June 6, 2013
In this monthly column, Brenda Hiscock endeavours to put a positive spin on personal finance by empowering readers with practical tips and good news from the financial world.
It is said that actions speak louder than words. I couldn’t agree more with this statement. As parents, we want the very best for our children, but sometimes we are ill equipped to help them when it comes to sound money management. A stats Canada report released in late May shows that in the last quarter of 2012, the average household owed $164.97 in market debt for every $100 disposable after-tax income earned. Clearly, we as parents are not in a position to educate our children when we are struggling with so much debt ourselves. What kind of messages are you sending your children about money?
For those of us who feel ill equipped to help our children manage money, meet Jorge Ramos. About five years ago, Jorge was feeling burnt out after 20 years in financial services and set out on a journey to discover his passions. He realized his main passions were children, teaching and investments. Growing up, Jorge’s idol was Alex P. Keaton of Family Ties, the lovable nerd who was a business and money genius.
He recognized that children are not taught anything about money in school, and Jorge set out on a mission to close this gap in our education system. After doing some research, Jorge found that there were camps in the United States designed to teach children about money in a fun and informative way. However, there were some roadblocks to his opening a similar camp: how was he going to pay teachers to run this camp, where could he run it and how would he advertise it?
Jorge thought, “What would a big business do?” He recognized that a big business would likely partner with someone who already had existing resources to bring a program to life. And so Jorge approached Seneca College, who loved the idea, and Camp Millionaire was born.
Through games, crafts and music, Camp Millionaire teaches children money-management skills. Recognizing that most of us are visual learners, the classroom has posters all over the walls, filled with pictures and information. The camp’s logo is “The confidence and ability to do anything.”
“True success in life doesn’t come from knowledge,” Jorge said. “It’s your actions and who you are that makes a difference.”
Held at Seneca College’s Newnham Campus, the week-long camp designed for youths aged 9 to 15 runs every week throughout the summer and has both indoor and outdoor activities. At a cost of $340 for the week, the camp has been filled to capacity every year. Feedback from the kids has been great — most new campers are referred from previous attendees. Give your kids the gift of future financial health and sign them at www.senecacamps.com
Don’t you wish there was a Camp Millionaire when you were a child?