Summertime lemonade stands are a great way to meet neighbors, encourage our children, and even make a few extra dollars. But with a little educational nudge, they can become so much more.
Studies show that “we view learning as ‘fun’ or exciting but give the process or experience that creates this end goal a serious case of stink eye. If only we could learn without actually having to learn. It would be the educational equivalent of having your cake and eating it too…Fun, pleasure, excitement – call it what you will, the essential ingredient in any training endeavor is engagement. If you don’t spend the time to make the learning experience a compelling and enjoyable one, how can you expect your learners to spend any time on it?”
With this in mind, the Lacey South Sound Chamber and Thurston County Economic Development Council (EDC) are partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County in the first local Lemonade Day event.
A national program, Lemonade Day began in 2007 as “a community-wide educational program that teaches youth the entrepreneurial skills necessary to start, own and operate their own business…a lemonade stand.” Locally the Chamber and EDC are organizing the event with help from Boys & Girls Clubs kids in conjunction with Lacey Parks and Recreation’s annual Children’s Day celebration.
“Teams of fifth and sixth grade kids will prep for a few weeks using the national Lemonade Day curriculum which includes all the steps involved in formalizing a business—a lemonade stand,” explains Holly Paxson, Lacey Timberland Library manager and co-chair of the Chamber’s Education Committee. Teams will then present these business plans to the public at Lemonade Lane in Huntamer Park during the October 1 festivities.
There, the community can meet these young business owners and vote on the best stand and best lemonade. Presenting sponsor Twin Star Credit Union is helping with the event and the South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity will supply mentors and materials for the build site.
Sierra Burton, Executive Director of the Lacey South Sound Chamber, says “the Chamber decided to be a part of this program in partnership with the EDC because we thought it would be a great project for our education committee, as well as a great way to invest in our youth. This is an opportunity to help prepare them to be a part of the business community. This is our first year so we decided to pilot it on a small level, but we hope in the future this event will really grow!”
“By bringing Lemonade Days to Thurston County it is our hope to promote the entrepreneurial spirit with our future’s business leaders—today’s youth,” adds EDC Executive Director, Michael Cade. “This program is something that we’ve been hoping to bring to the Thurston region for quite some time now and through a relationship and partnership with the Lacey South Sound Chamber, we’ve finally been able to do so.”
Though kids learn the ins and outs of budgeting, banking, and other financial necessities, Paxson stresses they’re not responsible for providing actual money. She and her team act as the bank but the entire experience is free for the participants.
Lemonade stands aren’t as prevalent as they once were, so having the opportunity to research, design, build, and staff one at a bustling community festival insures a thirsty captive audience. Come enjoy the literal fruits of their labor and perhaps shake hands with the next entrepreneur.
The 20th annual Children’s Day takes place on Saturday, October 1 from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. in Lacey’s Huntamer Park. Anyone interested in donating to the project can contact Holly Paxson at [email protected] or call 360-491-3860, extension 2214.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Come help Lemonade Day foster budding entrepreneurs conquer the wide world of entrepreneurship.