At our Cub Scout meeting last night, we spent a bit of time discussing what camp we would be attending this summer, who would be going and … wait … what? Summer camp? It’s January! The Christmas tree is still up! Everyone in my house is sniffling! The thermometer hasn’t seen double digits in weeks! Still, the thought of hanging outdoors in shorts is a pleasant one right now. And all the talk made me remember a program I had stuck in my tickle folder a couple of months ago: Giant Campus is an organization with 46 locations across the United States, educating kids on the latest technology in several kid-friendly disciplines.
Giant Campus offers summer programs in everything from 3D modeling and robotics to Web design and C++, and more. They also offer immersion programs in game development, movie making and a program for young entrepreneurs called Project CEO.
At Project CEO, participants start with their own business idea and work with a team of peers and instructors on refining the idea while creating support materials with cutting-edge technologies. Teens go home with business materials such as a company logo, business cards, a Web site and a presentation to share. 13 to 17 year-olds can participate in the Project CEO camp.
“Let’s say a participant wants to launch a mobile phone application company. We help that person come up with a plan that includes everything a real-world CEO thinks through like product development, finding investment channels, determining appropriate resources to build the business and on and on,” said Mary Margaret Callahan, who oversees all summer programs for Giant Campus. “These camps reinforce Giant Campus’ dedication to building self-esteem, and leadership and technology skills. It doesn’t hurt that at the end of a program, students not only have tangible takeaways, but also lifelong friends and experiences.”
If you don’t live near any of Giant Campus’s locations, they also offer virtual programs that are no further away than your living room computer. Your kid won’t come home with any clay bowls or macrame window hangings, but maybe — just maybe — some skills that will grow into a lifelong passion or a rewarding career.