PTM 004: Making Money by Starting Your Own Summer Camp with Lori Martin of Cub Creek Science Camp

Part Time Money PodcastIn today’s episode I speak with Lori Martin, a summer camp director/owner at Cub Creek Science Camp, a traditional summer camp, based in Missouri, combining a focus on science and animals. The camp has it’s own zoo! Lori started her camp with $200, using vacation time from her full-time job to run the camp the first summer.

Listen to the Podcast

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Here’s more from Lori about her camp and how she got started on a part-time basis:

I started my business 19 years ago after taking a night class at a community college on how to start a small business. When the class was done I, incorporated, created a small trifold brochure and set to work marketing my children’s summer camp. For my first summer, I used all my vacation time to run the camp. I had about 10 kids each week and two employees. I offered three weeks of camp. My husband and I now work full time for our company, we employ 8 full time employees and about 70 summer staff. Last summer we had 1200 kids attend our summer program, with kids coming from nearly every state and many foriegn countries.

You can really tell from the interview that Lori has a passion for what she’s doing. No doubt that’s what’s help to make her and her camp a success. Here are some of the questions I asked Lori.

  • How did you get started with your own summer camp?
  • Can anyone start a summer camp at a State park?
  • What did you learn with the community college class on starting a small business?
  • How did you first summer of camp go?
  • What were your expenses?
  • How did you market the camp and get people to come?
  • How has this side business helped your family financially?
  • How do you make the most of camp fairs?
  • What skills have made you successful in this business?
  • How did you price your summer camp?
  • Any tips or tricks for future camp directors?
  • What are the common mistakes when starting your own camp?
  • Is there a special type of summer camp insurance?

Resources mentioned in the podcast:

American Camp Association Accreditation Process
Mid States Camping Conference
BearRiverRanch.com (Cub Creek Science Camp)

Read the full transcript by clicking show

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Last Edited: February 9, 2013 @ 7:24 pm
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a husband and father of two. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.

2 comments
20 and Engaged
20 and Engaged

That sounds like an awesome idea! I would love to do something similar, since I love kids. The wheels are turning now. Ah I'm so excited!

Jenna
Jenna

Wow! Thanks for sharing. That sounds like a fun side job. I love hearing stories of people combining their passions and profits in a successful way.