Kids and teens who are overweight have benefitted immensely from time at fitness boot camps. As with other boot camps, these fitness camps might not be fun, but in the end, kids admit to having "a blast" as they take control of weight problems. These fitness boot camps are "never a joy ride," as one counselor admits, but kids learn to live through the pain in order to gain leverage.
While there are many summer camps that offer fitness as a byproduct of camp activities but specialty camps are different in that they hone in on exercise (especially cardio) and nutrition. While there is a "boot camp" mentality to some of these camps, they go well beyond discipline and exercise to teach children about diet and nutrition as well as specific exercise regimens that target weight loss as well as ongoing cardiovascular health. As with other kinds of boot camps, weight loss boot camps have progressively moved away from an outward discipline to a focus on attitudes and self-control, in recent years. This approach has been found to be much more successful in the long term.
These kinds of fitness boot camps (located popularly in Toronto and Ottawa) are difficult but they do work. As one counselor says: "We haven't had a single girl yet who didn't say the camp was the biggest challenge of her life." Campers agree, admitting that at first it was very tough but by summer's end they had achieved weight loss goals. (Many of these camps last all summer.)
Consult each of the camps in Toronto and Ottawa to learn about their program and how it helps children take control of their health and fitness.
Read a feature article from the 2010 issue of Our Kids Go to camp where we profiled the health benefits of fitness boot camps, showing how holistic education of children brings deeper change.
Above, we use the term "fitness boot camps," though not all camps listed here are necessarily comfortable calling themselves "boot camps." All of the kids camps listed on this page focus on weight loss and fitness for children and teens.