The Summer Camp That Will Teach Your Kids to Be Empathic Entrepreneurs

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Got a budding mogul in the house? Looking for an alternative to traditional day camp this summer? Think your kid could use a little work in the empathy department? (Couldn’t we all?) Then check out NORY, the summer camp option that not only includes combo offerings like swimming and STEM and soccer and STEM, but also offers a mini entrepreneur boot camp that teaches kids the building blocks of starting a business. (Plus: all camps have a sly, Stanford-approved empathy component!)

photo: NORY

NORY 2.0
We covered NORY back in 2016 when it launched as a marketplace for fun and unique kids’ classes in the New York City area. Co-founders Peter Seo and Matthew Trainor started the business with goal of fostering the key skills they hoped to develop in their own children: resilience, inquisitiveness, and empathy.

Ultimately, the pair found the best way to do that was to develop their own content/curriculum, and NORY “pivoted” to become its own provider of after-school programming. (Seo and Trainor hit the books to do research and consulted with early childhood educators to do so.)

In 2017, NORY provided pre-K STEM after school programming at downtown’s Pine Street School, and along with that, launched a series of summer camp offerings: swim & STEM, soccer & STEM, Robots & science, and an Entrepreneur camp. Response was positive, to say the least: Seo says they expected perhaps 15 kids a day, and by the end of the summer, camp enrollment was near 100.

Back for Summer 2018
NORY summer camp is back with new new locations, new projects, new themes, and new technology. Locations include Midtown East, Downtown, and the Upper West side, with camps for kids ages 3 to 12. Swim & STEM and Soccer & STEM camps split the day between the camp’s physical activity and fun STEM projects, while Robots and Science spends the day exploring a different concept throughout the week. (Those kids also get to play.)

photo: NORY

Building a Little Business
Nory’s boot camp for little entrepreneurs sound both fun and truly instructive. Kids ages 5 to 10 spend the week launching a business from soup to nuts. Typically, it’s a lemonade stand, although one week, market research dictated the product be banana pudding.

“We try to make the process as similar to the launch of a product as possible,” says Seo. Campers do market research (interviewing people in a real life setting with prepared questions); do A/B testing to get actual feedback on the product; develop a marketing plan and name based on the target audience, and learn the basics of HR and finance, with consideration of profit and loss, cost of materials, etc. The grand finale, of course, is setting up the lemonade (or banana pudding) stand and cashing in.

And Building Some Empathy
NORY’s not only developing muscles and intellect, it’s working to increase kids’ emotional intelligence as well. The company has partnered with Loopkin, which develops kids’ activities based on a process called “Design Thinking”, which is used by global companies (Apple, Google, etc.) and MBA programs (Stanford) to provide creative problem solving solutions. 

Don’t worry, your child isn’t being groomed for business school or Silicon Valley (at least in a boring way); Loopkin fosters teamwork and collaboration, problem-solving, expressing ideas, and shows kids that a., failing can be fun, and b., isn’t really that big of al deal.


NORY camps run all summer long, with single week entrepreneur camps running in July and August. Rates start at $700 and lunch is included.


What’s your kid doing this summer? Tell us in the comments! 

—Mimi O’Connor


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