When it comes to fitness and wellness at camp, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. That’s the emerging approach taken by Westchester’s traditional day camps, like Squire Camps, which has beefed up its health-and-wellness offerings over the past few years. Today, Squire campers (who choose their own daily courses) have a plethora of fitness and wellness classes to choose from, including swimming, healthy cooking, archery, traditional sports, and two brand-new classes that strengthen both body and mind: Martial Arts and Yoga Dance.
At Summer Trails, it’s about exposing campers to small yet consistent doses of wellness enrichment. At least twice weekly, Summer Trails’ traditional-program campers (ages 6-14) rotate through an exhilarating fitness unit, during which they get moving with kickboxing, yoga, fitness stations, and other activities. Plus, there’s a Healthy Cooking Unit, which lets campers have fun cooking while learning about nutrition. And when it comes to Summer Trails’ youngest campers, camp director Jamie Sirkin says they have wellness covered. “In our preschool program [for campers ages 3-5], we build wellness elements into daily classes in a way that they don’t even know it’s fitness. For example, in our theater class, we incorporate movement, stretching, and even some breathing activities. At this age, it has to be all about fun.”
If doling out fitness tips to your teen always seems to end in disaster, step aside and let the Rye Y professionals give it a try. Here, a staff of certified personal trainers and sports-nutrition specialists work, indoors and out, with tween- and teen-fitness seekers (ages 11-14) to achieve individual goals. The week-long, half-day Teen Fitness Camp is filled with swimming, sports, games, strength training, spinning, Pilates, agility training, and nutrition classes. “For many campers, the commitment toward fitness [that they learn in camp] carries over into the school year. We recently heard from one camper who is getting up early in the mornings to run,” notes camp director Diana Vita.