Girls enjoying the pool.

How CPT Changes Lives-A Camper and Counselor Insight

Camp Pocono Trails is more than just a camp for weight loss; it’s a place where everyone feels as though they belong. Even after reaching their personal goals, campers and staff members return every year to reunite with their summer family. The strong support system that CPT members gain at camp helps them maintain their success, ambition for self-improvement, and feelings of accomplishment and sense of belonging throughout the year.

Here are some insights about CPT from our current campers and counselors:

“Before camp I wouldn’t ever want to get out of bed and look at myself in the mirror and now every morning I can’t wait to get out of bed and see how different my life is now than how it was.”- Dan Zargari, Camper

“I love camp because it gives me an environment where I can be myself and everyone accepts and respects it. Also because I get to better myself while having fun and being with my friends!” – Arielle Walder, Camper

“Camp has changed my life forever. I honestly don’t know where I would be without any of my friends that I made. I would probably be like 300 pounds or something. The friends that I have made are more than just my friends. They’re my sisters and my motivation throughout the year!” – Lauren Sakosits, Camper

“Although Camp Pocono Trails was created to offer those an opportunity to change their lives because it wasn’t what they wanted it to be in the first place, those who come here truly are the lucky ones. We get an opportunity to see life through the lens of a blind person. See, Camp Pocono Trails teaches its counselors and campers to see everyone without looking at their exterior, but rather what’s inside.” -Arielle Kaplan, Counselor

“Whenever I think about CPT I don’t think about a fat camp or a weight loss camp. I think about somewhere that I look forward to going to every summer. And I don’t even think of it as a camp I think of it as my second home. Camp has changed the way I feel about myself completely and how I see others. I would be a camper forever if I could because it’s the place where I’m happiest.” –Kenzie Knowels, Camper

“There aren’t enough words to describe how big of an impact camp has had on my life. Camp is the only place on Earth where I genuinely feel like I can 100% be myself without being judged. Even though, yes, 5 summers ago I came to camp with the main purpose of losing weight, I soon realized this place is so much more than that. Camp is a safe haven: a place where it seems virtually impossible to not feel good about yourself. I love camp and I can honestly say I don’t know where I’d be if I never found CPT.”- Shelby Cohen, Camper

“I love myself for who I am, not jean size I wear, and that’s because of CPT. I am a completely healthier and happier version of myself from six years ago, and I wouldn’t be in the place I am now if it wasn’t for CPT.” –Stefie Sabar, Counselor

“I never even think to hesitate whenever I say that I owe everything to Camp Pocono Trails. As someone who has struggled with weight issues his entire life, I constantly feared that I would be fat forever. Camp is a place where I was not only able to lose weight but also be given the opportunity to grow into the person that I am today. I’m the happiest, healthiest, and most confident I’ve ever been in my life, and it is all thanks to Camp Pocono Trails.”-Seth Williams, Counselor

Workout with Your Loved Ones

At Camp Pocono Trails, we like for our campers’ families to get as involved as they can. We believe a great support and motivational system can be very helpful to our campers, especially when they leave after the summer’s over.  We offer a Mom’s Camp session for campers’ mothers to get involved and sign up. Mom’s camp occurs during the same time as our regular summer session occurs. During this time, the moms will enjoy nicely appointed air-conditioned cabins, separate from the campers. Mom’s Camp gives the mothers of our campers a firsthand experience of what life is like at CPT. Our moms learn about child and teen nutrition, fitness, and behavior modification as they go through the same nutritional and fitness program as our campers! What better way to prepare your child to continue their journey at home?!

In order to continue this philosophy after the summer, we suggest to our campers and their families to work together! Whether you want your family or friends-or both-to join you as you endeavor on your weight loss journey, there’s many fun ways to workout with a group of people. Working out in groups can be fun and also helps switch things up so you don’t get bored with your daily routines. Bringing your friends or family along with you on your journey is fun for everyone. It’s another way for you to spend time with them as well as another way for everyone to get exercise.

