Family health & fitness

COVID 19: Keeping fit & healthy

As we all know, working out is good idea whether you are a child, teen or young adult. That’s true now more than ever as we are isolated from our friends, inundated with news, and away from gym class and sports activities due to COVID 19. Exercise will boost our moods as well as our immune systems. There’s also that pesky fridge. When it beckons louder than usual, think about how to get your body moving!

Being outdoors is best.

Karen Glanz, an epidemiology and nursing professor at the University of Pennsylvania, recommends taking walks, running, hiking, and biking. Towns that have ordered people to shelter in place still encourage solo outdoor activities as long as everyone keeps their distance. “Being outdoors is best if the weather is agreeable, and if the place where people live is safe to be outdoors.” said Glanz.

Girl taking a walk while practicing social distancing during COVID 19 and having a healthy snackBut keep in mind, if it’s crowded outside, stay away. Now that it’s spring, many people are headed to parks and trails. As a result of people not following health mandates, many parks are being temporarily closed. Get out with a family member where you are not exposed to other people who do not live with you. Maintain your social distance. Be especially careful of passing runners who may be breathing heavily. Moving to the other side of the path or street when there is a runner is a good idea.

Boost your endorphins!

Being outdoors is fun, but even more importantly, it’s good for the brain, body, and soul. Here are 11 scientific benefits for being outdoors from Mental Floss. Get out, breath the fresh air, feel the breeze, the sun, hear the sound of the birds, and boost your endorphins – the feel good hormones that improve your mood and lower stress.

While we need to keep our social distance from each other due to COVID 19, we can still get up close and personal with Mother Nature. Remember, practice safe distancing while keeping your hands clean. Eat smart, sleep well and keep a schedule which includes regular movement!

Boy social distancing in the woods, taking a walk and enjoying nature during COVID 19

summer weight loss camp

Enter to win the 2020 “Imagine Me” essay contest

Win free camp tuition to Camp Pocono Trails!

How would you like to win free camp tuition for a 7-week + 4 day summer camp experience? This is your opportunity to attend the nation’s most popular ACA accredited wellness and weight loss camp. Camp Pocono Trails is offering the opportunity to two lucky campers, age 7-17. Lose weight, unplug and build self-esteem this summer by entering your original essay. The “Imagine Me! I’m Up for the Challenge: Camp Pocono Trails Essay Contest” has begun. The deadline for entry is June 1, 2020, so there is still time to enter! The retail prize value of the campership for 2 campers is $21,180, but the friendships formed and lifestyle changes made are absolutely priceless. Enter the Camp Pocono Trails “Imagine Me” Essay Contest!

We love offering kids that might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend camp and achieve robust wellbeing the chance to better themselves. The annual essay contest awards children that need a helping hand in order to live healthier and happier lives the opportunity to do so. Campers will come home in the best physical and mental shape of their lives!

Camp Pocono Trails Essay Contest
Go to Camp Pocono Trails for FREE! Enter the camp essay contest!

To enter the “Imagine Me” essay contest, applicants must submit a photograph and an original essay that will be judged by a panel of experts based on clarity, creativity and the compelling nature of the story. Visit the Imagine Me contest page for full contest rules, the entry form and to meet last year’s lucky winners. The contest entry deadline is June 1, 2020, so there is still time to win!

Located just 90 minutes from New York City and Philadelphia, Camp Pocono Trails is the finest weight loss camp in the country. 350 private acres, nestled on our own private lake front, is the setting where children, teens and young adults can realize their goals, while enjoying the best activities program… bar none. Learn more about Camp Pocono Trails.

Nutrition for kids & teens

Healthy eating on the go: Fitness tips for kids and teens

The hustle and bustle of our daily lives can make healthy eating challenging, but a little preparation goes a long way. Here are a few tips that can help to keep you on track when you’re on the go!

Plan ahead.

Leave home equipped with healthy treats to avoid outside temptation. Your waistline and your WALLET will thank you – the extra expense of snacking adds up after awhile!

