What is a Fat Camp?
A “fat camp” is the common name for an all-inclusive weight loss summer camp for kids, teens, and young adults. Children who may be struggling with obesity, body image issues, or self esteem concerns due to their weight may benefit from a weight loss camp. These camps work through a dedicated program of diet, exercise, and education.
Fat Camp FAQ
Are Fat Camps Real?
Weight loss camps for kids and teens, often called “fat camps”, are very real. Staying healthy and fit can be difficult, and sometimes children need a new environment for the education, nutrition, fitness, and motivation to live at a healthy weight. Don’t be fooled by movies and television; weight loss summer camps are friendly and supportive environments for kids of all backgrounds.
Do Fat Camps Work?
Yes! Fat camps work to help kids lose weight and keep it off through a combination of fitness, nutrition, and education. They have proven to be effective not just for losing weight during the weeks at camp, but also for helping the weight stay off upon returning home.
What’s the Typical Day at a Fat Camp?
Every day will consist of a combination of low-calorie meals, fun exercise activities and games, and classes designed to help campers learn skills to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle upon returning home. While children may be reluctant to be away from home for multiple weeks, these camps and their experienced staffers understand how to combat homesickness and keep kids busy.
How Much do I Eat at a Fat Camp?
Most camps give campers three real meals per day. Meals are specially designed by chefs, doctors, and nutritionists to ensure that a low-calorie diet can still give kids enough healthy energy to stay active during their stay. The combination of healthy meals and heavy exercise ensure a net-negative calorie intake and steady, maintainable weight loss.
How Much do I Exercise at a Fat Camp?
Weight loss camps for kids and teens are not designed to be boot camps; campers will be working out, but not overworked. Camps seek to make exercise fun through activities, sporting events, competitions, and games. Kids may not even know they are exercising when attending one of these camps.
When Can I Go to a Fat Camp?
Most weight loss camps for kids and teens are offered during the summer months when students are not at school. Programs typically run for one- or two-week sessions, but some camps allow participants to stay for multiple sessions in a row. The longer campers stay in a program, the more weight they are likely to lose.
How Much do Fat Camps Cost?
Fat camps may cost between $1,000 to over $3,000 per week, depending on the camp. Kids camps are all-inclusive, meaning that all meals, lodging, and activities are included in the program price. Some extras (such as off-camp trips) may or may not cost extra, so parents will want to review these details before sending their child to a camp.
Best Fat Camps for Kids 2019
There are many weight loss camps for kids and teens to choose from. Every weight loss camp has its own pros and cons, and FitStays has cataloged them all. Read reviews, pricing, and details of every kids fat camp in the United States.
Families and students are encouraged to review the full list of kids and teen camps below to find the right one for your child.
Camp Shane Weight Loss Camps
Camp Shane is the most popular collection of kids and teen fat camps in the country. It was founded in 1968 with one location, and now offers five different camps around the United States. Camp Shane tries to avoid the “fat camp” label and instead focus on activities, support, and positivity to help kids lose weight and gain confidence.
There are currently five active Camp Shane resorts, including Florida, Wisconsin, California, Arizona, and the New York area. FitStays has lots more information about Camp Shane, including details, descriptions, and pricing.
About Shane California Weight Loss Camp Camp Shane was founded in 1968 and is a national chain of weight loss camps. View all Camp Shane locations around the country. Camp Shane's California
About Camp Shane Weight Loss Camp in Florida Camp Shane offers multiple weight loss camps for kids and teens around the country. View all Camp Shane locations. Camp Shane Florida is located in
About Camp Shane Arizona Camp Shane is a family owned and operated summer weight loss camp with five locations around the country. View all Camp Shane locations. Camp Shane Arizona is a camp
About Shane Weight Loss Camp in Connecticut (New York) Camp Shane is a family owned and operated summer weight loss camp with five locations around the country. View all Camp Shane locations. Camp
About Camp Shane Weight Loss Camp in Wisconsin Camp Shane operates five kids weight loss camps around the country. View all Camp Shane locations. Camp Shane Wisconsin is a fitness summer camp for
Camp Jump Start
Camp Jump Start is a weight loss camp for pre-teens and teens located in Imperial, Missouri. It was started by a nurse in 2003, Jean Huelsing, who still lives and works at the camp today.
The 4- or 8-week program at Jump Start was designed to be a “whole health camp”, focusing on emotional and social health as well as physical wellbeing. Camp Jump Start is open to campers ages 9 to 17, with specialized activities for each age group.
