Enterprise City in Dover NH
Last week I took a bunch of kids up to Enterprise City in Dover NH for a field trip – what a BLAST! This is “not your average field trip”! Enterprise City (previously called Exchange City) is an on-site location for kids to use the business skills they have developed over a 5-8 week period of time preceding the trip. The kids work with a very comprehensive curriculum developed by the Enterprise City staff in order to prepare for “THEIR DAY”!
Here’s some of the many things our group of 52 kids (ages 5th-12th grade) learned before going to Enterprise City:
- Check writing and Register balancing
- SIP Test (skills and interest profile test), Resume writing, job applications, and job interviewing,
- How to write a speech (if applying for the position of Mayor or Judge)
- What it means to be a “citizen”.
- What basics the following “general” jobs do: Managers/Owners, Accountants, Production Designers, Sales and Marketing
- Business planning, including possible products to sell and the marketing of the business and the products
- Personal budgeting
- Team work
While at Enterprise City the students take on the roles of employers, employees, government officials, consumers and citizens. They work in a variety of businesses, organizations and government agencies.
Our group of kids from Pelham NH participated with many other home schooled students from MA, NH, and ME who have (in many cases) never met one another, so our day “ran” a little longer (9-3) than the average school field trip. While we were there we had 12 businesses and offices open, including: the City Hall, Bank, Distribution Center, Snack Shop, Sign Shop, Newspaper, Broadcast Center, Nature Shop, Post Office, Sports Shop, Technology Shop, and Multi-Service Center.
During our day at Enterprise City, the kids planned together about their business, got two paychecks, worked at their jobs, and had 2 breaks, including lunch (which were their only opportunities to go out and spend their money). Certainly everyone KNEW that the goal of the day was to do enough business in order to pay off their business loan, but it wasn’t until the kids took their second break that it really “sank in” that the money they earned while at Enterprise City would NOT be leaving and that the more money they spent, the more each business could pay off their loans.
I love this kind of activity! Although we had a LOT of preparation, the kids learned so much more with all the hands-on experience! If you have any chance to influence your school system regarding a meaningful field trip, a trip to Enterprise City is a must, it is ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT! The staff is great, the curriculum is excellent, and the experience they kids take away is HUGE!
Contact Enterprise City today for more information! Alternately, if you can gather a group of kids of 40 or more, you can also reserve your day!
Here is a picture of the City Hall workers whom I supervised, we had (from left to right): City Attorney, Policewoman, Environmental Officer, Judge, Mayor, and City Manager (Accountant).