Lacrosse and surfing, two sports typically not associated with one another. But they happen to be favorites of Babson lacrosse player Charlotte O’Halloran ’18. “My senior year in high school, my coach and I joked about this million-dollar idea of starting a lacrosse and surfing camp,” she says.
After experiencing FME last year, the idea didn’t seem so crazy to O’Halloran anymore. She decided to bring such a summer camp to Newport County, Rhode Island, where she had attended St. George’s School in Middletown. Her high school alma mater would be the perfect location, thought O’Halloran, with a playing field for lacrosse and easy access to surfing via a campus situated next to a popular beach.
Thinking about her target audience, O’Halloran felt confident that a market existed, and she knew she wouldn’t face any competition. “That motivated me,” she says. “There was this unique opportunity that, if planned right, could be successful. I used a lot of my FME practices when creating this business.”
O’Halloran developed a business plan, made an income statement, and contacted her high school coach to see if she could assist (she wasn’t available). After taking care of both land and water insurance, obtaining multiple permits, and gaining approval at town council, O’Halloran was on her way to realizing the camp she named Chicks that Rip.
Yet more challenges awaited her. Finding the right price point for the camp, convincing St. George’s to open its campus to her business, and hiring staff were just a few. To market the camp, O’Halloran made fliers and delivered them to local gyms and schools. She also emailed every lacrosse club coach in Rhode Island and created a website and Facebook page.
Her drive and hard work paid off as 18 girls, ages 9 to 14, participated in the inaugural camp, and she broke even. Looking ahead to next summer, O’Halloran says there already is a lot of interest, so she probably will have to rework her operations as numbers grow. Even further down the road, she might add a boys component. “I can see staying around Newport for a while,” says O’Halloran. “It’s too picture perfect, playing lacrosse while overlooking the water and surfing in the afternoon. It just doesn’t get much better than that.—Scott Dietz, associate director of athletics