May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! Camp experiences are great ways for campers (and you!) to stay active in the summer.
Did you know?
- According to a recent study by ACA, over 80 percent of all camps have campers engage in physical activity levels greater than the CDC-recommended hour per day .
- Free, unstructured play time is great for getting kids moving while developing critical social and problem-solving skills.
- Helping campers find fun ways to engage in physical activity is more important than ever. According to the CDC , obesity rates among children remain high (approximately 17 percent of children ages two to nineteen are considered obese).
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Summer To Do List:
- Intentionally emphasize physical activity each day by programming a free-time active hour as well as a rest hour.
- Encourage campers to walk around the world, across the state, or to some destination by using pedometers and having campers convert the steps to miles. Walking teams or walking buddies can be encouraged at camp. Note: Pedometers may need to be purchased but are relatively low cost — or perhaps these devices could be donated.
- Try new activities at camp (e.g., pickle ball — which NBC Nightly News  calls the fastest-growing sport in America — geocaching , etc.) that will be fun and get people moving. Campers may be able to continue these activities at home.
- Get campers involved in a road race or community walk. Themed races can be especially fun.
- Do not emphasize winning or being the best. Always focus on making physical activities FUN.
Reference: Henderson, K. and Saltmarsh, A. (2012). Make a commitment: Encouraging wellness and healthy living at camp. Camping Magazine, 85(2). Retrieved from www.ACAcamps.org/campmag/1203/make-commitment 
Photo courtesy of Kingswood Camp for Boys, Piermont, New Hampshire