Make a Commitment: Encouraging Wellness and Healthy Living at Camp

An alarming study purports that the current generation of children may have shorter life expectancies than their parents for the first time in over two centuries. The rapid rise in childhood obesity in America may shorten children’s lifespan by two to five years (Olshansky et al., 2005). Almost one-third of children between the ages of two and nineteen years are overweight and 17 percent of those are classified as obese. The number of obese children has DOUBLED since 1980! Some studies suggest that this rate has tripled or even quadrupled.

Current Challenges in Camp Food Service

Hesitation gave way to excitement as I unexpectedly grabbed the reigns of food service management, in the dripping, humid heat of a Texas summer camp season. Nine years had passed since I last served in this capacity at camp, but everything was coming back to me — the roar of kids laughing in the dining hall, the buzz of activity as cooks whirled by with fresh-baked yeast rolls, and the mouthwatering scent of fresh-baked chocolate chunk cookies! “Ahhhh,” I thought to myself, “the camp kitchen . . . this will be a breeze. I’ve GOT this!”

Can I Have Another Bowl of Cereal? Using the Summer Food Service Program at Your Camp

“Can I have another bowl of cereal?”

The shy boy was one that regularly asked for seconds at breakfast, and I suspected he didn’t eat dinner regularly at his house. He was a camper at my small YMCA day camp in Northeast Georgia. We struggle financially, as do our campers’ parents, and the fees we charge only cover staffing and program costs.