Physical Activity, Healthy Environments Part of Immersion in Wellness Camp Experience

AMES, Iowa – Youth can boost their level of physical activity during the Immersion in Wellness camp experience at the Iowa 4-H Center this summer. Youth enrolled in Everything Camp and Counselors in Training Camp will have the opportunity to participate in the immersion experience, a research study conducted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach targeted toward lowering childhood obesity in the state.

The two camps will immerse youth in health promoting activities in five areas: nutrition education, gardening, culinary skills, physical activity and a health-promoting environment.

“The immersion experiences will develop youths’ skills and abilities so they can succeed, and transfer the positive health behaviors they experience at camp to their home and community,” said Ruth Litchfield, associate professor and state nutrition extension specialist at Iowa State University.

Immersion in Physical Activity and a Health Promoting Environment

Research suggests that multitasking on various technologies encompasses 11 ½ hours each day for youth ages 11-18. This exposure to television, computers, cell phones, mp3 players and other technologies has decreased the time youth spend in physical activity.

During the Immersion in Wellness camp experience, campers will participate in a number of structured and unstructured physical activities each day.

“Screen time has become a full-time job for many youth,” Litchfield said. “Through the activities at camp, we are trying to empower youth to take charge of their health and wellbeing by introducing a variety of ways to increase physical activity as a substitute for screen time.”

Campers enrolled in either camp can sign up to participate in the research study. Should they choose to enter the study, campers can receive up to a $65 camper scholarship. Youth can register for camp online at

“The Iowa 4-H Center is devoted to helping kids develop to their highest potential and lead healthy lives,” said Abbie Parker, Iowa 4-H Center program specialist. “Through this new camp experience, we’re hoping to help youth learn more about growing and preparing healthy food and participating in physical activity to lead healthier lives.”

For more information, contact the Iowa 4-H Center at 515-795-3338 or contact any ISU Extension and Outreach county office.