Hosting summer camps may be a great way for your clubs to counteract childhood obesity in their respective communities. The Claremont Club in Claremont, Calif. offers a range of summer camp programs for children ages 3-17. “Our basic goal is to keep the kids moving all day long,” said Cathleen Garner, the childcare director at the Claremont Club. In addition to offering activity-based programs such as Zumba and swimming to kids, the Claremont Club offers wellness-based classes and nutrition seminars. “We see great, positive results,” said Garner.
The Claremont Club’s “Total Fitness Camp,” for children ages 9-14, encompasses children of all sizes. However, 130 scholarships are given out each summer to children struggling with their weight. “Offering as many children’s programs as possible is important,” said Garner. “I think all clubs should be doing something.”
Overall, Claremont caters to 2,500-3,000 children each summer, offering them 15 separate summer camps to choose from, ranging in activities from volleyball, tennis and basketball — all in the hopes of getting kids moving. “All our programs are movement based,” explained Garner.
Summer camps are a great way for clubs to actively participate in fighting childhood obesity by instilling fit and healthy values into children at a young age. “We’ve had kids that started coming to our summer camp at the age of 3 and now they’re 13,” said Garner. “We have a wonderful program.”
Garner hopes to foster strong self-esteem in all camp participants. “Children develop strong self-esteem, self-confidence [and] social independence,” during Claremont’s summer camps, she said. According to Garner, along with fostering self-confidence, summer camps also provide children with a way to un-plug from technology and foster creativity.
“Camp provides equipment, exposure to different activities and facilities to discover and develop what they like to do,” said Garner. “Camp expands every child’s abilities.”
By Rachel Zabonick