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Camp Counselor's Handbook

The Camp Counselor’s Handbook contains the programming and activity tools developed by Shape Up in collaboration with its partners specializing in healthy eating and physical activity.

This handbook is designed to inform camp coordinators, managers, counselors, and monitors about the many aspects of healthy habits in their camps. The staff can familiarize themselves with the games, activities, and tools it proposes before incorporating them into their daily activities with young campers. In so doing, they foster the development of healthy habits among children.

Programming Tools

The programming tools include information on the intensity of various physical activities, and intensity-based programming charts.

Game Sheets

The game sheets, which target different age groups, offer a huge variety of physical games and nutrition activities that are sure to make your life easier.

  • Moderate to high-intensity physical activities
    5-6 years old activity sheets
    7-8 years old activity sheets
    a sample : thieves and dragons
    9-12 years old activity sheets
    13-17 years old activity sheets

  • Physical activities for small groups of 6 to 10 kids
    5-6 years old activity sheets
    7-8 years old activity sheets
    a sample : Meteorites
    9-12 years old activity sheets

  • Fun and educational nutrition activities
    5-6 years old activity sheets
    Food cards Virtual Chef
    Food cards Think & Run Duathlon

    7-8 years old activity sheets
    Food cards Virtual Chef
    Food cards Think & Run Duathlon

    9-12 years old activity sheets
    Food cards Virtual Chef
    Food cards Think & Run Duathlon

    13-15 years old activity sheets
    Food cards Virtual Chef
    Food cards Think & Run Duathlon

  • Tips and Tricks to encourage every child to take part
    Tips and Tricks

Nutrition Activities

The nutrition activities feature four different—and fun—activities.

  • The "Smart Lunch" activity puts into practice the basic notions about healthy eating and a balanced lunchbox, with a fun and creative activity.
    Smart lunch 5-6 years old
    Smart lunch 7-8 years old
    Smart lunch 9-12 years old

  • The "Fun With Cooking" activities gets kids to roll up their sleeves and get cooking, with tasty recipes that are easy to make at camp.
    Fun cooking 5-6 years old
    Fun cooking 7-8 years old
    Fun cooking 9-12 years old
    Fun cooking 13-15 years old

  • The "Tasting Expert" activities helps familiarize participants with the development of taste and the other senses and gets them to discover different smells and flavors.
    Tasting expert 5-6 years old
    Tasting expert 7-8 years old
    Tasting expert 9-12 years old
    Tasting expert 13-15 years old
    [Tasting expert video](/

  • The "Fun with sprout" activities helps get kids gardening and Learning about germination. In a short space of time, the seeds they plant will begin to sprout and yield delicious greens they can harvest and enjoy.
    Fun with sprout 5-6 years old
    Fun with sprout 7-8 years old
    Fun with sprout 9-12 years old
    Fun with sprout 13-15 years old

Best practices

Here are a few healthy habit practices implemented by Shape Up program camps. They've been successfully put to the test in the field. Why not try them in your camp!

  • Incorporate healthy habits into camp themes. Enhance your programming by adding fun, healthy habit-related activities on a regular basis.

  • To make your activities more appealing, include those that are popular with young people, including Zumba, Color Me Runs, Spartan Races, and others. Challenge campers to keep up thier efforts by accummulating points and making them on a thermometer, for example.

  • Introduce active participation systems by creating challenges between groups of campers. Motivate kids to be more active by letting them choose certain activities themselves. Present them with food-related challenge to, e.g., concoct a 4/4 lunch, bring a purple fruit or vegetable for lunch, include a dairy product in thier lunchbox, and other ideas.

  • Invite a local elite athlete to come and talk about thier experience to campers and/or staff. Better yet, take the opportunity to organize a special activity with the athlete in question, e.g., a mini-Olympics, a healthy habit theme week, a Shape Up workshop, or other activity.

  • Organize a friendly competition between campers and staff. This rivalry will spur kids to get training! For example, older campers could face off against junior staff members in a game of Pure Instinct.

  • Incorporate a period of physical activity into the morning assembly. Get everyone to join in a Zumba, cardio, jogging, aerobics, or yoga session! The day's activity can be organized by different group each morning.

  • Take advantage of lunchtime to present healthy eating sketches acted out by staff. The kids can take part too!

  • Incorporate into your programming a Games area. Assign a staff member to the area to oragnize sports games. Make sure the area is equipped with all the necessary material to keep it a lively and attractive place.

  • Get the kids to take part in a group snack activity where everyone brings a piece of fruit to make a smoothie, or a vegetable to make a big dip, for example.

  • Cooking can be a fun activity! Choose easy and nutritious recipes, then let the kids measure, mix, smell, taste, and discover new foods too. Older kids can enven plan purchases, draw up a budget, and go to the grocery store (if it's nearby) to buy the ingredients. The, invite parents and friends of the campers to sample the dish.

  • Make a garden with the kids, either on the site of the camp or at a community garden, Task campers with planting the seeds, caring for the plants, and harvesting thier very own fruits and veggies. Ask for help from specialist from community or a local organization to help optimize your harvest-and enhance your budding gardeners' pleasure!

  • Slip hand-outs featuring healthy habit information and recipe ideas into your campers' lunchboxes. You can also post them in a prominent location where parents can see them.

  • Keep parents informed about the healthy habit activities at their children's camp. That way they can try them out at home too.