Jill Baxter runs a fitness camp for kids in Ottawa where kids learn nutrition, get active and gain through pain. As she says, these kinds of boot camps are definitely "not a joy ride," and kids learn that fitness requires work. Indeed, as one young camper has put it: "I was in tears almost every day at first... but I lost 29 pounds by the end of camp and had a blast doing it."
Fitness boot camps are tough, but they do work.
What fitness boot camps teach
Camps listed on this page apply a broad focus that goes well beyond exercise. These camps teach nutrition and put it into practice in meals and meal preparation. Camps take a holistic approach to dealing with weight issues, one that includes diet, proper nutrition, exercise and weight management and monitoring. As with boot camps of other kinds, the focus in recent years has shifted from outward discipline to ownership by the individual teen or child.
These camps also avoid the quick-fix-mentality and will often last throughout the summer to fully engage children in weight loss management and change habits. On a daily basis, lessons are learned and relearned on eating right and exercising. Far beyond an old school boot camp mentality, children gain knowledge and confidence to last a lifetime. As one counselor says, "Habits don't get changed in one week."
Above, we apply the phrase "fitness boot camps" a term broadly used to describe camps that focus on fitness (for both kids and adults). Not all camps listed here would necessarily call themselves "boot camps." However, all of these camps certainly do focus on weight loss and fitness for kids and teens.