Grandma Rie’s 2016 Money Camp Results

Grandma Rie’s 2016 Money Camp Results

Teaching the next generation to successfully handle money and personal finances is normally a family responsibility. Although parents bear much of the burden to teach, train and model good personal finance, extended family members can also contribute.

Although my grown children do very well in the personal finance arena, they learned from us by osmosis, without any special or formal training by my spouse or I. When they presented me with grandchildren, I vowed that I would take an active part in teaching financial literacy to them.

As a result, I started a one week ‘Grandma Rie’s Money Camp’ in 2011 and held our sixth annual one this year.

You can see what I had planned in my post Grandma Rie’s 2016 Money Camp plans.

But here is what actually went down!

Camp got off on the wrong foot because we had renters in the condo the same day we were arriving to start camp. The cleaners were just getting started when I arrived and my children arrived shortly afterwards with the grandchildren.

Instead of planned activities, my daughter in law and I went shopping for groceries for the week while my son took the 2 kids swimming. Because of the swimming, my granddaughter developed an ear ache.

We did manage to BBQ for supper and make the traditional home made ice cream the grandchilren have learned to love.

The earache got worse over night, so instead of having fun family activities in the morning, my kids took my granddaughter to the urgent care clinic to get some medicine so she wouldn’t have to suffer all week. My Grandson and I played games and swam while we waited for them to return.

You have to be flexible when you have kids in a camp.

We did manage to start Money Camp that afternoon after the parents left and did our review on savings, a topic I like to hit each year because it is so important to future financial freedom. We used some Biz Kidz episodes, annual stock reports and then had a discussion on what kinds of products they would produce for this years Money Camp business (held on the condo association grounds).

The next day we focused most of the morning on understanding financial freedom. I used the building blocks of persistence and passive income, using some cartoons as aids – such as one of the story of the tortoise and the hare, and one of my favorites to explain passive income – The Parable of the Pipeline. A discussion of how to get to the point of earning passive income and getting to be financially free segwayed into our ‘You Are Grownup Game’ and then into an afternoon on exploring different careers. We used a Biz Kids episode, a workbook on careers and a documentary called ‘The one week job’ – which showed one teen, doing jobs that lasted just a week – he did that for a year and it showed many different kinds of work.

I try to intersperse activity with studies so we spend some time decorating wreaths from the grapevines I had woven into wreath forms prior to camp. As we did that, I introduced the plan for them to each make a skit to be shown to the parents when they camp. The skit had to be about some kind of career. They had never before done a skit.

Tuesday we learned more about careers by watching some video clips and discussing, then putting some time into the Careers are Everywhere workbook.

They were tasked this camp to make a movie about a career that seemed interesting to them. We started that activity, using Windows Movie Maker. They loved playing with the software and they did the research to gather all the parts I was requiring (description, salary ranges, typical activities, why they chose it, etc). They included text, videos of themselves they taped and photos.

After lunch, we hopped in the car and went a couple of places so they could interview and photograph people doing a career. We went first to interview a Missouri Department of Conservation employee at the fish hatchery. He was very helpful in letting the kids interview and very enthusiastic about his topics. They also got to feed the fish at the hatchery, which is free and they love to do.

Next we went to the Table Rock Lake Damn and they interviewed a US Corp of Engineers employee.

They also took pictures of various scenic areas to use on the fans they planned to make and sell.

That evening we went back to the persistence theme while watching the movie Hugo.

Wednesday morning, the kids and I were both tired and somewhat grumpy. We abandoned the mornings planned activities (which were all sedentary) and opted to start making the products for their Money Camp Business. In the afternoon, we watch a bunch of short clips about different kinds of careers and they worked on their movie some more.

That evening, we returned yet again to the theme of persistence by watching the movie National Velvet, which is about a girl that persists in getting and training, then racing, a horse (and she won the race – but was disqualified because they found out she was a girl – hey it was 1946).

The next morning, we rearranged the planned schedule yet again, working on making products for the Money Camp Business most of the morning, watching clips on high paying careers part of the afternoon and then planning out our skits the rest of the afternoon. The grandson opted to pretend to be a video game tester (which is also what his movie was about), while I interviewed him and my granddaughter played camera girl. I had brought along a tripod that helped them come up with the idea. My granddaughter opted to pretend to have her own veterinarian practice (also what she chose to do her movie on). I interviewed her while the grandson did the filming. In my skit, I pretended to be a travel agent, wearing a fake grass skirt and lei. The granddaughter did the interview and my grandson the filming.

The last day of camp we practiced our skits, watched more video clips about different careers and finished up the items needed for their camp business.

The parents loved watching the movies and the skits, although they were a bit chagrined at my grandsons choice of careers to investigate!

All in all, a successful camp. Especially considering I was there by myself with the kids.