About Camp Jump Start Camp Jump Start is a weight loss camp for teens that offers programs designed by health professionals. It considers itself to be a “whole health camp” for kids, meaning that it
Camp Vanguard is an all-inclusive weight loss camp for kids and teens in Haines City, Florida. Vanguard is located on the grounds of the FAA Leadership Training Center, and operates over two months each summer while kids are off from school. Campers may choose to stay for as short as 11 days, or as long as six weeks during the summer.
In addition to nutrition and education, Camp Vanguard boasts a wide variety of indoor and outdoor fitness activities and games. Outdoor activities include hiking, swimming, volleyball, paintball, boating, fishing, and more. Indoor activities include cardio, strength training, aerobics, and kickboxing. Due to its proximity to central Florida, Camp Vanguard also offers optional field trips to the Disney theme parks for interested campers.
About Camp Vanguard Located on the shores of Lake Pierce in Central Florida, Camp Vanguard is the only private weight loss camp for kids and teens. Located in Haines City, Florida, between Tampa and
Camp Pennbrook is a girls-only weight loss and fitness camp in Newtown, Pennsylvania. The program is offered for girls ages 8 to 21, and students may stay for a minimum of two weeks or maximum of seven weeks during the summer months.
The all-inclusive offerings at Camp Pennbrook include accommodations at the George prep school, healthy and nutritious meals, counseling, exercise activities, and off-campus field trips. Fitness activities take place at the gym and fitness centers on campus, an indoor swimming pool, and multiple sporting courts and fields.
Camp Pocono Trails
Pocono Trails is a weight loss camp for kids and teens ages 7 to 17 located in Reeders, Pennsylvania. Just 90 minutes from Philadelphia and New York City, Camp Pocono Trails is a popular destination for students in the northeast to lose weight and get healthy.
The program at Camp Pocono Trails offers five fitness activities per day, where students choose from water sports, athletics, calisthenics, trail hiking, and special outings. The exercise program is combined with healthy meals of around 1,600 calories per day, leading to a net-negative caloric intake and average 3-5 pound weight loss per week.
The sessions at Camp Pocono Trails range from as few as 11 days all the way up to 7 weeks. Students and families are encouraged to find the session option of the appropriate length for their health and weight loss goals.
About Camp Pocono Trails Camp Pocono Trails (CPT) is a New Image Camp located in Pennsylvania. This camp is built for kids and teens, ages 7-17, to achieve weight-loss results from fitness activities
Camp New Heights
Camp New Heights is a weight loss camp for kids and teens ages 9 to 17 located on the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Campers at New Heights can participate in between one and three 2-week sessions over the course of the summer between late June and early August, 2019.
The program at Camp New Heights seeks to combine individualized solutions with group activities, to help children lose weight, make friends, and grow both physically and mentally. Each camper chooses five weekly activities: three group activities (including team sports and running) and two elective courses (including crafting, dance, golf, and more).
Fitness activities are combined with three calorie-limited meals per day, with the menu designed by an on-site nutritionist. Before each meal, the nutritionist will explain the benefits of the meal, and strategies for applying the learnings from the summer camp to staying healthy back home.
About Camp New Heights Camp New Heights (CNH) is a kid and teen FitStay that aims to build better version of the guests. The model at CNH is to keep reaching for “new heights.” That means campers
Rites of Passage
Rites of Passage Wilderness Therapy is an intensive, 8-week long weight loss camp for kids and teens in Shelton, Washington. The wellness camp at Rites of Passage combines extensive outdoor activities with holistic nutrition, to help participants improve their overall health while losing weight as a side effect.
Rites of Passage is open to campers ages 11 to 17, and includes frequent outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, kayaking, and more. Fitness activities are combined with holistic, organic meals planned by a registered dietician. The program boasts that the detoxifying effect of removing sugar and fat intake from the body will help campers’ metabolism naturally speed up, with weight loss as a positive side effect. Diet and exercise are combined with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) sessions, to help improve decision-making around health and nutrition and help students mentally as well as physically.
Unlike most summer fat camps, Rites of Passage is open nearly year-round, accepting new campers from January to November.
About Rites of Passage Rites of Passage Wilderness Therapy is an all-inclusive weight-loss camp for kids and teens located in Shelton, Washington. The wellness camp is an 8-week program (or longer)
Selecting a Weight Loss Camp for Kids
With so many options, you may not know where to start when picking a “fat camp” for yourself or your family. Review camp options on the FitStays website, and keep in mind these questions in particular:
- What part of the country do I want to be in?
- What dates does the program run, and am I available at those times?
- Would I prefer a specialty camp (such as girls-only or wilderness-themed), or a more general one?
- Beyond diet and exercise, how will the camp support me or my child mentally and emotionally?
Read camp reviews on FitStays, and check out our blog for more advice on fitness, health, weight loss, and travel for kids, teens, and adults.