By Eliza Short, Communications Coordinator for JIA
Camp Wabi is a camp for kids ages 10-14 who struggle with obesity. Mayo Clinic and the YMCA have collaborated to create this fun summer experience, with the goal of helping kids develop healthy lifestyle habits. The focus is shifted away from weight loss to living a healthy life. The kids are able to work on creating new habits, which results in overall improved health and reduction in weight.
Camp counselors from the YMCA provide the summer camp experience, while a team of specialists from Mayo Clinic stay on-site and provide expertise in all aspects of weight management including nutrition, behavior therapy, psychology, pediatric medicine and exercise physiology.
Danielle Jacobs, MSW, LCSW, is a Therapist at Krohn Clinic in Black River Falls. She commented on the experience she and her son had with Camp Wabi, as shown below.
My Personal Experience
"I share this opportunity with confidence because we sent our son this past summer. It made a huge impact on our son and our entire family. What we learned drastically changed many things for our family. Our son is very active-but overweight. His weight concerned us as did his self-esteem, being bullied, and all he hurts of being an overweight child. He was becoming anxious and depressed. We felt like we had been mindful of providing a healthy environment for our kids, we are good parents. We have worked hard to eat healthy and live a balanced life. In spite of that, we knew we as a family could benefit from this experience. The program acknowledges that the long term success of campers is reliant on the support of those around them. Therefore parents attend parenting sessions both on drop off and pick up days, have “homework” to complete while the child is at camp, and attend 2 reunions with their child throughout the year where additional parenting sessions are held. We have made many positive changes since Camp Wabi! "
----Danielle Jacobs – Black River Falls, Wis.
My Child’s Experience
"When we sent him he was FURIOUS with us. When we picked him up after 12 days the first thing he said to us was “I am definitely coming back next year!” He looked different (he lost 7 pounds) and he was obviously more confident and happy. It was the changes on the “inside” that were very obvious. Those changes have lasted beyond camp. He is going again this summer because he wants to."
This summer, the camp is scheduled from July 31st - August 12th.
You may learn more at the parent informational meeting on May 24th at 7pm in the Eau Claire YMCA.
Visit the website at http://www.campwabi.org for additional details.