Limit your cravings.

Pack foods that will limit your cravings: focus on protein, whole grains, and fiber rich foods that will keep you feeling satisfied. A great go to traveling spread: chicken, broccoli, half of a protein bar, an apple, and pure pressed green juice.Green smoothie

Stay hydrated.

You’re going to hear this next one for the rest of your days: Stay hydrated! Thirst is often mistaken for hunger. Stay a step ahead of your thirst and grab a drink at any opportunity.

Play mind tricks.

Pack your treats in stylish and fun storage containers that are more appealing to the eyes. Being consistent has a lot to do with your will and determination, but this battle is also about reprogramming your thoughts and the way your mind works. A little bit of preparedness can make a huge difference when eating healthy on the go!

berries and yogurt Make a plan the night before.

We let laziness deter us from reaching our goals far too often. If this means as much to you as you say it does – you will make time for it. Spend an extra 15 minutes each night constructing a game plan to ensure you have a successful day.

Now get moving, you fabulous fitness lovers! See you camp!

Nutrition for kids & teens

Happy National Nutrition Month!

If you didn’t already know, March is National Nutrition Month! At Camp Pocono Trails 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 latest “My Plate” guidelines focusing on portion control, balancing all food groups, and proper nutritional elements. Camp Pocono Trails 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.

Girls at camp learning about good nutrition; learn more during National Nutrition Month
Cooking Class at Camp Pocono Trails. Delicious & nutritious!
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:
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!

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!

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!

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!

summer weight loss camp

Not a fat camp, a life changing summer camp that’s FUN!

Camp Pocono Trails is just like any other traditional sleep-away camp, and then some. There’s the waterfront, climbing center, song and cheer, camp fires, color war… everything you’d expect from an awesome camp experience. Camp Pocono Trails in Pennsylvania has everything plus a world-famous program that gives each camper the long-term tools necessary for them to get healthy and stay healthy. We are a fun traditional summer camp where kids get into great shape, detox from electronics, raise their self-esteem, and have the time of their lives. We are not a FAT CAMP.

Boating at Camp Pocono Trails
Water Skiing, Jet Skiing, Canoeing, Kayaking, Paddle Boats, Row Boating,
Banana Boating, Monster Tubing and more!

At Camp Pocono Trails your child will find the best balance between fitness, weight loss, self-esteem, and lots of fun. Here, our campers will find themselves taking calisthenics or aerobics classes, nutrition and cooking classes. They enjoy playing sports, crafting, making long-term friendships, socializing, gaining confidence, and feeling a sense of belonging. It’s a great mix of everything. We like to provide a fun environment where, as owner and camp director, Tony Sparber, would say, “Everyone’s invited to the party!

Campers leave the summer in the best physical and mental shape of their lives.

As our campers go through these physical transformations over the summer, they also go through a mental transformation. Aside from the fact that our campers leave the summer in the best physical and mental shape of their lives, they gain a lifelong sense of self-confidence that is invaluable. With the guidance they receive from self-esteem classes attended once a week, our campers learn how to

build from the inside out. These classes are private classes between the age group and the instructor. Here, our campers are able learn and talk about building self-confidence and self worth.

Camp Pocono Trails is a safe place where you can be you!

At the beginning of camp, it’s understandable that a camper may not want to participate on stage at an evening activity. By the end of the summer, or even just one week in, the growth of confidence is obvious. It’s rewarding see the their confidence surge. It’s the type of confidence where a camper will even get on stage and have fun with friends.

Fitness, friendships and fun!

The friendships that are made at Camp Pocono Trails are one of a kind. Our campers keep coming back, even when they’re old enough to start being counselors or staff members. In spite of success, he or she will keep coming back because of the friendships and memories made over the summers. For many campers and counselors, it’s not even about the fitness training or weight management anymore. It’s about the camp, the friendships, and the fun, as it becomes their summer home.

