Cooperative businesses are one of the cornerstones of the rural Alberta economy. They are vital to the farming community in such diverse roles as the marketing of farm products, suppliers of fuel and feed, insurance providers, farm equipment dealers, and electricity distributers. While the rural and farming communities utilize coops in their day to day operations, it should be remembered that these institutions provide more than goods and services. They are also a source of rural opportunity.

Careers in cooperative businesses are as varied as the businesses themselves. Tradespeople, retail staff, office administrators, managers, IT technicians, accountants and many others are employed by local, rural cooperatives. Another opportunity, often overlooked, is that members are eligible for nomination to their cooperative’s Board of Directors. Basic knowledge of the coop business model is an asset to youth seeking a career or a directorship with a cooperative business.

Battle River Power Coop contributes to coop literacy through sponsorship to the Alberta Community and Co-operative Association’s Youth Leadership Program. In a summer camp setting that includes plenty of outdoor activities, youth are guided through hands-on experiences that teach what cooperative businesses are and how they operate.

Participants develop life skills like public speaking and problem solving while enjoying new and renewed friendships. They engage in sports, swim, canoe and work on projects that lead to the startup and management of a cooperative business. They develop tools that are useful on personal, scholastic and community levels. Alumni of the program often return in following summers.

If you, as a member of Battle River Power Coop, have a child who would enjoy a summer camp experience with a cooperative difference, this sponsorship opportunity is for you. Download the application and submit it to the office no later than May 8, 2020.