While some kids go off to summer camp to learn how to paddle a canoe or ride a horse, a group of middle-schoolers in north-central Iowa is heading to camp this week to learn the ins and outs of business. Cindy Schieber is assistant director of the North Central Iowa Small Business Development Center, which sponsors of the Youth Entrepreneur Camp.

Schieber says, “It focuses on all different factors of becoming an entrepreneur or what it takes to start and run your own business.” The camp targets students in grades six through eight and is in its second year at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge.

“The theme of the camp is chocolate-covered something,” Schieber says. “The children decide what product they’re going to make, a chocolate-covered something, and we focus the week on developing that product, writing business plans, figuring out costs and sales and markets and all sorts of stuff.” Eventually, she says, the students will get some hands-on experience — as will their taste buds.

At the end of the week, they’ll actually make the products and sample each other’s creations. Last year, the first year for the camp, the students worked on a project to market chocolate-covered chili Frito chips.

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City