Kids learn healthy habits at MVP Camp


It's a noisy, high–energy, hands–on camp that is getting kids excited about physical fitness while teaching them about exercise and instilling lifelong values like team work and character development.

It is the first year for MVP Camp at the Kearney Family YMCA and so far, campers say it is going great.

Cruz– "Its really fun, it's a fun way to get exercise.," said 12-year-old Cruz Evans.

It is a free, three–week program for kids 10 to 14 years old.

"I believe it's our responsibility to reach out to these kids," said YMCA program manager, Ray Longoria. "We want to develop healthier lifestyles.

"I've been learning like not to eat so much junk food and be outside instead of being on your electronics," said 11-year-old Perla Gamez.

Aside from healthy eating habits, the YMCA is also getting kids comfortable with daily fitness and sports.

"Nationally at this age, a lot of kids start dropping out of sports," said Longoria. "The participation level at age 12, 70 percent of our kids drop out of sports and for us, we want to make sure that that's not happening. So we want to make sure that this is fun for them."

Just looking around the room, it seems the camp is accomplishing that.

"As you can see in the back we have an obstacle course set up," said Longoria. "We will touch a little bit on our track and field day we learned yesterday, but in a fun manner."

Counselors say they are also teaching the campers proper weight training mechanics.

"I've never used machines like this, only one of them, but it's like when you get on you have to pedal your legs that's one of my favorites," said Gamez.

The YMCA says these camp lessons can be applied later in life.

"It helps with your academics in school and it helps you learn characteristics as teamwork, sportsmanship, how to be a team player," said Longoria. "A lot of the stuff we learn through sports or fitness or this camp that we're doing, it's going to help make them better people."

While the camp is in its first year, the YMCA says they are hoping to bring it back next year.

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