Camp Ready, Set, Go Teaches Kids Healthy Lifestyle

June 22, 2006--Posted at 5:30 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR--Poor dietary habits and inactivity are contributing to an increase in youth obesity with approximately 30.3% of children now considered overweight.

'Ready, set, go,' is the theme for over 50 Craighead County elementary students who have spent the last two weeks attending Camp Ready, Set, Go, a camp designed to promote healthy living.

"We've learned that over the summer there are better things to do than just sitting at home," said camper Allie Simino.

"Our mission is not to just be a babysitter for the parents. Our mission is to really promote a healthy a lifestyle for these kids," said camp director Hollie Huckabee.

The students spend the mornings rotating between different stations, with activities like mountain biking, obstacle courses and jump rope. In addition to activities, the students learn healthy eating habits to further the healthy lifestyle.

"You have to have moderation. You can't eat too much or too little of kinds of food. Me, myself,I have been changing the waysI eat," said Simino.

"You are supposed to have a whole variety of foods so you don't get like Marshmallow Man," said camper Caleb Cornelious.

The camp lasts for two weeks and wraps upFriday with a family picnic. However, the camp director isn't expecting the positive results associated with the camp to end Friday.

"It is definitely a lifelong process. We don't want this to be a 2 week thing and then they forget about it," said Huckabee.

The hope is the students will take the lessons learned home to promote a healthy lifestyle for the entire family.

"I'm probably going to convince my dad, so we can go out toJHSand start running track," said Cornelious.

Camp Ready, Set,Go is funded by a grant that was written by the Healthy Children Coalition here in Jonesboro. 55 students attended the camp with over half attending on scholarships provided by the grant.