Why Summer Camps Are Great For Encouraging Entrepreneurship

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Camps are a place for sharing stories, learning about people, and taking inspiration from the ideas of others – all of which are valuable qualities for any entrepreneur. Below I’ve explained in detail why going to a camp can be one of the most important things a business-person can do.

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Stories get the creative juices flowing

You, I, and everyone else who’s attended a camp know that stories are a huge part of the experience – you huddle around a fire, listening to tales from your fellow campers and challenging yourself to outdo them with your own yarns. It’s this shared creative process that makes camps perfect for encouraging entrepreneurship.

Not all great businesses are original, or even that unique. In The Social Network, David Fincher’s tale of the rise and rise of (The) Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is shown to have created his company by taking other people’s ideas and making them his own. At camps, people can become your muse during story time and if it encouraged the (one-time) world’s youngest billionaire, then why not you too!

Get out of your comfort zone & stay relevant

In business, as with every facet of life, if you’re not moving forward then you’re going backward in slow motion – the rest of the world doesn’t stand still to wait for you to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. With its rustic appeal, outdoor activities, and sweating for your supper approach, camps are a great way for pushing aspiring or existing entrepreneurs to push their business plans forward.

Learn the value of people’s unique lives  

Businesses and camps share have much in common, but one of the most important things is that they’re both about people – without them there would be no camps, nor companies. While you’re at camp you get to learn all about people’s lives, who they are, and the things that excite and terrify them – all things that are hugely important in entrepreneurship, because they allow to create better products and sell them more effectively.  

Some of the details you learn about people while at camp are things that entrepreneurs can use to make a successful business: age, location, gender, interests, and plenty more. When you’re at a camp these are ways of forging a personal connection with your fellow campers, of building a relationship. When you take these life details into business you use them to understand what goods your customers really want, by finding out what their pain points are and could be.  

Being in it together it great for team spirit

How many teambuilding exercises, day trips, or overnight stays have you been on? Plenty, of course. There’s a reason that these activities happen and it’s because they really do help to foster a sense of togetherness. Why is this important? Because entrepreneurial success isn’t only down to skill and will, it’s also about getting people to buy into your vision and deliver it for you. Camps are the perfect environment to do this.   

Controlled risk-taking with guided leadership

Controlled and managed risk-taking is key to camp life – you might be asked to walk a high wire, or dive into unknown water,  but at each stage, you have guides to lead you through. Entrepreneurs can do the same, by encouraging their employees to take risks to achieve the objectives they have for their business.

While taking this approach will lead to some failures, using it increases the potential for innovation. It also makes people more willing to buy into the company, as they take confidence from the belief shown in them and inspiration from the freedom they are given.

Camps are about the stories, getting out of your comfort zone, learning about people, team spirit, and taking risks. If these aren’t things you value in entrepreneurship, then you’ll never run a successful business. And if you’re not convinced, head over to a camp this weekend and prepare to return with a bucketload of business ideas!

Editor's note: This is a guest post from the kind Kayleigh Alexandra from MicroStartUps.org

Travis Allison