Camp Enterprise Winning Team

Posted by on Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 in Blog

Reported by Jacqueline Sinex

President Dale Lowe called the meeting to order. Rich Fikani led pledges, Jim Bryce gave the invocation, and Phil Owens led the Four-Way Test. Guests and Visitors were greeted by Griffon Ramsey and Vera Keric; and our Hosts were Karen Collins and Myron Burse.

New member Richard Shannon was introduced to the club and presented with his red badge. Kimberly Gdula and Phil Owens earned their blue badges. Congratulations to Richard, Kimberly and Phil!

Past President Harold Ingersoll announced the Stop Hunger Now event taking place on Saturday, February 18th and called for volunteers.

Adam Borger announced the Global Grant Committee’s success in facilitating a candidate for a global grant. They were recently notified that our Club’s sponsored candidate, Loren Hamilton, was awarded a grant of $30,000 for her continued education. She is part of a select group of chosen participants around the world. The committee worked hard to locate candidates and help connect and guide them through the process to interview and apply for this prestigious grant.

Mary Reynolds gave an update on the status of school closures. One of our supported schools, Pecan Springs Elementary, will not be closed by AISD, but Dawson Elementary is still in danger. Our support and concern must be voiced to Austin ISD to prevent this from happening! If Dawson is closed, the students will be consolidated with another school and the consequences could negatively impact hundreds of students. Our Early Act First Knight program is currently engaged with Dawson Elementary.

Jim Bryce reminded the club about a red badge orientation meeting to help engage new members and answer questions.

President Lowe announced upcoming opportunities for fellowship including this Thursday’s “Thirsty Thursday” and a wine tasting hosted on Friday, February 10th by President Elect Sara Pantin. He also provided health updates on several of our members.

Next, President Lowe introduced members Leslie Bagby and Tillery Castillo to begin the program about Camp Enterprise (CE). Leslie and Tillery were the CE Co-Chairs and were essential in the management of this year’s camp.

During the 2017 camp that took place last weekend, we hosted 124 students – a substantial growth from previous years. The high school juniors were tasked with learning about the free enterprise system, working on a business strategy, and creating a product or service. The students were strangers at the start of the camp and were put into groups to work on their project concepts and presentations. At the end of the camp weekend, the groups presented their projects and a winning team was chosen.

The students from the winning team stood to present their business concept, Smart Soil. Their goal was to help farmers with crop failure issues by providing a more efficient way of measuring and improving soil conditions.

Smart Soil consists of a physical product: a stake that is solar powered and able to be installed directly into the soil, and an online database with valuable data about soil conditions. Each student presented a benefit or element of the product. The online database would require an annual subscription of $100 per year, while the product sales of the stakes provided another revenue stream.

The students proposed that they would spend the first year on research and development to properly manufacture and structure their service and would launch a free trial program to 10,000 farms. During this time, they would also prepare the online data portion.

Because of the vast number of commercial farmers, there is a significant need and path for growth.

While other soil analysis products exist on the market, the team identified that they were inefficient for farmers to gather on-site, quick data and react to issues promptly. Many of the products required a mail-in kit and waiting days or weeks for results. By improving the efficiency of analyzing soil conditions, farmers could harbor better crop growth, eventually leading to better crop accessibility to consumers.

The students in the winning team attended many different high schools. When asked what they learned, they cited the ability to work as a team, the ability to take constructive criticism, the effects of research and development on outcomes, mind-over-matter, and how to stand out. By the end of the weekend, they all agreed that they had a unique bonding experience and will recommend Camp Enterprise to other students.

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