LITTLE ROCK — Girls from across Arkansas, including Jefferson and Lincoln counties, recently had fun exercising, learning about healthy eating and building their self-confidence.
The Arkansas Minority Health Commission, in partnership with Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Girl Scouts-Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, recently hosted its fourth residential fitness camp. Camp iRock, for sixth, seventh and eighth grade girls, was held at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center in Little Rock.
The camp featured activities, workshops and exercises designed to equip campers with the tools and support to help them achieve and maintain optimum fitness and nutrition in their daily lives.
“This is about lifestyle change,” said AMHC Director Idonia Trotter. “Our goal is to help these girls develop healthy eating habits, encourage regular physical activity and build self-esteem.”
Providing the camp experience to girls in minority communities is vital to addressing the health disparities that AMHC focuses on. Camp iRock encourages campers to get moving and develop a less sedimentary lifestyle because, according to the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, one in three Arkansas public school students is overweight or at risk for becoming overweight. These children have a higher risk of developing diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases.
Participants in this year’s camp enjoyed a variety of activities including nutrition education, yoga, cardio exercise, swimming, hiking and dance.
Five campers from Jefferson County this year included Alyssa Darton, Makayla Bradley, Pricilla Foreman, Jasmin Preston and Dominique Watkins.
Tayelor Johnson attended from Lincoln County.
Two mentors from Jefferson County, Kaelyn Irby and Zariah Fluker, attended last year’s camp and returned to encourage and motivate this year’s campers.
“Our hope is that this will not end here,” said Dr. Rhonda Mattox, AMHC medical director. “We hope that they will integrate what they’ve learned here into their daily habits.”
About Arkansas Minority Health Commission
The mission of the Arkansas Minority Health Commission is to ensure all minority Arkansans access to health care that is equal to the care provided to other citizens of the state and to seek ways to provide education, address issues and prevent diseases and conditions that are prevalent among minority populations. To learn more about the Arkansas Minority Health Commission, visit www.arminorityhealth.com.