FRIENDS Health & Nutrition Day Camp

FRIENDS Health and Nutrition Day Camp is a one week camp for children to increase their knowledge and awareness of healthy eating, physical fitness and 4-H participation.

Michigan State University Extension’sFRIENDS campers FRIENDS Health and Nutrition Day Camp will provide children ages 7 through 11 in Branch County with the knowledge and awareness of healthy eating, physical fitness and 4-H participation. With increasing obesity and diabetes rates in children, through education MSU Extension hopes to help slow this growing problem.

FRIENDS campers will develop a healthy and active lifestyle to diminish the chances of developing obesity and diabetes. Statistics show that Type 2 diabetes and obesity is on the rise. Healthy eating and physical exercise leads to healthy lifestyles, which reduces the risk of developing diabetes. FRIENDS’ campers will make a healthy snack every day to show how they can substitute 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.

Youth counselors (ages 15 and older) will gain leadership and mentoring opportunities. In the spring youth counselors will meet as an advisory group to help plan, coordinate and evaluate camp activities. Prior to camp, a one day counselor orientation will be held. Agenda items include an ice-breaker, team building activities, review of the camp schedule and review of the 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.

Counselors are responsible for leading the games and some of the craft sessions, as well as the overall guidance of campers. Counselors will be given nutrition information to use to re-teach to their campers throughout the week.

Teen counselors will truly be the key success of the camp. The interaction between campers and counselors is vital, as they will be role models. In the older age groups, mentoring time will be built into the schedule so youth counselors can experience a type of counselor role, in hopes they will return as counselors in the future.

Campers with limited income will be able to financially attend camp with low or no registration fees. The 4-H Foundation will sponsor children who cannot afford camp. The 2013 camp schedule lists the activities campers will engage in during the week, such as Be Safe, 4-H awareness, nutrition and physical activities (taught by MSU Extension health and nutrition and children and youth staff and various volunteers from the Branch County area) and more.

Three key factors determine the evaluation of the camps success:

  1. Parents from previous year’s campers will be asked to evaluate their child’s changes and impacts throughout the year.
  2. Gaging children who are excited about camp, talking to other children about what they learned at camp and wanting to return to camp.
  3. Parents will also be asked to participate in certain activities, and information will be sent home as follow-up.

If you’re interested in learning more about the FRIENDS Health and Nutrition Day Camp call the Branch County office at 517-279-4311.

Related Articles