From Colonial History to Future Entrepreneurs
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From Colonial History to Future Entrepreneurs

Campers can explore diverse interests in specialty summer camps.

Camp Washington at Mount Vernon gives campers a glimpse of early American life.

Camp Washington at Mount Vernon gives campers a glimpse of early American life. Photo courtesy of Visit Fairfax

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Students in the Mason Game & Technology Academy Summer Camp will be offered classes in Game Design, Creation and Entrepreneurship, Minecraft and Cyber Defense.

For More Information

http://www.potoma...">Game and Technology Summer Camps

http://www.moneyn...">Future Millionaires Bootcamp/Stock Market Acres

http://www.mountv...">Camp Washington and more at Mount Vernon

This summer dozens of elementary school-aged children will travel back in time to the Colonial Era where, among other things, they’ll learn to spin cotton into cloth for garments.

Learning how to run a lemonade stand like a Fortune 500 company and use the profits to invest in the stock market will be on the agenda for other local children. Both activities are offered by local specialty camps aimed at giving children opportunities to explore their interests in a way that they cannot during the school year.

“I think summer camps are a great way to promote thriving if it is done right,” said Carolyn Lorente, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria and a camp consultant. “During the school year, there is so much emphasis on testing that the creative and collaborative nature of children gets lost. A great camp can create space for our children to flourish.”

“During the school year, there is so much emphasis on testing that the creative and collaborative nature of children gets lost.”

— Carolyn Lorente, Ph.D.

SPECIALTY CAMPS offer young campers a chance to focus on a specific area of interest such as cooking, financial literacy and even gaming.

For example, Spark Business Academy, a Northern Virginia based organization that teaches financial literacy to young students, is offering its Future Millionaires Camp in Arlington. Students learn about money concepts that range from setting up a lemonade stand that makes a profit to understanding the stock market.

“The name is definitely tongue in cheek,” said Chuchi Arevalo, the organization’s founder. “We teach personal finance, leadership and innovation. We give them life skills that they aren’t learning in school and promote financial literacy that is fun even for students in first and second grade.”

RISING FIFTH- and sixth-grade students will get a chance to take a trip back in time this summer at Mount Vernon’s Camp Washington. During each of the three one-week sessions, campers explore the history of George Washington’s estate and learn about his legacy.

From farming and spinning fibers into cloth to making ice cream and meeting the estate’s heritage breed animals, hands-on activities will give campers a glimpse of many aspects of early American life at Mount Vernon.

"The summer camp is designed to help engage students while having fun," said Melissa Wood, spokeswoman for Mount Vernon. "[It] gives kids the opportunity to go behind the scenes and experience history in their own backyard."

YOUNG GAME DESIGN aficionados can spend the summer with Mason Game & Technology Academy’s (MGTA) camps. Students take classes such as Game Design, Creation and Entrepreneurship, Minecraft and Cyber Defense.

“We run our classes at Mason in Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William,” said Vera Lichtenberg, Director of the Mason Game & Technology Academy at George Mason University.

“We also do a great deal of community outreach to train teachers, engage underserved students, and generally, help students realize that Game Design is a STEM field that not only engages those who love technology, but also those on the artistic side: writers, music composers [and] designers.”

MGTA is part of the Mason Computer Game Design Program and the Community Outreach Youth Program for the Virginia Serious Game Institute.​