For older teenagers in particular, the world is changing. They often leave school ill-equipped for the world of work and try as you might to motivate them to learn, parents are the last people they will listen to. With the summer holidays approaching the situation becomes more difficult. For parents of older teenagers, the likelihood is that they won’t want to go on holiday with you but you definitely won’t want to leave them home alone.
An entrepreneur camp could be just the solution. Several summer camps run entrepreneur camps for older teenagers that equip them with the basic knowledge to make an inspired career choice – or opt for the entrepreneurial path themselves. If your son or daughter is already a fan of Lord Sugar’s Young Apprentice, you’re halfway there.
If their eyes light up at the thought of time spent in the French Alps make it clear that this is a two way arrangement. One way of showing them this isn’t just a free ride and you are keen on them learning is to make a deal. Offer to fund part of the cost of the holiday if they’ll fund the outstanding amount. Most household finances are under pressure at the moment and if you have more than one teenager it may be the only solution.
Here are some ideas to get you both started:-
Open a Bank Account
The first thing to do is open a separate bank account specifically for the summer camp funds. To ensure they aren’t secretly siphoning cash off to subsidise nights out, set it up in joint names with your son or daughter so that the account requires two signatures to take the money out.
This is easy enough to start at home. Encourage your teenager to wash up, mow the lawn, a spot of window cleaning, tidy the house or run errands for you at a set rate per task. If you really trust them, get them to paint a room. Then can engage their friends to help if they’re really inspired. When there’s the prospect of cash involved just watch that reluctance disappear! If you know your neighbours well enough perhaps they can offer to clear out their garage or tidy up their rubbish. If it’s something that can be done regularly, it will encourage them to learn financial planning skills.
Ask for Sponsorship
Most people will be sympathetic to fundraising for an educational summer camp. If you’re lucky you may gain some straight donations to the cause. Try approaching local businesses, families and friends for starters. For the true entrepreneurs encourage them to produce a mini-business plan with goals and objectives for the summer camp and what they’ll be doing when they come home.
Hold a Car Boot Sale
Have you been to a car boot sale recently? You’ll be amazed at what people buy. Kids of all ages are hoarders and probably have stacks of board games and random toys and books lying around their bedroom. Encourage them to be ruthless and get rid of the stuff they really won’t use again. As a rule of thumb, if they’ve not looked at it in at least a year it should go to the car boot. No matter what it is, throw it in. Even selling a few old toys at 20p or 50p each will soon add up – and it will save them from festering under the bed.
Whatever remains after the car boot, it may be worthwhile trying to sell it on an online site like EBay. Be realistic on pricing and also what you list. A quick search of the site will give you an idea of going rates and the potential popularity of an item.
It’s also worth adding in an extra element and approaching friends, family members and neighbours to sell items at the car boot sale on their behalf. Offer to sell items less a handling fee. The chances are most of them will be just be grateful to get rid of the clutter.
Get a Part-Time Job
As long as it doesn’t interfere with studies, older children can work up to around 12 hours per week. Ask around at your local newsagents’ or restaurants. The prospect of time spent at a youth camp during the summer holidays should motivate them. Not only will it open their eyes to a whole new world it will teach them the discipline of real work.
Encouraging your teenager to raise funds towards this year’s summer camp isn’t a case of being mean, it will help them to learn self-reliance and work ethics. They’ll arrive at their entrepreneur camp eager to learn and build on their newfound skills.
Kate Smedley has discovered that summer camps are the ideal solution to inspire her teenager