An array of emotions struck both campers and counselors as they watched the first flood of cars pull away from the Fitness Farm. Just like that, it was done. The 2012 Forever-Fit Summer Camp concluded in dramatic fashion, and the time came for campers to take responsibility for their own health. Although this is a difficult demand for a group of 8- to 12-year-old children, Forever-Fit staff are confident that the kids will resist their pre-camp tendencies and continue to maintain healthy behavioral patterns.
“I expect that they will continue to push themselves after camp, and I hope that they continue to incorporate small changes into their everyday life,” says Jessica Mullin, a two-year Forever-Fit counselor. “It’s a short amount of time to really cement lifestyle changes, but I think the camp exposed the kids to activities and healthy eating in a way that was fun and non-threatening.”
The children went on weekly field trips, engaged in countless water balloon fights, and spent many hours swimming, biking, and participating in numerous sporting events. However, for six consecutive weeks, campers also followed a strictly regulated program where they withstood tough physical training, adjusted their undesirable eating habits, and essentially surrendered all their unhealthy practices. Despite the difficulties that came with such demanding lifestyle transformations, the campers remained dedicated to the process and encouraged each other along the way.
“I’m going to miss everyone when I leave camp, especially the counselors,” camper Onivea Adams says. “They’re really fun, and they’re always nice to all of us… I think I’m going to come back next year because it was so fun to be with all of my friends.”
Participants can carry on the relationships they developed during camp by attending reunions at the Fitness Farm throughout the year, including a special Halloween event in October. Campers can also contact Forever-Fit staff for questions or support.
“[The kids] will always have continued support from Forever-Fit,” Mullin says.
Although this year’s camp has reached its end, the future of the Forever-Fit Camp looks promising as those in charge begin preparation for another successful summer. Come June, a fresh group of campers will experience life on the Fitness Farm. Despite only two full years of operation, Forever-Fit expectations remain high as staff members look to expand the reigns of their organization and impact the community on a much greater scale.
“I hope that the Forever-Fit Camp will continue to grow in the future and serve more children and families in Indianapolis and beyond,” Mullin says. “I would expect that the camp will search out innovative ways to reach its population and to be at the forefront to serve as a model for similar programs.”