Home > Fitness, Kids Health > Summer Camps Offer Play With a Purpose

Summer Camps Offer Play With a Purpose

Meridan Zerner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, Cooper Clinic registered dietitian makes learning about nutrition fun at camp.

Summer is in full swing and our phones haven’t stopped ringing from parents hoping our Summer Fit & Fun Camp is the perfect day-camp for their child. Parents typically call for a camp that will keep their kids away from video games and TV. Cooper Fitness Center Assistant General Manager Meredith Rosson says parents ask what sets our camps apart from other camps and she loves having the opportunity to tell them.

1. Our philosophy is to keep kids active all day with exposure to various sports. Our Kids Camp and Youth Camp are the sample platters on our camp menu. In these day-camps children in both age groups will try new sports like lacrosse, field hockey, tennis, volleyball, disc golf and handball. This helps kids who might not excel in traditional sports like basketball or soccer, find something they feel comfortable with.

2. We provide a safe and encouraging environment within our day-camps for children to try these new activities. On the first day of camp our counselors emphasize how important it is to try new sports and how imperative it is to encourage one another. Children’s sports become so competitive at such a young age now, our camps provide a less competitive and more encouraging atmosphere to just have fun playing, not competing.

3. It’s not just sports–it’s games too! Some of our non-traditional games like Pilo polo, Last Man Standing, Nukem, and relay races are camp favorites. These games are great for the kids to share in their neighborhoods or recess with friends. They also works on the basic motor development skills children need to transfer to future athletic endeavors.

4. Our Counselors. Our Counselors go through three rounds of interviews and a background check to make sure they are just the right fit for our camp. We look for individuals that show a passion for uplifting children in a complete wellness manner. We maintain a 10:1 ratio of kids to Counselors and we also have Junior Counselors assisting. We ensure your children are safe and surrounded by individuals that want to be good influences in your child’s life.

5. Nutrition and fitness is made fun. We have experts in certain fitness and nutrition areas to complete the wellness picture in a kid-friendly 30-minute lesson. One of our popular lessons is led by Meridan Zerner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, Registered Dietitian at Cooper Clinic. She provides lessons that cover topics, like learning to “eat the rainbow” or what foods make you “leaner, stronger, faster, smarter.”

Another popular activity is the Friday Orienteering Scavenger Hunt with Shannon Edwards, Director of IGNITE! at Cooper Fitness Center. Shannon has always loved adventure and with the creation of his orienteering programs for kids, our campers have loved their Friday scavenger hunt. For the thrill of the hunt, they don’t mind running around our 30-acre campus to lead their team to victory.

6. Every day is different! I often hear from parents that their child got bored at other camps because every day was the same. We do our best to ensure that doesn’t happen. During our Counselor training we take several hours to plan out the entire summer and ensure that we make each day different.

7. Tailor it to your needs! Our sport specific camps like Soccer Camp, Tennis Camp, Basketball Camp and Dance Camps are weeklong camps that last one to two hours per day. If you are looking for a day-camp, you can pair a sport camp with our day-camps. We will ensure your child is at the right place and right time for each activity. This allows a heavier focus on their technical skills in a specific sport, which are coached by one of our Sports Pros, while also enjoying the remainder of their day at Youth Camp or Kids Camp.

8. It is affordable. Comparable to most YMCA camps, our day camps provide a “play with a purpose” philosophy without the high price of many sport and wellness programs. This allows parents to be able to sign their children up for multiple weeks at our day-camps without breaking the bank.

Most importantly we have fun! Summer is a time for kids to be kids and we want them to enjoy their summer break with fond memories of summer camp. For more information visit our website.

  1. Mary Jane Gitter
    July 24, 2013 at 11:59 am

    What a wonderful “smorgasbord” of youth activities you’ve put together once again Meredith Rosson!!!

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