NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A local camp focuses on mentoring and empowering middle school girls so they can get a leg up in life.

In this case, it concerns sixth to ninth graders. A free three-day camp is set up over the summer, once in Hartford in July and in New Haven in August. Campers are introduced to various marketing and business concepts which they may not have had any exposure to.

This will be the fifth year of Camp Erio Marketing and Business Academy. Founder Erica Palmer said they are trying to revamp some things and get some new guest speakers. They also officially have their nonprofit status now.

At the camp, they talk about all things marketing and business, and then the girls break out into smaller groups and work on some hands-on case studies. They also do Zumba and all sorts of fun activities.

“We had a handful of girls who have come all four years, which was really cool and a couple of them are coming back to volunteer, they have all come back and they’re always looking for other ways to support,” Palmer said. “Since then, I do know of a couple girls who have started their own businesses and I was talking to one the other day, she just had her 100th sale on Etsy.”

Palmer coaches middle school lacrosse and she always listens to the players talking and strategizing about social media engagement, which they think of in terms of the number of likes they will get. She said it is really a bigger picture of strong marketing concepts that marketers talk about everyday.

“I think watching them grow from day one to day three is just so inspiring, watching them find their voice and learn and repeat back to us concepts, it’s just amazing,” Palmer said.

Palmer said they would love to keep their roots in Connecticut but continue to grow and expand to other states.

To learn more about Camp Erio Marketing and Business Academy and how to register, click here.