Parents have a seemingly endless number of options when it comes to deciding their child’s summer plans. With so many traditional summer camps and “fat camps” to choose from (not to mention the temptation of simply hoping your child’s weight issue will resolve itself, continuing along the same path of diets, gyms and personal trainers), it’s important to choose your child’s summer plans carefully.

Child having fun on the beach“Fat camp” is a term used in popular culture to describe a camp where a child is sent to lose weight. The term ‘fat camp’ is one that we don’t use at Wellspring, because it is the antithesis of what Wellspring represents. In fact, we wish the term ‘fat camp’ would go away altogether. But given the popularity of ‘fat camps’ as a descriptor, and the reality that there are many traditional fat camps in existence still, we want you to understand what makes Wellspring different.

“I just want you to know that this camp has been a miracle for Caroline. She lost 22 pounds and came back confident and mature. Prior to Wellspring, we had tried everything and nothing had worked. The immersion in the camp allowed her to break her bad habits and to have success in healthy eating and weight loss. It is now 3-months post camp and she has lost a total of 45 pounds! Now that she has been successful, there is nothing that can stop her!”

-Lori H., Hayward, CA, mom of Wellspring La Jolla Camper

Fat Camps Do Not Promote Long-Term Weight Loss

Child getting a high five to encourage healthy lifestyle at Wellspring which is not one of the fat campsWellspring is renowned for equipping campers with the skills they need to make healthy choices for the rest of their lives. Unlike fat camps which restrict food, boot camps that demand activity, or diet camps which simply put campers on a short-term diet, Wellspring exposes campers to a range of exciting activities and provides campers with a safe environment in which to learn to regulate their food intake and activity levels.

Fat Camps Do Not Promote Overall Health and Well-Being

Group of girls talking about being healthy which is uncommon for a fat campWellspring offers campers a renowned approach to fitness and weight loss that focuses on developing a long-term healthy lifestyle. In contrast, fat camps focus only on losing weight over the summer. We understand that excess weight can affect all aspects of an individual’s health and happiness, and that losing weight requires change on many levels. The Wellspring Plan is the first weight loss program that guides kids, teens, and young adults through a process of emotional and social growth as they lose weight.

Fat Camps Do Not Provide Support for the Whole Family

Wellspring family members posing with life jacketsWhile campers are losing weight, surveys indicate 95% of Wellspring families have other members who lose weight as well. Our research consistently shows a clear correlation between camper success and family support. We offer Wellspring’s free Continuing Care Program, which involves regular interaction, problem solving and celebrations of success with the camp Director and available contact with a trained Behavioral Coach for a full year after camp ends. At a fat camp, there is no investment in the family.

Fat Camps Are Not Fun and Effective

Wellspring Camps are fun! As the leading experts in adolescent and young adult weight management, we understand that campers will be most successful in the long-term if they learn to love being active. Whereas our goal is to teach young people to love and adopt an active, healthy lifestyle, fat camps force kids to exercise and eat very restricted diets.  The result is that kids leave fat camps relieved to return to their previous habits, often regaining all of the weight lost at camp.

We invest in your family’s long-term success by offering a free comprehensive Family Workshop during which our professional staff teach the ins and outs of the program to all family members who attend.

To read more about making the decision to send your child to Wellspring instead of a fat camp, click here.