RAYEC is an annual week-long camp held during August at Eagle’s Nest Ranch (Cypress Hills) for 60 youth ages 13-15 who are interested in learning about business and entrepreneurship. The main focus is to educate youth about marketing, advertising, preparing a cash-flow statement and writing a business plan. Campers set up their own businesses and use real money which they borrow from actual bankers. The last day is “Business Day” at the camp, where campers have the opportunity to open and operate their businesses.
The camp is presented by Community Futures partner offices in southern Alberta and some southern Rotary Clubs. This summer, Community Futures Big Country sponsored Emily Brady-DeMille to attend RAYEC. Emily is in Grade 9 at Delia School. She has always wanted to start her own small business, so she knew this camp would give her some more business experience and would also be fun! We asked Emily to share her camp experience with us.
What did you enjoy most about the camp?
One of the things I enjoyed the most was the business learning aspect. If you would have asked me what “demographics” was before I went to camp I would have been utterly clueless but if you were to ask me what “demographics” was after camp I would have been able to give you a page long essay explaining what “demographics” meant, including a list of the demographics of almost any business you could name.
What did you learn about starting your own business?
We didn't just learn about demographics, we also learned about the characteristics of an entrepreneur - risk taker, desire for adventure, strong need to achieve and seek, self-confident and self-reliant, goal oriented, innovative, persistent, hardworking, energetic with a positive attitude, willing to take initiative, and committed.
Then it was time to get some business ideas going, so we took time to brainstorm the different ideas of what we could sell (that is where my business team all agreed to do plants). Like all businesses, we needed to come up with a name that was catchy and also easy to remember (Silly Seeds).
After we had a name and our product ideas we needed to start on our business plan and mission statement, as well as our finances (I had to cover that because I was the financial manager). After our business plan was done we learned about the four P’s - product, price, place and promotion. And of course we also had to start getting ready to meet the banker. We also had a whole module about finances preparing for loan, collateral, and how much we needed to sell to pay off our loan.
Then it was the time we met with our banker. My team got a $650 loan, $320 for the float and $330 for the supplies and table. Our interest rate was really good only at 1% making us have to pay a little over $6. Then one person in our team went shopping and the next day we started to make and manufacture our products. On Business Day we were able to pay off our loan, leaving each of the six team members a little over $46.
I would like to give Community Futures Big Country a big thank you for being my sponsor. I will definitely keep all this information stored in my head for when I decide later in life to start a business of my own.