Camp Inspires Entrepreneur

Did you hear about the camper who started his own business to earn money for camp? Read on to see how camp inspires entrepreneur to invest in his own experience!

I have vivid memories of mowing my grandparents’ lawn to pay for my first year of camp. That was long enough ago that a week of camp was only about $30. We saved for camp by buying camp stamps after Sunday School each week. Watching the little booklet fill up with stamps was a great sense of accomplishment and helped build the excitement for camp.

Although many things about camp have changed since I was a kid, enterprising parents still look for ways for their kids to contribute toward the cost of camp. In some cases, it’s an economic necessity. In others, it’s a recognition that having “skin in the game” adds value to the camp experience. Like the case of one young entrepreneur who started his own business to earn money for camp.

Camp Inspires Entrepreneur at Covenant Harbor in Lake Geneva, WI.

There was nothing unusual about JJ Semradek’s desire to attend Day Camp as a 7-year-old. He is the fourth generation of his family to be involved at Covenant Harbor. His mother, Kim Semradek, was a camper and served on summer staff, as did his grandfather, Bob Klockars. Bob’s parents were involved in the camp’s early years.

What is unique is how JJ got to camp for the first time, two years ago. JJ’s father, Jim, told him he had to find a way to earn $40 toward the camp fee. JJ decided to start a business and Crunchy Munchy Cookies was born. JJ created a brochure and knocked on doors in the neighborhood one evening, offering samples and taking orders.

Jim recalls that JJ hadn’t returned home at 7:00, or even 8:00. JJ finally came home at 8:30, his entrepreneurial spirit propelling him past his dad’s goal, with total sales of $100. “He was jumping up and down, shouting ‘I’m going to camp, I’m going to camp,’” Jim says. “It was really cool.”

Last year, JJ’s sister, Sedona, joined the company and together, they raised $200 toward their camp fees. Jim, who is pastor of Waterfront Community Church in Schaumburg, IL, believes that having “skin in the game” adds an important element to the camp experience for the kids. Sedona agrees, saying that having to earn part of their own way made camp “more funner.”

Beyond the fun, Jim and Kim appreciate the opportunity camp gives their kids to grow spiritually with their peers, learning from the godly staff who speak into their lives.

By giving to Covenant Harbor, you provide opportunities for kids like JJ to learn many valuable life lessons, including the importance of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Thank you for investing in the lives of these wonderful kids!

Blog Post by Jon Lokhorst