Lemonade Stand, 2013

The cookies have been made. The stand has been repainted. The signs are all freshly drawn…

The Lemonade Stand is back!

If you haven’t read the story yet of the beginnings of this particular entrepreneurial endeavor headed up by our oldest son, it’s one of my favorite posts. (Even just for the photos, actually, but also the story is really great!)

Go ahead. I’ll wait.

The Lemonade Stand

Pretty great, huh? It’s so fun seeing a project like that take shape, and even more fun when it’s becomes a reality. And let me tell you, it was a huge success last year, too! The kids all made plenty of money and had a great, great time doing it.

(You wouldn’t necessarily think a lemonade stand could be “lucrative”, but due to many factors—cuteness of these Tinies definitely near the top of that list—the Lemonade Stand will probably be a regular, annual ordeal here at the Campbell home.)

There are a few changes this year. Many of them are intentional, some of them are just the way life goes—it changes! All of them are good learning experiences for our fourteen-year-old Big Thinker.


First among the differences (that matter) is Ian’s desire to leverage this high yield income opportunity to not only his own advantage—paying for his hockey this year, and some equipment—he also wanted to be generous with his Lemonade bounty.

After reading the book Do Hard Things, Ian decided he wanted to purchase one thousand custom rubber bracelets and sell them for a dollar, giving half of the sales to a charity. He considered a few options (among them Mercury One, a charity group that assists in disaster relief, begun by Glenn Beck, whom is at least a partial inspiration to Ian for this Lemonade Stand business) and eventually landed on supporting a family he knows who does mission work with people in Africa.

I just love watching Ian formulate these ideas and carry them out. Yes, he’ll hopefully gain more money that he can use towards things he wants to do, but at the same time, he’s using his creativity, energy and time (and money) to help other people, too. That is great!

When originally researching to whom he’d donate the charitable funds, Ian first was honing in on water projects in Africa, specifically Uganda. This gave him the idea to create a little lemonade-related slogan for his yellow bracelets:

Lemonade < Water | Water = Life

If you know Ian well, first you know he’s creative, and so it makes sense he’d come up with something cleverly creative, but, you’d also know that he is not a fan of math. So the fact that his bracelets sport a mathematically-themed “equation” … well, you see the humor there, I’m sure. 🙂

Lemonade < Water, Water = Life Bracelets for Charity


The other big difference (that doesn’t matter, too much?) is the location.

One of Ian's cute helpers!Last year the Stand was located right on the corner of Temple Road and Route 21. It’s the place where anyone in town for the Hill Cumorah Pageant would turn to visit the other Mormon historical sites in our town. So plenty of traffic, slowing to turn, saw cute kids peddling lemonade (on very hot, sunny days!) and would stop at the corner—where there was ample parking space, too—and purchase a little (or a lot of) lemonade. And cookies. And brownies. 🙂

This year the Lemonade Stand will be right on Main Street, just east of Route 21. The “Four Churches Corner”, as it is sometimes called here1.

There is still plenty of traffic on Main Street, so it shouldn’t “hurt business” all that much, but it will be interesting to see the difference it might make.

In an effort to compensate, Ian made, printed, and posted flyers and posters (and large signs, too) at various business and key locations around Palmyra.

Business Planning

The other neat piece of this whole thing is watching Ian learn about running a business. He’s been working for a few months on calculating his costs, and projecting sales and profits. Factors include not only the Cost of Goods Sold (ingredients, the bracelets, etc) but also paying his “workers” (also known as siblings…) and even advertising costs, being mostly those posters and flyers.

He’s got it down to a science. Or, more accurately, a business.

I really feel like this is one of the strengths of home schooling: real-world, experiential learning.

Now, it’s summer time, and it’s not necessary that one be home schooled in order to plan and execute such an endeavor. But, the general enviornment that home educating fosters is one of practical, real-world learning, used in real-life applications. Again, not exclusively, but it sure does flow naturally (methinks) from the daily thought processes around these parts.

Hours of Operation

three-kids-signsLast year Ian and Company split the days with friends of ours, each taking four-hour shifts. This year, those friends are participating in the Pageant, and so will not be participating in the Lemonade Stand.

Thinking about what hours worked best last year, and probably not wanting to do full eight-hour days in the sun, Ian has chosen to run his Lemonade Stand from 10:00am to 6:00pm every remaining day this week, including Saturday.

So if you’d like to support a young entrepreneur, as well as a family who does mission work in Tanzania—through the purchase of a bracelet, or several—come on out this week to Palmyra. The cookies are delicious, the lemonade will quench your thirst on these very hot days of summer…

And you’ll smile at the good going on all around.

When life gives you lemons, just enjoy the lemonade!

  1. According to a Palmyra, NY Website: “The four corner churches include the First Methodist Church on the northeast corner, the First Baptist Church on the southwest corner, the Palmyra Zion Episcopal Church on the southeast corner, and the Western Presbyterian Church on the northwestern corner.

    The four corner churches are located on the corners of Main Street and Canandaigua Road right in the center of Palmyra, New York.” Note: It’s not Canandaigua Road, it’s Canandaigua Street… for what it’s worth.

Modern Parallels In 50-Year-Old Novel

Altas Shrugged by Ayn RandI am currently reading a book from the 1950s called “Atlas Shrugged”. It’s a novel about government and business, and the various interactions between regulations and “the public good” versus free market (and individual freedom), capitalism and profits and such. It’s quite intriguing on many levels (also very long!)

I had heard Ayn Rand’s name mentioned a time or two—it’s quite a memorable name—but I actually decided to read her novel based on seeing that a friend on Facebook had “liked” a group titled, “Plugging the Gulf oil leak with the works of Ayn Rand.” (Really? That’s really worth “liking”?)

Sufficiently intrigued, I looked up some information on Rand, and discovered her most notable—and controversial—title was the fictional story, Atlas Shrugged. I borrowed a copy from the library and have been reading it over the past several weeks. (I got the audio book as that is my favorite way to “read” fiction…)

As I was listening yesterday, these paragraphs stuck out to me as amazingly parallel to current events:

They had not heard the text of directive #10-289, but they knew what it would contain. They had known it for a long time. In that special manner which consisted of keeping secrets from oneself and leaving knowledge untranslated into words. And, by the same method, they now wished it was possible for them not to hear the words of the directive. It was to avoid moments such as this that all the complex twistings of their minds had been devised.

They wished the directive to go into effect. They wished it could be put into effect without words, so that they would not have to know that what they were doing was what it was.

Nobody had ever announced that directive #10-289 was the final goal of his efforts, yet for generations past men had worked to make it possible, and for months past every provision of it had been prepared for by countless speeches, articles, sermons, editorials; by purposeful voices that screamed with anger if anyone named their purpose.

Replace “directive #10-289” with the health care bill, and remember things spoken by our politicians like: “…we have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what is in it,” or, “…read the bill… What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?”

Fascinating. And I do believe it’s true that for many generations we have systematically removed God from the foundation of our country and our lives, and then the family—the one main social structure of our society—began to crumble. And add to that the various social agendas of the various political groups… yuck.

I know that Atlas Shrugged is just fiction, but those paragraphs just jumped out at me. Food for thought, and perhaps discussion.

(See ya in the comments…)