Here are some ways you can workout with your loved ones:

  1. Hike: Going on hikes are super fun. It’s a great exercise to do with a group of people- you can chat on your way up and work together to get there. There are always amazing views to look at and once the weather gets nice it’ll help change things up from working out at the gym!
  2. Take a class together: Taking a new class that you never tried before can sometimes be intimidating going alone. You never know what to expect, so it’s understandable. Utilize this opportunity to go with your parent, sibling, or best friend, and try out a class that you’ve been too scared to try. Whether it’s a spinning class, boot camp, dance aerobics, or kick boxing, just go for it and bring your loved one(s). If you like it, bring more of your friends and family so they get the chance to enjoy it with you. Group classes are super fun, exciting, accommodating for as many people as you want to bring and always a great workout.
  3. Bike Ride: Biking outside is really fun as it can involve as many people as you want. Take a Sunday ride with your family on a scenic route. Bike with your friends on Saturday as a way to hang out with them. It is a great activity that you can combine with others. Bike with your family to your favorite spot to get a nice refreshing smoothie! Bike with your friends to your favorite park and hang out there for a couple of hours! There’s always somewhere to bike to and someone to bike with!
  4. Group Runs: Running with family and friends is also exciting. It’s great to run with other people because you can utilize each other for motivation. It’s easier to push yourself when you have someone there to encourage you. Bring your family or friends on your favorite running route, or better yet-have one of them show you their favorite!

Spring Break-Don’t Break It!

Here at New Image Camps, we give our campers all of the tools they need to continue a healthy lifestyle. All New Image campers attend fitness classes, nutrition and cooking lessons, and behavior modification classes. They also go home with a New Image booklet that contains a broad foundation of nutrition knowledge, sample menus, and great recipes to use at home.

With spring break coming up, it’s understandable that people will be taking vacations or just spending the week off at home. This is not a time or excuse to pause all of the hard work and dedication you have put in to continue your weight loss journey back at home. Here are suggestions for you to use while you’re on break, whether you’re going away or not, to ensure that you will be maintaining this healthy lifestyle while still having a fun and relaxing break!

Keep your body moving: During a week off from school, it’s definitely tempting to relax and be lazy-whether it’s being lazy by the pool or being lazy on your couch at home. Don’t let yourself get too comfortable with this. Keep your momentum going. If you’re on vacation, wake up just 30 minutes early and get in some exercise before you start your day. Utilize the hotel gym, go running outside if you’re somewhere where the weather is nice, or do some floor workouts in the comfort of the room where you are staying. If you’re spending your break at home, this could be the time for you to discover other fun ways to work out in your neighborhood. Take a really cool class that you haven’t had time to take because it interfered with school!

Resist the urge to splurge: A lot of times, fun family vacations mean cool restaurants with great food. At the same time, being at home all week during break, you could also end up going to cool and fun restaurants to give yourself something to do. Try and find a healthy and tasty dish on the menu. Most restaurants will be accommodating to some modifications to a dish. If you’re tempted to order something on the menu that is high in calories and fat and served in a large portion, why don’t you try splitting it with someone else, eating half and taking home the leftovers, or even ordering a yummy appetizer as your entre! Only go out to get ice cream once and get one scoop with minimal toppings. Share a small dessert with the rest of your family!

Give yourself a compromise: Having one treat a day while on vacation is okay! But, try and compromise with yourself. If you’re going to get a treat that is high in calories, you can walk to get it! If you know you’re going to a good restaurant and want dessert at dinner, then have a healthy lunch and breakfast!

Enjoy yourself: You’re on vacation! Have fun and relax! And be healthy while doing so! It’ll be worth it in the end when you get back to school and get back into your routine of eating healthy and working out daily. A week can easily get you off track and then all the hard work you’ve put in would be pushed back. It’s not worth it! Keep up a healthy body and a healthy mind when you’re on break!

 

Happy National Nutrition Month!

If you didn’t already know, March is National Nutrition Month! At New Image Camps we promote living a healthy lifestyle for children’s weight loss, which includes well-balanced nutrition.  All 3 of the meals served each day and both snacks given out are based off of the new “My Plate” guidelines focusing on portion control, balancing all food groups, and proper nutritional elements. New Image campers attend nutrition lessons, cooking lessons, and behavior modification classes, providing them with the tools to continue this healthy lifestyle back home. The nutrition sessions cover child and teen nutrition and include lessons like reading nutrition labels, modifying all time favorites to be healthier, and teaching the basic principles of nutrition. 

