One on One
This summer, HealthCorps coordinator Tenaj Ferguson is blogging about her experience at Camp Pennbrook. You can read her first post here, the second post here, third post here and fourth post here. Enjoy!
As the end of the summer season at Camp Pennbrook approaches, mere days of camp remain. With six weeks of camp behind us, we all savor the remaining days. With mixed emotions, we look forward to our return to real life outside of camp. The girls are excited to see their family and friends, to show their new bodies, to share their new positive attitude and to continue to grow their self-esteem.
While at camp, our campers’ meals are prepared by chefs and are appropriately portioned to ensure program success and to demonstrate healthy eating. At Camp Pennbrook, the counselors encourage the girls to eat their vegetables and to try new foods. We eat all of our meals together and we have two healthy snacks daily — one between lunch and dinner and one after dinner. In this environment, it is odd not to carry around a huge water bottle because we all know we have to drink lots of water.
At Camp Pennbrook, the girls wake up and go to the track to start the morning off in an active way. I reminisce for a second to show that our time here has fostered the development of awesome health behaviors. There is a culture of health and wellness at Camp Pennbrook and a special energy that only an exclusively girls camp can amass. Our girls take time out of their summer to work on gaining increased self-confidence, attaining improved fitness, learning more about nutrition and wellness, to have fun and to mature and grow.
Our girls do not leave the way they came. They leave with a better understanding of their body. Our girls leave empowered to improve their lives and they leave proud of all of their accomplishments while at camp. They leave with a renewed faith in themselves and the strength to work hard for the important things they want and need.
Before each girl leaves our camp to return home, our practice is always to provide a one on one session. This session promotes reflection and being proactive. In the one on one session, we try to capture the perception of the camper’s personal accomplishments and goals and we help our camper to create an action plan for home, identifying the obstacles she will face and creating a plan to overcome the obstacles.
During sessions campers share their battles at home such as their being on a diet while other families continue to eat unhealthy. Some campers share their real world challenges, such as living in a family with divorce and the struggle to maintain nutritional health in one of their two homes. Campers also share challenges involving no time to exercise and having busy parents who are unable to fully prioritize nutrition and fitness. Other campers share challenges at school such as unhealthy, unimpressive cafeteria food and untimely break times at school, among other challenges.
The one on one session signifies a supportive informed environment for our fearless campers to be empowered and to take control within her means. In the session, we review relevant nutrition basics, create a plan to incorporate healthy behaviors as a lifestyle, develop ideas for meals, physical activity, initiating and sustaining smart habits and other related health behaviors. The girls use this time to ask specific questions to support their personal adjustment home or to advance their wellness knowledge. Sessions typically last thirty minutes and this model of specialized consulting for our campers has been and continues to be a highlight of Camp Pennbrook offerings. The one on one session represents the wrap up for campers and ushers in the start of the follow through process throughout the rest of the year.
Some questions to consider:
What is a health goal you are working on? Do you have support and accountability? How will you follow through on your goal and action plan? Have you thought about your challenges in advance? Most importantly, did you check your challenges and develop plans to overcome your challenges?