The kids spent their second day at Camp MEOW at the L family’s house, which is clearly a creative mecca. I walked in after teaching and a subsequent appointment to find their dining room table covered in drawings, logos, sales materials, coins and worksheets.
The kids have made the decision to have a “pop up” business : a lemonade stand. We’ll be opening for one morning, and one morning only, but details on all that to come.
The kids got to play with some actual money, in advance of their sale. Mr. L walked them through what each coin was, how much money it represented, and started talking to them about making change.
The crew also created a logo for Camp MEOW and the stand itself. Each child got to draft his or her own vision, and then the group discussed what they liked. Mr. L, a graphic design whiz, is putting the final touches on that tonight and I look forward to unveiling the official logo tomorrow.
I have to confess, the impetus for Camp MEOW was borne out of a weariness that Mrs. L and I have over shelling out the big bucks for camps all over the city. Well, that and the fact that my little W and her little O are ALWAYS scheming about their next big business venture. But, I didn’t have huge high hopes that this would be much more than just fun for them.
I could not have been more wrong.
The kids have learned a TON.
Here’s a smattering:
- We’ve had an excellent conversation about where startup money comes from for businesses.
- The kids got to use a spreadsheet, prompting moments of recognition, “Hey, Daddy uses these!”
- We’ve discussed expenses, gross income, and profit.
- We’ve talked about investors and what they bring to a business which led to a conversation about ownership and how intellectual capital and work can translate into ownership opportunity.
- The kids have thought through what kind of customer we’ll be targeting and how to best reach them. (Witness the signs written in Spanish and French, in case we have some multilingual passersby.)
I told him I suspected that most people who started up a business from scratch probably felt the same way.
“The saying is,” he explained, “starting up a business takes twice the time and twice the money you think it will.”
So while all of the tangible lessons are fantastic, a newfound empathy for the hard work that Daddy puts in? Well, that is most definitely the cat’s meow.
P.S. I love this painting in the L’s house. Right on.