In the honor National Nutrition Month, here are some fun nutritional facts:

  1. A serving of kale has more absorbable calcium than a small carton of milk.
  2. Avocados are naturally FULL of nutrition, so there’s no need for special labels. They’re full of flavor; think of all of the meals you can healthify with avocado!
  3. Fruits with a lot of vitamin C, like oranges, will help your cuts heal faster. They can also make your teeth nice and strong.
  4. To burn off one plain M&M, you must walk the full length of a football field.
  5. Soda intake leaches calcium out of the bones, which contributes to lower bone mineral density.
  6. Dark chocolate contains a lot of antioxidants that can help reduce blood pressure. A serving size of dark chocolate after dinner is a great dessert to satisfy that after-dinner sweet tooth!

To continue the celebration of National Nutrition Month, here are some tips on how you can maintain good nutrition:

  1. Don’t forget to eat breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast gets your body going for the rest of the day.  It’s the most important meal of the day!
  2. Substitute whole grains for white breads and pastas. They have a lot of more nutritional value and keep you full for longer. Plus, they’re just as tasty!
  3. Raw vegetables make a great snack! Increasing the amount of vegetables in your daily intake is always helpful. They have a high vitamin and mineral content and a low calorie count. They’re great for snacking and still provide that “crunchy-munchy” feeling we all crave!
  4. Drink plenty of water. Try and replace a sugary or even diet drink with a glass of water. Though diet drinks have no calories, they still have plenty of chemicals. Drinking water makes you feel fuller and can increase your metabolism. Infusing fresh fruits and vegetables into your water is a great way to make a tasty drink! Plus, you’ll drink some of the nutrients from the fruits and vegetables!

At Home Winter Workouts

Although we’re already in March, winter weather is still unfortunately here. Just because the weather may prevent people from getting outside or to the gym, it doesn’t mean that workouts should be forgotten. There are plenty of fun ways to get those calories burned and that body moving in the comfort of your own home and without any machines.  Whether you have an in-house exercise room or not, these are some fun approaches to exercising, while still being able to avoid that frigid chill:

1. Floor Workouts: If you have an open space to work with or you need to move around some furniture, workouts that only require floor space are super easy and fun.  Exercises that can be done on the floor include crunches, push-ups, sit ups, lunges, squats, jumping jacks, high knees, planks, and bicycle crunches. You can even try adding some 5 lb weighs to your floor routine!

2. Using your stairs: If you have stairs inside of your house, using them to exercise is a great way to get your heart going. No matter how you want to approach it-if you want to follow a routine or make one up yourself-climbing stairs is a great way to get your workout in. You could even burn up to 150 calories in just 15 minutes when climbing stairs!

3. Workout Videos: Getting workout videos are very fun because there are so many out there and you get to pick them out yourself. This can ensure that you’re working out the way you want to! You have a virtual trainer there, keeping you motivated throughout the entire workout. Pop the DVD into your TV or computer and you’ll instantly get an amazing workout experience. Plus, even if you don’t have a workout DVD there are many videos online that you can follow!

4. Dance- It’s very underrated that something as simple as dancing in your bedroom can make you burn calories. You can blast the music on your parents’ stereo and it’ll keep you moving. It’s fun, exciting, and you can do it with multiple people. I know it can sound silly, but who cares? Break out of your shell and bust a move. You’ll feel more confident that you exceeded your comfort zone and burned calories while doing so.

5. Make your own Circuit: Circuit routines are perfect for in house workouts, especially in the winter. All you need is 5-7 of your favorite floor workouts. You can even add in a couple of friends or family members to make it fun. Set a station for each workout. Some suggestions are a cardio station like jumping jacks, a core station like crunches, an arm station such as push-ups, and even a station dedicated to using the stairs in your house. You could even put on a 7-minute workout video or a 7-minute section of your favorite video as one of the stations. Get creative and make it fun!

 

 

 

8 Reasons Why Losing Weight is Fun and NOT Impossible

It’s hard to force yourself to exercise and eat healthy when you are only focused on the end result. I want to lose weight, so bad! You might tell yourself. When you don’t see results immediately it can be hard to stay motivated.

