PORTLAND -- There are not many summer camps where you get to be a CEO, mayor, TV host or president of a bank. But that all happens at the Junior Achievement headquarters in Southeast Portland.

It's a replica of a small town with a mission to teach fourth though eighth graders the basic of business. And like the real world, campers have to fill out an application and apply for the jobs they want.

Campers have two jobs during the week-long camp and even get paid. But they also learn how to manage that money and learn what it means.

Students are understanding what it means to hold a job and what their responsibilities are for getting a job. And they're also understanding once they have a job, and they receive a paycheck, what are they going to do with that. (And) how they manage that money, said Barbara Smith, vice president of programs with Junior Achievement.

Campers are given real-life scenarios to deal with. At the UPS store at the camp, a robot in the sorting area was acting up. The manager on duty had to deal with it.

Since the town opened in 2007, 50,000 kids have found employment there.

The camp runs for four weeks during the summer.

The week of August 12 through the 16 had a few openings Wednesday afternoon.

Anyone interested in signing up can visit the Junior Achievement website.


KGW business reporter Joe Smith contributed to this report.

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