Teen fitness & weight loss

Great exercise workouts for teens before camp

We have 3 months before our first session at Camp Pocono Trails begins. Opening day will be here before you know it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get a head start on moving our bodies, right? We know many of our teens and young adults want a head start on their fitness and weight loss goals while waiting for summer camp to start.

March still has it’s cold days and April will bring is showers.  Just because the weather may prevent you from getting outside, it doesn’t mean that workouts should be forgotten. There are plenty of fun ways to get those calories burned and your 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. There are so 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!

Teen boys on the lake at Camp Pocono Trails
Camp Pocono Trails: the top rated camp for teen fitness and teen weight loss.

Teen fitness and teen weight loss can be a challenge. So many schedules are overwhelmed with school, studying, the allure of electronics and sitting, sitting, and more sitting. However the hardest part can be getting started. Once you start moving, you gradually feel better and stronger. Chances are you’ll start to look forward to your routines and how they make you feel. Then before you know it, you’ll be ready to pack your bags and supercharge your summer at Camp Pocono Trails! The things you’ll learn at camp will stay with you come September and beyond. We’re so excited for the summer!


Nutrition for kids & teens

10 nutrition tips for a healthier family

A Healthy Diet:

Get back in shape and establish a healthy lifestyle. Foster a supportive environment for healthy weight loss by making your kids health a priority. You and your family can develop a positive relationship with food by making a just few changes to your routine.

It is so important that kids weight loss is a priority to parents. Create an environment where your kids can make nutritional choices easily.

Is teen weight loss an issue? Lead by example. When parents encourage healthy eating habits in teens it can build into a wholesome lifelong relationship with food. This relationship can provide a strong foundation and the best opportunity to grow into a healthy adult.

Here are a few tips to help cultivate healthy eating habits in children and teens.

1) Have regular Family meals.

Have an approximate time that you have dinner as a family each night. Having dinner as a family doesn’t just foster healthier eating habits; it is also a time where the family can reconnect.

2) Never use food as a reward. 

This could cause children to develop a weight problem later in life. Instead, incentivize them with something fun or physical like a trip to the park or game night.

3) Praise healthy choices. 

It is so important to praise children when they make good decisions. Give them the pride in ownership of that good choice.

Mom shopping for healthy food
The focus is on eating natural, whole foods at every meal while eliminating highly processed foods.
4) Don’t ridicule unhealthy choices. 

Remember the power of positive reinforcement. You’re your children choose unhealthy options, suggest healthier alternatives. For example, instead of regular potato chips and dip, offer tortilla chips with salsa. Instead of purchasing French fries, opt for cut up roasted potatoes with a bit of olive oil. For children with a sweet tooth, pick up some dried fruit or dip strawberries in dark chocolate for a fun and fresh treat.

5) Keep healthy food on hand. 

We all eat what is available, so keep healthy snacks easily accessible. Children can only choose from what is stocked in the house.

6) Set a good example. 

Children love to imitate, so it is important to set a good example for them. Parents shouldn’t be asking their children to eat fruits and veggies when they are gorging themselves on potato chips and soda.

7) Get the kids involved.

Make going to the grocery store fun by allowing children to help choose healthy options to add to their lunch boxes. This also can be used as an educational opportunity for parents to teach children about the nutritional values of different foods.

8) Limit portion sizes. 

Put the right portions on everyone’s plate by assembling them in the kitchen and don’t ever insist that your child cleans the plate.

9) Don’t label foods as good or bad. 

Connect healthy foods to things that your child cares about, such as sports or doing well in school. Teach your child that lean protein and calcium can help build strength for sports or that a well balanced breakfast can help them to stay focus and alert in class.

10) Avoid placing restrictions on food.

Restricting food can often have a negative effect when most parents think that they are doing the right thing. When a parent restricts food, it increases the possibility of that child growing to develop an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Talk to your child about all the healthy options and don’t make food the enemy.

