Eight-year-old Campbell Rogoff got the idea while playing with a 5-year-old neighbor in the Rogoff’s pool: “We could call this Camp Campbell”. She talked with her friend Lily Rae, also 8, about making Camp Campbell official.
“We thought it would be great that kids can get out, and be with other kids,” said Campbell. Their day camp would have a variety of activities and charge a reasonable camp fee.
Lily Rae suggested a business model: they needed a ‘trial’ day to see if the idea would fly. When four kids came on the trial day and “everyone loved it,” the girls knew they had a winning model. When Camp Campbell officially opened on a Wednesday, they had nine campers ages 4-6 years old. By the second camp day on Friday, nine new and returning campers showed up.
Campbell’s parents knew just how successful their daughter’s idea was when they got a call from someone they didn’t even know.
“A mother had heard ‘Camp Campbell’ was open and wanted to know how to enroll her child!” recalls Campbell’s father Brett.
“Miss Campbell” and “Miss Lily Rae,” as their nametags identified them, provided lots of activities besides swimming in the pool. The campers enjoyed making and playing with water balloons, ‘slime,’ and bubble mix, as well as—the favorite—whacking a pinata. Along with the fun they were also taught important pool safety rules, such as staying in the shallow end of a pool if you haven’t yet learned to swim.
Camp Campbell raised $100 in camp fees. Campbell discussed it with her family and decided to donate the money to Prevention 1st, of which Brett Rogoff is a Board member. The Rogoffs have added their own donation to this, introducing the girls to another model: the matching gift.
It may be possible to be too successful. One mom reported her son had begged: “Let’s go to Camp Campbell every day!”
Every day might be a bit too much work. But Campbell and Lily Rae do plan to bring back Camp Campbell later this summer. After all, the demand is there. And they’ve got a winning model.