June 26, 2009

Summer camp experiment provides a week of excitement for reservation youth

Summer camp experiment provides a week of excitement for reservation youth
A cooperative agreement between the University of North Dakota’s Center for Innovation and Fort Berthold Extension has given several Fort Berthold youth information they can use throughout their lives, in just a week.
Barry Striegel, the director of the youth entrepreneurship education project at the Center for Innovation, was in New Town last week teaching students ages 9-13 about succeeding in today’s society. Two weeks ago, Striegel presented his unique message to a similar group in Parshall.
“On Monday, it’s a regular classroom and by Wednesday it’s a town with business going on and a radio station operating,” Striegel said. “They keep receipts and they’re also figuring out how to sell to other towns. This shows how smart and wise the kids are.”
The entrepreneurship program, designed for pre-teen and teenage kids, has exploded in popularity since Striegel began his mini society summer camp three years ago. After starting out in Grand Forks and Belcourt, the program has expanded to Parshall, New Town, Williston, Dickinson and Fort Yates and Twin Buttes will be added next year.
“It was never intended for statewide, but it is,” Striegel said. “In 2006, I decided to run a summer camp and that was a one-time deal. It started out as friends talking to friends and there’s value in that.”
He said Belcourt really liked the program and Cheyanne Erickson of Fort Berthold Extension found out about it, she wanted it added to Parshall and New Town and the domino effect continued.

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