This summer, droves of school-age children will attend summer camp, where they will paddle canoes, play tennis and make crafts from paste and yarn. Others, will go to finance camp, where they will take excursions to a local bank or delve into budgeting and investing simulations. Rather than singing around the campfire, they will chant personal-finance mantras like these sung at Camp Millionaire in Santa Barbara, Calif.: "Financial freedom is your choice" and "Assets feed you, liabilities eat you."
In the past, business and finance camps attracted high-achieving high-school students. Now, with the country's uncertain economy, financial education is expanding to an unlikely audience -- younger kids, even grade-school students. They are also reaching out to those from diverse economic backgrounds. And the lessons are surprisingly sophisticated, teaching campers how to rebalance portfolios, invest in real estate and use credit cards without getting dinged on fees.