Camp was so nice, we had to do it twice. But not quite. Camp Wellness was conceptualized this year by the President of the Diabetes Association of Barbados Trudy Griffith and Nutritionist Nicole Griffith due our concerns related to the increase in childhood obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
This year, we staged the inaugural Camp Wellness, a one week camp that attracted twenty-seven campers, the youngest of whom was age three. The campers participated in thirteen tasks which were carefully selected to ensure that they fulfilled the eight dimensions of health and wellness while having fun. These activities included food labs, where each day they were taught how to create a healthy budget-friendly dish. This was done in conjunction with Nutrition for the Real World and consumerism classes. Additionally, they engaged in daily physical activity and new surprises from various organizations such as the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA), plant and animal farming with D and A Farms at the Spring Hall Land Lease, leadership sessions, composting and food safety. Health checks such as blood sugar and blood pressure were performed daily and the team from Brighter Smile Dentistry was included to assess each camper’s dental health. The conclusion of Camp Wellness combined a snorkeling trip, hands-on experience at the Barbados Light and Power Solar Plant, with the grand finale of a Budget Shopping Game hosted by A1 Supermarket.
This camp was truly significant as we seek to not only mould these children’s attitudes regarding health and wellness but contribute to their overall development. It’s a lot for one week, but it doesn’t end there. We are following up with the children over the course of one year to determine if this intervention has indeed made an impact.