TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (7/24/14)--It's summer camp for kids, with a twist.
The Pink Team at the Mini Billionaire's Academy captured all five flags, each one tied to their credit score, allowing them to get "approved" for a loan. (Tallahassee-Leon FCU Photo)
Is there capture the flag? Yes, but a captured flag improves your credit. Are there egg-carrying relay races? Of course, but the faster you run, the faster you invest in the stock market, which can be a risky play.
These were the types of games, and financial lessons, played and learned by the nearly 50 kids who attended this year's Mini Billionaire's Academy, a five-day overnight camp hosted by Tallahassee-Leon FCU, Tallahassee, Fla., with $43 million in assets.
The academy, geared towards kids ages 8 to 16, educates participants on personal financial management using entertaining and engaging games. In its third year, this year's academy was the largest class yet.
"Students are graduating high school, and even college, with almost no formal training on personal money management and we are proud to be able to fill that gap in our community," said Lisa Brown, Tallahassee-Leon president/CEO.
The camp, which started as a one-day event in a community center, has become so popular that it has been moved to the expansive Wallwood Boy Scout Reservation in Gadsden County where campers can canoe, bike, go zip-lining and more, Mike Akers, Tallahassee-Leon vice president of sales and services, told News Now.
"My favorite quote from parents is they wish they had something like this when they were a kid," Akers said.
Florida State Rep. Alan Williams (D-Tallahassee) stops by to speak to the campers about the importance of responsible money management. (Tallahassee-Leon FCU Photo)
Other activities included a s'mores store competition that challenged campers to run their own businesses; campfire skits about budgeting; and a reality fair where campers were assigned careers and had to make financial decisions based on their unique financial situations.
A grant from "Biz Kid$," an award-winning PBS TV program supported by the National Credit Union Foundation that teaches kids about fiscal responsibility, helped Tallahassee-Leon put on the camp this year. Many campers received partial or full scholarships to attend as well.
"It's so rewarding to see how responsible the campers are by the end of the program," Brown said. "A little bit of fun will equip them for the rest of their lives."