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Empowering young girls, Asheville-based camp moves online for summer

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    ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — An Asheville-based camp, meant to empower young girls, is moving online in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

What is now a 9-week virtual camp experience, Camp Girl Boss offers middle school girls’ access to the worlds of leadership, entrepreneurship, and being a thought leader. To help reach a larger number of girls during the pandemic, the camp has opened the program to 100,000 girls across the country.

“When we started 2020, our team was preparing to host the week-long day camp in 100 communities throughout the country, which alone is a pretty big undertaking. But as the pandemic took hold, we leaned into our window to pivot. Being able to move our camp to a virtual program immediately opened up our ability to empower 100,000 girls, which is such a gift,” explains Emily Breedlove, the Camp Girl Boss Founder and serial entrepreneur based in Asheville, North Carolina.

Covering real-world business topics like Ideation, Customer Discovery, Market Research, Financial Literacy, and Business Planning, girls in the camp are exposed to the realities of the start-up space through the combination of several nationally embraced curriculums like REAL Entrepreneurship and Ice House. In addition to the business education, they are also trained to use the same premier digital tools as actual companies like Canva, WordPress, Dropbox, Zoom, and Instagram. Girl Bosses are given the support they need to design their own Logo, Website, Social Media Campaigns, and One-Minute Pitch. In just 9-weeks, these middle school girls get a crash course in business that rivals that of their adult counterparts.

Laura McCann is the Founder and CEO of ADORAtherapy, an American manufacturer of organic perfume, and she brings her entrepreneurial insight to the camp as one of the Female Founder Case Studies. Laura shared, “since this camp started in 2018, my company has been a major cheerleader of the Camp Girl Boss message! Showing up for girls when they are at such a challenging age to teach them how to value their own ideas and grit, that can be a life-changing moment for them. There couldn’t be a better time to bring the uplifting experience of Camp Girl Boss into homes!”

By accessing over 40 educational videos of interviews with Experts and Female Founders, campers are given a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at what it really takes to start a business. They are also exposed to concepts like thought leadership and social entrepreneurship, to discover the ways that business can create positive change across the planet. Girls learn about giving a TEDtalk, goal setting, holding healthy boundaries, and lessons in resilience.

“This year allowed us to take our program to the next level to ensure that each girl gets the full depth of what being an entrepreneurial leader means in todays world. By going virtual we are able to host live webinars with national experts, manage an online forum with thousands of Girl Bosses, and present even more fun activities around being a leader. This may have been an unexpected shift, but our team is grateful for the ways we can now empower these girls at a time when they may be spending a lot of their summer in their living room,” expressed Breedlove.

With 2 years of sold-out camps now under their belt, the team at Camp Girl Boss is ready to share their experience with girls in all corners of America, and have set the goal of providing 50,000 of the 100,000 participants on full scholarships. Even though the 9-week program is already quite affordable at only $99, the non-profit behind the Camp wants to ensure that the experience is accessible to any girl who wishes to attend.

Russ Seagle is the Executive Director of the Sequoyah Fund, a Native Community Development Financial Institution based in Cherokee, NC, and the sponsoring organization behind Camp Girl Boss. Russ explains, “We’ve always known that this Camp was an important tool to share with as many communities as possible. As the owners of REAL Entrepreneurship, Sequoyah Fund has hosted and certified trainers of Middle School Entrepreneurship Camps for over 20 years. But never have we seen the phenomenon that is Camp Girl Boss. This program is changing lives and we are committed to ensuring that scholarships are available to families who want to participate.”

As Summer quickly approaches, the preparation for opening Camp is in full swing. Registration is now open for the June 1st launch, with cohorts of Girl Bosses welcomed into the online system every Monday until the end of July. Scholarship Codes are also now active for those who are hoping to snag one while their available, with each state having 1000 spots designated. Codes are simply the state abbreviation + 1000 (example: FL1000).

“Right now, our nation could use a little more imagination and hope for the future. We are honored to guide the Girl Bosses of America along this journey, to use this daunting time in our history to nurture our next generation of women leaders,” added Emily Breedlove.

For those who want to learn more about the camp experience, donate to the Camp Girl Boss Scholarship Fund, or register your own Girl Boss, you can visit campgirlboss.com

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