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WVU to host inaugural Summer Youth Business Camp

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A group of West Virginia high school students will immerse themselves in business in late July at West Virginia University, participating in activities ranging from working on interview skills to creating hypothetical businesses to presenting those ideas to businesspeople.                                                                

The College of Business and Economics will host 20 West Virginia high school sophomores, juniors and seniors at the first Summer Youth Business Camp July 24-28, a collaboration between B&E and WVU’s Extension Service 4-H unit. Camp participants will reside in WVU dorms and ultimately make business presentations to local business leaders. 

“Students will be formed into teams and will work on business plans for hypothetical businesses,” said Michael Walsh, marketing chair at WVU’s business school. “The teams will present their plans replicating the ‘Shark Tank’ TV show to local business leaders. Along the way, we teach them life skills, like job interviewing and presentation skills, as well as business discipline skills.”

WVU Extension took charge of the operations of the camp, including logistics, helping to recruit participating students and providing Extension Camping instructors to help run the camp, designed by B&E to create a dynamic, entrepreneurial environment. 

“Offering opportunities like business camp is important to youth because it gives them the chance to interact with other youth who have similar interests, be surrounded by caring adults who encourage them to seek knowledge and improve themselves, and give students a chance to master skills and learn new ideas and concepts,” said Brent Clark, WVU 4-H Youth Development Program Director. “This is a good experience for high school students because it provides an opportunity to understand how business impacts West Virginia and its communities.”

B&E will provide resources including business faculty and members of the business school’s Center for Career Development. Activities will include students interviewing for positions in the hypothetical companies, participation in job hunting workshops, mock interviews, real interviews with B&E faculty, team building, visits to local businesses, presentation skills training and creating business presentations. The camp will conclude with the Shark Tank-style business presentations by students to West Virginia businesspeople who will comprise a judge’s panel.

“Our goal is to provide camp participants with information and experience they can use throughout their lives,” Walsh said. “They have already expressed an interest in business by coming to this camp, so if we can help give them a leg up by providing a fun way to learn something they’re interested in, we’ve done what we set out to do.” 

While this is the first youth business summer camp, plans are already under way to expand the number of possible participants in the program.

For more information on WVU 4-H, visit For more information on the WVU College of Business and Economics, follow B&E on Twitter at @wvucobe or visit




CONTACT: Patrick Gregg, WVU College of Business and Economics; 304.293.5131

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.