Here are 8 kid-friendly reasons why losing weight can be a fun, exciting challenge. You will look back on this experience with pride when you are on the other side, I promise.

 

  1. Track your progress. Focusing on results can be discouraging, but if you keep a log of how much you exercise and what you weigh each week you will slowly be able to see some real results. Remember, drinking lots of water and eating low-sodium foods helps keep water weight down.
  2. Have a workout buddy. Having a friend for the gym, for a jog, or a Zumba class can help you motivate each other. It’s hard to say no when your friend texts you to go on a jog.
  3. Start a new hobby. Zumba classes, Yoga classes, running, Soccer, Football, and dance. There are so many awesome ways to get your heart pumping. Learn new soccer tricks on YouTube, practice Yoga at home, or join a team at school.
  4. It Feels Great. Ever heard of dopamine? It’s the chemical released in your brain when you laugh, smile, or receive a text from a friend. Imagine feeling like that all the time. Exercising regularly releases dopamine that makes you feel great – and boosts your confidence.
  5. Make new friends. Joining a team gives you the opportunity to make a lot of new friends. Teammates hang out with each other all the time. If you don’t like being super competitive there are others like you! Join an intramural team at school or in your community.
  6. Learn how to cook. At our weight loss camp we teach everyone how to make healthy, delicious meals. But it doesn’t have to stop there! YouTube has a lot of easy recipes you can learn how to make. There are also some great recipes you can check out on our blog. Cooking can be fun and they’re lots of chances to be creative.
  7. Go shopping. Walking around the mall can be a fun way to lose weight without even realizing it.  Studies show that walking for 45 minutes every day is important for losing weight, so make sure to check out all your favorite stores (and take the stairs!).
  8. Give your music some life. I love to run to music. Timing a stomp to the drop is exhilarating and there’s no better rush. Running, or walking to the beat makes you feel like you are composing the piece with every step you take.

 

If you try one or more of these tips losing weight shouldn’t feel like such a scary, daunting task. It can be fun. Just be consistent, drink lots of water, and eat healthy and you’ll start noticing weight loss is like a game and those lost pounds become points in your pocket.

12 Easy and Healthy Resolutions

The first step to achieving any resolution is to be realistic. Choosing attainable goals with small benchmarks help keep things realistic. Achieving intermediate benchmarks gives a sense of success and inspiration, and helps to curb getting overwhelmed. Start small with two or three goals. Pick the most important ones that will inspire you to stay on track.

A resolution form the heart is always more likely to succeed than one that others set for you. Rely on your friends and family to help support you on your way to your healthy resolutions, and vice verse. Emotional support and encouragement is a great source of motivation.

Below is a list of resolutions to help you on your way to your overall wellness goals. To make your resolutions stick choose goals that are important to your life and the life you want to create for yourself.

  1. Control portions – Make a fist, this is the average serving size. Portion control keeps your metabolism active and prevents overeating.
  2. Be active – Get out and take a walk or play in the park for 30 minutes a day. Moving around gets your heart rate up and can improve your overall health.
  3. Cut back on sodium – to decrease blood pressure and bloating.
  4. Increase consumption of antioxidants – to defend your body against free radicals. Free radicals have been proven to cause abnormalities in cells, and by consuming antioxidants you can increase your ability to fight off the bad things.
  5. Wear sunscreen – Wearing sunscreen protects your skin from premature wrinkles, sunburn and skin cancer. Most skin cancer comes from overexposure to the sun during childhood, so lather up and protect your lovely skin.
  6. Strength train – Adding strength training to your workout or daily healthy lifestyle increases your metabolism and helps build strong bones for the future.
  7. Unplug daily – In a world where we are always connected to our phones, computers, & tablets it is good to take a break and connect with those around you. Try to take at least 30-60 minutes a day to disconnect from all electronic devices.
  8. Hand write a note – Hand write a note to a friend or family member. In the world of digital this small gesture can make their day and yours.
  9. Get enough sleep – Give your body time to reset and recharge. Getting 8-9 hours of sleep per day can help you stay focused and feel more energized throughout the day.
  10. Take time to create or learn – carve out a portion of your day to focus on things that you enjoy and find stimulating and challenging. Use this time to do crafts that you enjoy, read or start a new hobby.

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