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Camping for capital

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So your second grader was surfing the Internet and saw the price of Google's stock going through the roof. And now he wants to buy a few shares of his own - on margin. What are you supposed to tell him?

How about sending the kids to camp. Canoeing, archery, and s'mores to take their minds off the Nasdaq? Au contraire! This is Money Camp, where youngsters learn the fundamentals of financial literacy and fiscal responsibility.

Besides learning why they shouldn't sink their piggy-bank savings into high-tech stocks, kids will learn the basics of how to earn, save, and invest their money. From balancing a checkbook to understanding real estate and the stock market, Money Camp prepares kids for the real world.

"These are critical life skills that kids aren't getting in schools," said Elisabeth Donati, executive director of the Santa Barbara-based nonprofit group.

With seven camps between Southern California and the Central Coast, now in its third year in San Luis Obispo, Money Camp gives 11- to 15-year-olds a five-day crash course in basic monetary skills. While the kids won't be out fishing and horseback riding, Donati insists that they have a great time at this specialty summer day camp. They don't spend their whole week behind a desk - there are some outdoor activities, albeit more educational than athletic - and a few students have even returned for a second year.

Save early, save often, and pay yourself first - those are the tenets of Money Camp. It's easy to a save $1 or 2 million over your lifetime if you just start young, Donati explained. So don't put all your eggs into Social Security, send the kids to Money Camp, and start building that nest today.

"It's so easy if you just start early."

Money Camp takes place Aug. 1-5 at the new Pacheco School in San Luis Obispo. To sign up or learn more, call 957-1024, or visit www.themoneycamp.com.

 

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Staff Writer Jeff Hornaday compiles New Times' Strokes & Plugs. E-mail him at
jhornaday@newtimesslo.com.

 

 

 

 

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