The summer months can be tricky for kids between 12 and 15. Many tweens feel they are too old for day camp and the number of jobs available for young teens is limited. But Laurus Summer Camp (named for the Latin word for “success”) has unique programs that teach young people entrepreneurial and fundraising skills.
Both programs have kids come up with ideas on how to make money. Those who opt for the entrepreneurship program spend three weeks working on their ideas with the help of guest speakers and mentors connected with the Montreal Startupfest, an annual event that features inspiration, advice and resources for entrepreneurs.
Laurus Managing Director Gabriel D’Amico-Mazza says mentors come every week to show kids how to build a business, pitch an idea, research viability and evaluate the potential for success.
At the end of the session, D’Amico-Mazza said the campers will pitch their ideas to a Dragon’s Den-like panel of experts who will provide feedback. On the last day, campers go on a trip to Startupfest, a global gathering of entrepreneurs, founders, investors, and mentors.
The other program is known as KIDS CAN week, when campers work together to raise money for the Bell Fund for Cancer Research. Each year, campers are challenged to beat the amount raised the year before. And each year, the kids have come through. “Last year, they did huge bake sales, a carnival in the gym and other activities to raise money,” D’Amico-Mazza said.
Children also have daily physical activity, weekly guest speakers and specific training activities tailored to different interests, which allows kids to pursue their passions.
Within the regular camp program, children select one of four themes to personalize their experience: arts, healthy living, academics or sports. Campers can choose to stick with one activity or select a new one each week. Instructors, all trained teachers with expertise in their fields, have designed the curriculum to remain interesting for both students who stay with one area of focus and those who prefer to try different things.
Activities include music, dance, cooking, language skills, soccer and robotics. This summer, Laurus will also be adding a coding specialization and expanding its English and French language-enrichment programs.
Laurus also offers a March break camp that will run over two weeks, March 6-10 and March 13-17, from 7:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Each week, there will be a sports and creative theme: soccer and Disney in week one and basketball and Pokémon in week two. Other activities include math, cooking, science, sports, art and dance.
The camps are held at Sacred Heart School, 3635 Atwater Ave.
For more information, visit laurussummercamp.com.