Kamp K'aana: Building Friendships, Getting Healthy Part 2

June 10-23, 2018 

Kamp K'aana integrates summer camp fun with healthy living! Kamp K'aana is a two-week summer camp for children ages 10-14 years who have a Body Mass Index in the 95th percentile or higher. Kamp K'aana introduces children to powerful, life-changing tools for healthy living while offering the fun of an overnight summer camp experience.

Josiah went to Kamp K’aana with the hopes of meeting new friends and having an unforgettable summer. When his mom, Nedra, picked him up from camp in summer 2017, she noticed Josiah’s attitude changed after camp. “He is happier; his self-esteem has increased and he communicates with me and our family more,” she said when we caught up with the mother and son duo. Nedra and Josiah are now physically active together through playing badminton and tennis or walking around the block.

What did you observe about your camper after camp?

I noticed a change in Josiah immediately when I picked him up. He was so full of life and excited to tell me everything about camp. Josiah was super confident, had more friends and everyone knew him. I also noticed that he did not have on his favorite jacket that he would wear all the time to cover his body since he was really self-cautious about his body. I was learning from my child how to eat right, read labels, and take care of my body. It was work for the whole family but we did it together and we are continually doing it as a team. He has a whole new perspective on life and he does not mind sharing it with anyone. Josiah now gives it his absolute all and is not afraid to try.

How has participating in Kamp K’aana impacted your life and your family’s life?

He has more energy and has looked at exercise as something exciting and no longer a punishment, it’s like he is fearless and so excited about life.

What made you want to send your child to Kamp K’aana? Or How did you hear about the camp?

Josiah is an only child who has faced many challenges growing up. After several talks with his pediatrician, she suggested that it would be good if Josiah attends a camp that will allow him to be around kids his age and teach him how to live a healthy lifestyle. I was worried, nervous, and scared all at the same time. I was greeted by YMCA staff who ensured me that they had been doing this for a long time and that everything would be alright. He had never been away from me more than school hours and has definitely never camped. You will truly be surprised what you children can do when they are not under their parents very watchful eyes. Josiah jumped right in and fit in like he had been camping all of his life.

What are the highlights of the camp that you enjoyed?

I personally enjoyed seeing pictures of Josiah and all of his camp buddies. It felt good to see him smiling every day while doing things that would absolutely scare me. I also loved that the Camp staff were so supportive, patient and reassuring whenever I had a concern. That really made me feel good to know that my concern was heard and I was not just another parent or number. They really do care and support our kids to be the very best that they can be.

How has participating in Kamp K’aana impacted your life and your family’s life?

Since participating in Kamp K’aana, we have a new relationship. A new bond where we understand and learn from each other. He is happier, his self-esteem has increased and he communicates with me and our family more.

What would you like other families in a similar position like yours to know about Kamp K’aana and the YMCA?

Let you children do something that you have never done. Give them the opportunity to explore and learn new things and evolve to better themselves. Take it from me—the super over protective mother- Let them fly! The YMCA and Kamp K’aana is one of the best investments in your child that you could ever make. It’s a wonderful feeling to hear that Josiah wants to give back by helping and teaching other campers.

Kamp K'aana is designed by a team of specialists from Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, delivered by the YMCA of Greater Houston at YMCA Camp Cullen, located in Trinity, Texas.

Summer 2018 is open. Medical providers are encouraged to refer patients to Kamp K'aana.
Financial assistance is available.

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Please enjoy this gallery of photos from Kamp K'aana!