Branch County’s Friend’s Health & Nutrition Day Camp

The purpose of Friend’s Health and Nutrition Day camp is to provide a 5-day camp to children ages 7-11 in Branch County to increase their knowledge and awareness of healthy eating, physical fitness and 4-H participation.

The purpose of Michigan State University Extension’s Friend’s Health and Nutrition Day Camp is to provide a one week (5 day) Day Camp to children ages 7-11 in Branch County to increase their knowledge and awareness of healthy eating, physical fitness and 4-H participation. With the ever growing obesity and diabetes rates in children, we hope to help slow this growing problem through education.

Youth Counselors (15 and older) gain leadership and be given mentoring opportunities. Prior to camp a day long counselor orientation for counselors is held for all counselors. Agenda items include an icebreaker, team building activities, review of camp schedule and review of games that could be used during camp. A large part of the agenda will be devoted to a discussion of the counselor responsibilities such as being a role model, discipline techniques, using consequences and working through several scenarios that could take place at camp. The teen counselors are the key to the success of the camp. The interaction between campers and counselors is vital. Counselors are wonderful role models for the campers. In the older age groups, a mentoring time will be built into the schedule so they can experience a type of counselor role, in hopes they will return to be counselors in the future. Counselors are responsible for leading the games and some of the craft session, as well as overall guidance of the campers.

Campers are exposed to lessons that will help them to develop a healthy and active lifestyle to diminish the chances of developing obesity and diabetes. Statistics show that Type II diabetes and obesity is on the rise. Healthy eating, physical exercise leads to healthy lifestyle that reduces the risk of developing diabetes. Friend’s campers actually will make a healthy snack every day to show how they can substitute the high calorie, no nutritive value snacks. Camp will also have many opportunities for games and recreational time to teach campers new ways to enjoy fitness activities.

Campers with limited income will be financially able to attend camp due to low or no registration fees and the Branch County 4-H Foundation provides scholarships for children who cannot afford camp.

The 2017 camp is scheduled for July 24-28, 2017.  During the 2017 camp, campers will be participating in activities like Be Safe, 4-H awareness, nutrition and physical activities that are taught by the Health and Nutrition and Children and Youth Institute Staff and various volunteers from the Branch County area.

If you’re interested in being a camper or a volunteer counselor for Friend’s Health and Nutrition Day Camp you may register online or call the Branch County MSU Extension office at 517-279-4311.

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