expected revenues and expected profits to find out if they have a feasible business plan.
“On Wednesday, they get a sort of little mini loan so they can go out and buy supplies for their business on the afternoon and Thursday we spend all day in production and then on Friday we have a sale,” Parkhill noted.
The Friday sale is always the camp participants’ favourite part because they get to actually make some money off the work they’ve poured into their business, as well as show off their inventory.
For the Youth Enterprise Day Camp that was recently held in Kenora, the attendees took on a variety of businesses, from selling wooden signs and home decor to sugar scrubs, Parkhill recalled.
To help the camp’s attendees develop a better understanding of the business world they are brought out into the community to engage with local entrepreneurs who share how they became successful.
Some of the core skills camp participants will learn include money management, problem solving, and future planning.
“We want them to think that eventually one day opening a business is a possibility,” Parkhill remarked. “Or not just in the future but even now.
“You don’t have to be 35 with a business degree to be able to open a business,” she added.
Parkhill has worked with the Youth Enterprise Camps for many years and said it’s always rewarding to see how the skills they learn through the camp affect the attendees as they move forward.
“I have kids in different areas who are in the camp, enroll every year, and they’re just insightful-like smart kids, they’re resourceful, they’re quick thinking,” she lauded.
Parkhill told the Times that hosting the camps is always a great experience for her as well.
“It’s just fun to watch the kids pitch their ideas, sell their products, represent their business, and their proud of it,” she enthused.
“It’s also really cool on the Friday to see it all come together because they’re proud and they’ve accomplished something pretty cool.”
Youth age 9-13 that have entrepreneurial interests suit the camp perfectly but also kids who don’t necessarily have that background will also enjoy what it has to offer and flourish as well,” Parkhill noted.
“That will get instilled as the week goes on,” she remarked. “Maybe they don’t have an interest in business now but they might when the week’s over.”
She said the camp is great substitute for children who aren’t into sports but want to stay active through the summer months.
Those interested in registering can do so online at:
For more information about the camp, contact Parkhill at 464-0020 or email her at