You can help jump start your new routine by enrolling in our family weight loss camp. Enrolling in our Mom’ weight loss camp provides guidance and inspiration for kids and adults alike.  Camp Pocono Trails is a great way to put a healthy lifestyle in a positive light, especially if you come across more than just a little resistance.

No matter how you approach these steps to health, whether it is with the help of professionals at our camp or self directed, you are supporting your child’s self growth and decision making skills. By cultivating an environment where your kids can easily make healthy nutritional choices, you are reinforcing a healthy relationship with food that your child will carry with them the rest of their lives.

Camp Pocono Trails

Come join us at our summer weight loss camp retreat! Children, teens, and young adults, ages 7-25 are invited to a summer they will never forget.

Our camp, which has been featured on MTV, CBS, The Daily News, CNN, Mashable, WEbMD, and NPR is packed full of all types of summer camp activities and fun! All are aimed toward a successful summer of fitness, weight loss, new friendships, and a healthy lifestyle. We invite you to compare camps and see why we are the most successful weight loss summer camp!

summer weight loss camp

Top rated summer camp for wellness & weight loss

What does it take to be the top rated summer camp for total wellness, fitness & weight loss?

First of all, we know that boys, girls, teens, and young adults all need to feel welcomed, empowered, safe, motivated and challenged. Secondly, we help our campers feel great about themselves by helping them set realistic, healthy goals. Self-esteem comes from accomplishing these goals. There’s nothing like helping a kid experience the rewards of better habits. Finally, campers need to feel determined and equipped to continue applying these life-changing tools when they return back home.

Top Weight loss Camp on 350 lakefront acres
Camp Pocono Trails has two heated, lakefront pools for fun and fitness.
Camp Pocono Trails offers the best way to internalize a new healthy lifestyle.

Spend your summer on our 350 private lakefront acres. Enjoy top notch facilities designed for extreme fun. Breath the fresh mountain air. Surround yourself with supportive friends who really “get” you. Learn from our caring and sensitive team of camp professionals who are experts in fitness, nutrition, self esteem, nutrition and fitness.

At Camp Pocono Trails, we’ve earned our reputation as the world’s #1 wellness camp. Tony Sparber and Dale Sparber have helped thousands of young people learn a healthy approach to lasting weight loss. Now the Sparbers use their knowledge to teach, motivate and empower thousands of campers to live healthier and happier lives. As a result, we have excellent reviews from campers and parents alike.

Today’s youth face unique challenges.

Kids grow up today with the ubiquity of the internet and social media. They are drawn to the allure of sitting for endless hours watching videos, texting and playing digital games. Consequently, the lives of so many kids get thrown out of balance. The result is less energy, less confidence, less strength, and issues with weight and body image. Even social skills, maturity and ambition can suffer.

Breaking digital habits are not easy, but can be learned. Eating right needs to be a chosen lifestyle, not a diet. Our campers learn that healthy food tastes great! Activities should be a joy, not a chore.

Too many kids end up going away to college without the skills to properly manage themselves. Camp Pocono Trails helps campers achieve things they never thought possible.

Camp Pocono Trails is an exciting and beautiful place where young lives transform for the long term.

Parents are overjoyed by the positive change they see in their children. Campers establish profound, often life-long friendships. There’s a special kind of bonding that takes place when working for a common goal while enjoying 100’s of fun, exciting activities. Camp Pocono Trails sets the gold standard for any camp that concentrates on fitness, wellness or weight loss. Our campers sacrifice nothing of the traditional camp experience at Camp Pocono Trails. No wonder we’re an ACA accredited camp.

Get more info about Camp Pocono Trails.



Mom & Family Camp

Working out with your loved ones can be great!

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?!

Mom's enjoy the Camp Pocono Trails pool
Our Mom’s camp has been tremendously successful since it was introduced in the summer of 2012.

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 fun ways you can workout with your loved ones:
Family fitness idea #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!

Family fitness idea #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.

Family fitness idea #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!

Family fitness idea #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!