Iowa State’s College of Business is keeping busy this week with a new program, the Young Women in Business Leadership Camp. The new program promotes leadership and business skills in school-age girls.
The camp was designed for high school females interested in exploring how their skills and interests translate to opportunities in business, according to the college’s website.
The camp runs from Sunday, July 9 through Friday, July 14.
The girls are split into groups of five and work with these teams throughout the week to create a project. The campers will work with two local nonprofit organizations: Iowa Arboretum and Youth and Shelter Services. To learn the skills needed for the projects, the campers will attend workshops during the day.
The College of Business’s dean, David Spalding, originally had the idea for a camp like this.
“The camp is a great way for us to expose an outstanding group of young women to the College [of Business], and more broadly introduce us to the wider audience of young women who received marketing materials for it,” Spalding said.
Camp coordinator Sarah Adams said that Spalding had talked about this idea since she was hired in the summer of 2014.
Spalding and others in the College of Business are interested in attracting women to pursuing studying business. After considering a variety of other options, the summer camp was officially decided on.
The college partnered with 4-H Youth Development. Because this organization has offered summer camps in the past, faculty from the College of Business felt as though it would be beneficial to get help from an experienced group.
The campers spend each day on Iowa State’s campus, and each evening at the Iowa 4-H Center in Madrid. The day is filled with workshops, lectures and guest speakers. One of those guest speakers is Governor Kim Reynolds. Reynolds will be speaking on Wednesday at 11 a.m.
“[Governor Reynolds] had previously attended an event with the college and one of our faculty members mentioned to her the summer camp, and she really connected with that idea,” Adams said. “We were really glad we could fit it on her schedule.”
The evenings are spent doing more traditional summer camp activities, like ziplining and campfires. Although the campers have more of a traditional-style of summer camp during the evenings, Adams believes the activities are still beneficial.
“I will say that our nighttime activities will center around the themes of communication skills, leadership development and teamwork,” Adams said.
The College of Business is covering all costs for the campers. Because of this, there were limited spaces and girls interested in attending filled out an application to be accepted. Out of over 100 applicants, 50 young women were selected to attend this camp.
“One of the reasons we didn’t charge is that we really wanted to connect with women who would not otherwise have an opportunity to attend something like this,” Adams said.
Amanda Scott, assistant director of marketing and alumni relations in the College of Business, agreed that it is important for women to get an experience like this.
“The best businesses and organizations are run by a diverse group of individuals, which includes women who take on leadership roles,” Scott said. “I think this camp is important because it is the start of showing these women how much they are capable of in the business world.”
Adams is looking forward to the week ahead and seeing how the campers grow.
“With this camp, I hope that we help women connect their passions and their interests to the many opportunities that exist in business and help draw some of those lines for them,” Adams said. “We want [campers] to have a really positive experience here on campus.”