Friday, September 5, 2008

Teens find early career training at business summer camp

Business summer camp ... sounds like every teen’s dream of an awesome summer vacation, right?

At least one group of kids in Silicon Valley seem to think so. Whether it’s the nature of the area they live in or an inherited drive to succeed, teens from the high-tech hub are opting-out of a lazy summer at the beach for one spent learning how to run a business.

At Camp BizSmart, parents pay $750 to send their kids to a two-week summer camp that focuses on market analysis, branding and discussions on ROI. The day camp covers all the businesses basics any success-driven, miniature Bill Gates would love to spend their summer learning.

With national teen employment at the lowest level in the past 60 years, maybe starting kids out early with business summer camp isn’t such a bad idea. Research shows that teens who work more in high school have an easier transition into the labor market after graduation.

Similar state-funded teen work programs across the country may not be as structured as camp, but work to develop teen job skills. Programs like Pennsylvania’s Technology Work Experience Internship Program and Boston’s Hope Line give teens the training and resources to help them get hired.

Our country’s next batch of successful CEOs have started training today, and they’ve started early. Many of today’s teens work hard in school and study for the SATs until the point of burnout, don’t they have the right to slack off during the summer? Do you think business summer camp is giving kids a head start in the corporate world, or should we just let kids be kids?

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