Aspen Education Announces Opening of Nation’s First Weight Loss Summer Camp for Families

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Michigan-based Wellspring Family Camp for young children to begin sessions in June 2006

Wellspring Family Camp provides a healthy and memorable alternative to a typical two-week family vacation

Aspen Education Group today announced the establishment of Wellspring Family Camp, the nation’s first summer weight loss camp for children ages 5 to 13. The camp, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, is part of Aspen’s Healthy Living Academies division and was designed by leading researchers as a scientifically-based weight loss and behavioral change immersion program for young children. Each child must be accompanied by at least one parent or grandparent for the duration of a two-week session.

“Obesity and excess weight are the most serious health issues facing American children,” said Elliot Sainer, CEO of Aspen Education Group. “Up until now, treatment options for significantly overweight young children have been limited and rarely effective. By involving parents in the program, Wellspring Family Camp can help many families solve their youngsters’ weight problems before they grow worse. In addition, parents participating in the program with their child can expect to lose 8-10 pounds, if they are overweight, while learning how to implement an easy and effective weight loss program for their families.”

According to Healthy Living Academies Clinical Director Dr. Daniel S. Kirschenbaum, a Professor at Northwestern University Medical School, there are several key factors that differentiate the Wellspring approach to weight loss from that of most weight loss camps. “First of all, this is a comprehensive weight control program where parents receive intense training on proven techniques that promote healthy, long-term weight loss in young children,” said Dr. Kirschenbaum. “Second, parents learn skills that improve their families’ eating and activity patterns, and they learn to recognize and better manage stress that can result in emotional eating. Finally, families will develop an entirely new skill-set for continued weight loss at home. These skills, combined with the success they will achieve at camp, will create momentum and build commitment for the transition from the program back to everyday living.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Michigan ranks second in the nation in the percentage of overweight residents, with 61 percent of adults overweight compared with 57 percent nationally. One quarter of Michigan children are overweight and 11 percent are considered obese. In addition, 39 percent of Michigan children have elevated cholesterol, compared to the national average of 25 percent.

“Wellspring Family Camp provides a healthy and memorable alternative to a typical two-week family vacation,” said Program Director, Rachel Yudin, MSW. “Here families share in the important experience of learning to eat healthy, exercise and support each other in ways that can impact them positively for the rest of their lives.”

Wellspring Family Camp starts June 25, 2006 with four 2-week sessions that continue until August 19.

Healthy Living Academies is a division of Aspen Education Group that operates residential schools and summer programs addressing America’s crisis of pediatric and adolescent obesity. According to studies, Healthy Living Academies’ Wellspring Camps have achieved the best short-term and longer-term results ever reported for weight loss camps in the U.S. To learn more, visit or call (866) 364-0808.

Aspen Education Group is recognized nationwide as the leading provider of education programs for struggling or underachieving young people. Aspen’s 33 programs in 12 states provide a range of therapeutic interventions, including boarding schools, residential treatment and wilderness therapy. For more information, visit or call (888) 972-7736.


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