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Texas Children’s Hospital announced registration is now open for Kamp K’aana, a unique fun-based summer camp for overweight and obese children ages 10 to 14 years. This two-week, weight management camp is run by experts from Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine where kids lose weight as a side effect of having fun and living an active, healthy lifestyle.

Kamp K’aana 2011 runs from July 31 – Aug. 13 and costs $1,500. Scholarships are available for those in need of financial assistance.

The most common side effects of childhood obesity are low self-esteem and depression. The goal of Kamp K’aana is to provide a comprehensive weight management program that boosts self-esteem and self-worth.

“The campers leave camp wanting to change their lives,” says Dr. Sarah Barlow, director of Texas Children’s Center for Childhood Obesity. “Parents are really excited about this change; they tell us they can see this confidence immediately in how the kids walk and hold up their heads.”

Kamp K’aana is staffed by a team of childhood obesity specialists including registered dietitians, exercise physiologists, scientists, pediatric gastroenterologists, a child psychotherapist and a child psychologist. Campers have a unique opportunity to participate in fun activities including swimming, water slides, canoeing, pedal karts, zip lining, horseback riding, ropes courses, weight training and other field activities. Not only do the campers get to experience and take part in all of these actives, but they gain confidence that comes from learning new activities in a supportive environment, and techniques needed to help maintain new behaviors at home after camp.

“Kamp K’aana is definitely part of the solution to the health epidemic that will cripple our nation’s health care system,” says Dr. Stephanie Abrams, medical director of Kamp K’aana. “If we don’t get these children on a weight management plan and provide them with the tools they need to succeed, they will burden the healthcare system in the future as they develop conditions that could otherwise be prevented.”

Held at Camp Cho-Yeh’s 640 acre facility, Kamp K’aana leverages the partnership built with Camp Cho-Yeh to really draw on their expertise of providing a fun and safe camp program.

“Kamp helped me with my confidence, self-esteem and attitude to say what I feel.  It also helped me become me,” says TaYanna Taylor, a former camper. “I’m not scared to put on certain clothes and be afraid of what people say. I love who I am and how I am.”

Included in the price of Kamp K’aana are three reunions held three, six and 12 months after camp to allow the campers and their families to reconnect and to reiterate lessons learned. Financial contributions and donations to help provide scholarships and support to families in need are always welcomed and greatly appreciated.

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Campers at Kamp K'anna enjoy an afternoon on the lake.
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