Kids & Teen Weight Loss Camps

“Fat Camps” for Kids & Teens

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. Most camps offer a one- or two-week session, but campers may prefer to stay for multiple weeks at a time. Some weight loss camps may offer sessions that span most of the summer.

6 Best Weight Loss Camps for Kids & Teens in 2023

There are many weight loss camps for kids and teens to choose from. Every camp has its own pros and cons, and FitStays has cataloged them all. Read reviews, pricing, and details of the best kids fat camps 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.

1. Camp New Heights

Rated 5.0 stars

(2 reviews)

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. The camp promotes their camper-to-staff ratio of 3-5 campers per each counselor.

Camp New Heights

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, 2023.

The program at Camp New Heights combines 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 explains the benefits of the meal, and strategies for applying the learnings from the summer camp to staying healthy back home.

The most unique aspect of Camp New Heights is their individualized program based on their low camper-to-counselor ratio. Parents and campers looking for an affordable, individualized weight loss camp for kids and teens may wish to consider Camp New Heights.

Read more about Camp New Heights pricing and details on FitStays.

2. Camp Jump Start

Rated 5.0 stars

(1 review)

Camp Jump Start is a weight loss camp for pre-teens and teens located near Imperial, Missouri, not far from St. Louis. Jump Start was started by a nurse in 2003, Jean Huelsing, who still lives and works at the camp today.

Camp Jump Start

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. The camp promotes their activity schedule, giving campers a daily schedule focused around their interests, with standard options like pool and hiking and unique offerings such as a climbing wall and stress management techniques.

In 2022, Camp Jump Start had programs running from June through August.

Camp Jump Start is open to campers ages 9 to 17, with specialized activities for each age group. Kids, youth, teens, or families looking for a weight loss summer camp with a wide variety of activities, or one with a central Midwest location, should review the offerings of Camp Jump Start.

Read more about Camp Jump Start pricing and details on FitStays.

3. Camp Pocono Trails

Rated 4.2 stars

(5 reviews)

Camp Pocono Trails is a weight loss camp for kids and teens ages 7 to 17 located near 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.

Camp Pocono Trails

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. Campers are encouraged to find the session option of the appropriate length for their health and weight loss goals. In 2023, Camp Pocono Trails will have session options between late-June and mid-August.

Kids and families looking for a weight loss camp in the northeast US with a wide variety of activities should read more about Camp Pocono Trails.

Read more about Camp Pocono Trails pricing and details on FitStays.

4. Pocono Trails Internet Habit Reversal Program

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The Internet Habit Reversal Program at Camp Pocono Trails is designed to help kids learn to develop a healthy relationship with technology. It is a unique camp for kids and teens break video game, internet, computer, and phone addictions that plague children in this modern world.

Pocono Trails Internet Habits Reversal Program

This program is designed with lots of outdoor activities designed to teach kids ways to have fun in ways besides technology. The core of programming comes through Behavior Change Groups, moderated sessions designed to help kids learn the value of a schedule, the benefits of self-regulation, and how to uncover their hidden talents.

Located at the Reeders, Pennsylvania location of Camp Pocono Trails, the Internet Habit Reversal Program operates all summer with sessions ranging from 11 days to 7 weeks. Parents looking for a camp option focused less on weight loss and more around helping kids develop a healthier relationship with technology should check out the Pocono Trails Internet Habit Reversal Program.

Read more about Pocono Trails Internet Habit Reversal Program pricing and details on FitStays.

5. Camp Pennbrook

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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.

Camp Pennbrook

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 Pennbrook offers summer camp packages as short as 14 days or as long as 49 days. Their 2023 schedule runs from mid-June through the end of July.

Are you looking for a girls-only weight loss camp for yourself or your child? If so, Camp Pennbrook’s supportive program and modern indoor facilities should be considered.

Read more about Camp Pennbrook pricing and details on FitStays.

6. Rites of Passage

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Rites of Passage Wilderness Therapy is an intensive, 6-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 Wilderness Therapy

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. Campers and parents looking for an intense, outdoor weight loss program with lots of flexible scheduling options should review the offerings at Rites of Passage Wilderness Therapy.

Read more about Rites of Passage pricing and details on FitStays.

Fat Camp Pricing & Costs

Fat camps may cost between $1,000 to $3,000 per week, depending on the camp. Weight loss 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 kids camp. Typically, the more weeks you stay at a weight loss camp, the lower the price-per-week will be.

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.

Selecting a Weight Loss Camp

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.

Kids & Teen Weight Loss Camp Directory

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