Alberta Youth Entrepreneurship Camp
The Alberta Youth Entrepreneurship Camp (AYEC) is a week-long leadership and entrepreneurship camp for approximately 70 youth ages 12-18 (60 Campers, 10 Youth Leaders) that is held at Eagles Nest Ranch in Cypress Hills.
During their time at camp the youth engage in teamwork and collaboration to create an idea for a business and then go on to learn how to make that idea into a tangible product that they then sell on the last day of camp.
During the week of camp, the campers are taught about the many aspects that go into running a successful business. This includes doing cash flows, marketing plans, a break-even analysis and much more.
The primary activity during camp is teaching campers how to create a business. They do this with the help of their Team Leader, Youth Leader and also from modules that are delivered via group instruction (these are taught by Volunteers filling the Instructor positions.) They are each provided with a comprehensive and in-depth workbook that covers common business terms, ideas and practices.
In addition to the educational focus of the camp, the youth are provided with a schedule of fun activities and events that will help them create memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. Some of these events include wall-climbing, swimming, paintball, Zipline, movie night, talent show, and campfire/sing-along.
Throughout the week campers are instructed by experienced industry professionals on all the key aspects of running a business. This includes creating a business name, cash-flow, market analysis and customer service. They are guided along the way with engaging activities like “The Lemonade Game”. For each team, In order to create their business products, they require supplies. They purchase these supplies on a trip into Medicine Hat where they are able to spend the loan-money that they applied for from real-life bankers on the Wednesday of camp (Banker’s Day).
On the final day of camp (Business Day), the youth are set up in a tradeshow-style fashion to sell their products to their friends and family that have shown up to encourage and support their camper.
Youth Leader Training Program
Youth Leaders are individuals that have been Campers at the AYEC for at least one year and are now 16-18 years old. The 3-day training period that is given to the Youth Leaders prior to camp consists of improving upon many different aspects of leadership.
This includes instruction on:
- 1-on-1 coaching
- Conflict resolution
- Team building
- Group dynamics
- Personal discovery
The Youth Leaders are integral to ensuring the smooth operation and execution of all camp activities. From the moment the Campers step off the bus the Youth Leaders are organizing, instructing and helping them get settled and comfortable for the coming week. Throughout the week the Youth Leaders assist everyone in their Business Team by providing coaching, encouraging the development of the business idea and keeping everyone on task. In addition to these responsibilities, every year the entire Youth Leader team creates a presentation for the campers that outlines the importance of staying in school and continuing on to post-secondary education (either in College, University or the trades).