This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," May 30, 2005, that was edited for clarity.
STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: How's this sound for an investment, mom and dad? Send your kid to summer camp and the kid comes back the next Bill Gates. Do not laugh. They're called computer camps. And, this year, they are apparently all the rage.
Joining us now from Mountain View, California, is Pete Ingram-Cauchi, CEO of iD Tech Camps. Now, he started out with 270 campers. This year, he is expecting 12,000.
Pete, congratulations. Sounds like you have got a good business there.
PETE INGRAM-CAUCHI, CEO, ID TECH CAMPS: Thank you very much, Stuart. I appreciate it. And happy Memorial Day to you too.
VARNEY: And to you, too, sir.
I'm a financial kind of guy. It's the obvious question. How much does it cost to send my children to your camp?
So, I'm looking at $1,000 a week per child for your summer camp.
INGRAM-CAUCHI: That's correct.
VARNEY: Is that in the high-end range of the cost of camps these days? I take it, it is.
INGRAM-CAUCHI: You know, there was just an article in the USA Today last week. And some camps are even ranging up in the $1,500-per-week rake. So, I would say we're toward the high end, but certainly we're not the highest out there.
VARNEY: So, you get children in your camps aged from, what, 7 to 17 years old. I think that's the age spread there.
INGRAM-CAUCHI: That's correct, yes.
VARNEY: And you teach them all about computing. I mean, they sit in front of a screen all day at camp, right?
INGRAM-CAUCHI: Not exactly.
We like to paint the picture that it's really more like a traditional summer camp, but with a technology focus. So, we are on the computer for...
VARNEY: Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.
VARNEY: A traditional summer camp is all about fishing, hiking, campfires, s'mores, swimming in the lake, etcetera, etcetera. And this doesn't sound like the traditional camp to me.
INGRAM-CAUCHI: Well, we do have some of those elements, though. We do have swimming. We do have sports. But we have added a technology twist. So, the students are coming in, making video games, making digital videos, learning to program. And they are on the computer for a good amount of time during the week, an average of five to six hours per day.
VARNEY: Do you get the impression -- with some of the parents that you are dealing -- that they're pushing their children hard into a very specific activity, which is probably going to help them get into a good college and then get a good job? A lot of controlling parents you are dealing with, aren't there?
INGRAM-CAUCHI: You know, there certainly are some of those parents, but we tend to think that the students are making a lot of the choices here.
They're focusing in on their interests, and they want to do something fun during the summer. I mean, the camp should be fun. This is not anything like school. We have got an average of just six students per instructor. So, it's not supposed to look or feel like school. We want the students to have fun. But, certainly, you will get those parents who want to send their students to Stanford or UCLA or MIT and get a leg up. There's no doubt about it.
VARNEY: The trend in camp organization these days, I take it, is to have a specific activity and center camp life around that activity. It might be computing. It might be digital photography, acting, for example.
VARNEY: But they're all based upon an activity these days, right?
INGRAM-CAUCHI: I can't speak for every camp out there. But I can certainly tell you, you know, our program, certainly, we have a number of different specific tech focuses that we concentrate on. But I'm sure, if you would go and do a Google search, you will find, you know, science camps and, you know, camps specific to sports and surfing and whatnot. So, it just really depends on what you want to do.
VARNEY: Do you ever get the impression, as I do as a parent, that, these days, there's no such thing as free-range play? Everything has to be choreographed, organized, chauffeured, dictated. No such thing as just free-range play any longer. Do you ever get that impression?
INGRAM-CAUCHI: You know, I absolutely do.
And I think that it's important. I mean, one of the things that we have been really careful to do with our students is, again, we stress the fun. And when we take breaks, if they just want to have downtime and play chess under a tree or throw a Frisbee around, they're free to do that as well. We're not trying to be controlling. And I think that you really hit on something, which is burnout.
And you need to be careful. And we really try to strike the right balance during the week.
VARNEY: All right. You're doing a great business there.
Pete Ingram-Cauchi, thanks very much for joining us, sir.
INGRAM-CAUCHI: Thank you so much for having us. I appreciate it.
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