2007-06-22 / Schools

Money camp pays off big dividends

Five-day class teaches children financial savvy
By Michelle Knight knight@theacorn.com

Want to be a millionaire by age 40?

It's possible if you start young enough, said Money Camp coaches Judy Powell and Gayle Lipp.

Powell and Lipp will teach children ages 10 to 15 practical savings and investment strategies in a hands-on program called Money Camp, which runs from June 25 through 29 at Freedom Park.

The five-day course costs $212 for Camarillo residents and $265 for nonresidents.

"Teaching money has always been a passion of mine," said Powell, former owner of Carden School of Camarillo and a veteran teacher. "I did it at Carden for a number of years- what's more important for them to know than that?"

Lipp, an insurance broker in Agoura, said financial freedom is something children aren't taught in school and generally not at home.

"Oh, my goodness gracious, where would life be if you got yourself into (financial) trouble and didn't know how to get out?" she said.

The women teach practical skills, such as budgeting, but keep the class fun. Throughout the weeklong course, they hand out "paychecks" to the children and teach them to pay themselves first- tuck away a little bit of money into a savings account.

Then the children are to pay bills- utilities, taxes and the like- and if there's money left over they can invest it or spend it on what Powell calls "piddly crap"- expendable goods.

When they have enough "money" invested in one or more of the Three Pillars of Wealth- real estate, stocks or a business- they are paid interest.

"It's a lot of reality, and it's a lot of fun," Powell said.

The women, both Thousand Oaks residents, have taught the class for four years throughout Ventura County. This is the first time it's being offered in Camarillo.

Fitness trainer Elisabeth Donati launched Money Camp five years ago after reading Robert Kiyosaki's "Rich DadPoor Dad."

She was inspired to start the Santa Barbara-based nonprofiafter considering her own lack of financial savvy while growing up. The program has grown ovethe years and now can be found in more than 13 states and internationally. A Money Camp program for adults is also available as is a coach training course.

To register online for the Money Camp in Camarillo, visiactivenet5.active.com/pvrpd/ ocall the Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District at (805482-1996. Money Camp is also being offered in Calabasas, July 23 - 27. Call Calabasas Parks and Recreation at (818) 880-6461 fomore information.

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