Weight a Minute, You Don't Do Weigh-ins?
Updated: May 19
This has to be one of the most common questions I hear from inquiring parents about camp. How is it possible that we are capable of helping kids lose weight without utilizing a scale? There's a couple reasons why we stay away from this common practice:
Imagine you're a camper arriving to camp for the first time. This may be your first time away from home or your parents for an extended period of time. These kids are entering an environment in which they may know very few people or know nobody at all. Does it make sense to subject kids to a situation in which they have their weights taken in front of a group of people they don't know or having these adults take measurements of their stomach? Then there's the added pressure of other kids asking what the number was to compare. This is a situation that nobody wants to be in where they are pressured to share personal information. When you think about it existentially, it's a pretty crazy proposal. A child committing to camp is a big deal and requires a great deal of bravery and independence to agree to take the big step of being away from home for the first time. There's absolutely no need to put additional stress on campers at that time.
It puts the idea into the camper's mind that their success is based solely on a number on the scale. Success and growth at camp comes in many forms and it would be irresponsible to make that success solely about the scale. Campers come into camp with many different starting points and different levels of motivation. No two campers will have the same success story.
We want our campers to be able to connect the dots between how they fuel their bodies and how they feel. Someone starving themselves to achieve a certain weight may achieve a desired number on the scale but will feel weak and incapable in physical practice. So we want to position our food choices as the fuel our campers choose to be able to extract the most potential out of their bodies.
Weight loss is seldom a linear progression and will rarely happen in a perfect pattern over 2, 4, or 6 weeks. The idea that we celebrate each week's weight loss as an indication of how hard somebody worked in a particular week is not only crazy but extremely disingenuous to the camper. Some weeks somebody may lose more than a previous week, but our success is not based on quick results. We're setting up our campers to have the skills and tools to live an active and healthy lifestyle long after they have left our campus grounds.
We do have a scale in our office that provides campers the ability to come and go as they please if they are interested to see how much weight they have lost. This location of the scale not only offers privacy but it is also done at the kids discretion, which is yet another piece of our puzzle in getting our kids to take an ownership stake in their health and wellness.
Just like the traditional weight loss camp practice of getting kids into bathing suits to take before and after pictures (WHICH WE ALSO DON'T DO), doing weekly weigh-ins as a sign of progress is as relevant as a 4K VHS player. We are not at traditional a weight loss camp, heck we're not solely a weight loss camp. Just like our previous post (Camp New Heights Ranked as the Number One Weight Loss Camp for Kids and Teens by fitstays.com) explained, we are not a weight loss camp, we are a fitness and nutrition camp that is designed to help kids of all abilities and weights. This is evidenced by our offerings in our beginner, intermediate, and advanced programs.
Camp New Heights refuses to be boxed in by the idea of being just a weight loss camp. All of our campers come to camp with different goals and objectives and we're here to help them achieve these goals. Whether it's weight loss, boosting self-confidence, or athletic performance, we're happy to help our campers achieve their goals and set them up for success after they return home from camp.