Summer camps provide excellent opportunities for kids to learn, try new things, and make new friends and memories. Kamp K’aana is all of this and more – a weight-management summer program for kids that’s fun and can be a life-changing experience.
Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital are currently recruiting campers for summer sessions of Kamp K’aana.
Dr. William Wong, professor of pediatrics – nutrition at Baylor College of Medicine who developed the program, offers some insights into Kamp K’aana in this Q & A.
Why is Kamp K’aana important, and how does it help tackle the issue of childhood obesity?
Kamp K’aana is important because it offers obese children an opportunity to interact with their peers without any peer pressure.
Obese children are known to have low self-esteem. The summer camp program offers a nurturing environment and activities that promote confidence. We strongly believe that unless children can feel good about themselves, they are not going to have any motivation to achieve a healthy lifestyle that could last for a lifetime.
Describe a typical day at the camp.
Campers learn knowledge and skills to eat healthy, take part in physical activities, and have a lot of fun doing activities that they have never done before with their new friends.
How do the campers transform, physically and emotionally?
After the two-week camp, all campers lost weight, improved their self-esteem, and were very happy and excited to be able to enjoy their time with new friends.
What is the role of a parent of a camper?
The parents are given information on how to help their children achieve a healthy lifestyle at home after camp by replacing unhealthy foods with nutritious ones and to find time to enjoy an active lifestyle together.
What is the most surprising or unexpected thing you’ve seen at the camp?
None of the children felt that they could actually lose weight in two weeks. When they found out that they all lost weight, they were all very excited and proud of themselves.
All the parents were surprised to see how their children have transformed in just two weeks, particularly their improved self-esteem.
What do you see at the camp reunions? Are the campers still making progress?
The children were excited to see their friends at the reunions. Some campers continued to make progress. Some actually achieved normal weight and some have regressed.
This is to be expected, and the reunions helped to refresh the lessons that they learned at camp and how they can achieve a healthy lifestyle.
-By Dana Benson