by KIM HILSENBECK
Hays CISD now has a Youth Fitness Camp for incoming first through eighth grade students. This new summer camp is organized and run entirely by Hays CISD Physical Education coaches.
Camp Director Wendy Morgan displayed visible joy when talking about the program; her smile went ear to ear as she watched the kids interacting and moving around the gym.
“I’m really excited about this camp,” Morgan said.
The half-day camps run in two four-day-a-week cycles, so 8 a.m. to noon Monday-Thursday for two weeks. The first camp session was held at Barton Middle School in mid June. Twenty-four campers were signed up.
Morgan said there are still plenty of spots open for the camp at Chapa Middle School which starts July 9 and runs through July 19.
The camp offers age-appropriate tennis, basketball, soccer and fitness conditioning, as well as health and nutrition lessons.
“We talk about go, slow and whoa foods,” Morgan said.
Campers had sugar free popsicles as a snack on the day the Hays Free Press visited.
Many of the fitness related games and activities were created by Morgan, who is a PE coach at Tobias Elementary School.
She also authored and published a book called “Hello to Health,” which includes many of the same games and activities, such as Sit Ups Tic Tac Toe – kids have to do a sit up before every move on the board.
Coaches also talk about “Stranger Danger,” Morgan said, and they play 9-1-1 tag. They also play Hygiene Heaven where they learn about showering, brushing teeth and wearing clean clothes.
Morgan said the district created the summer fitness camp in response to the recent Obesity Summit hosted by Hays CISD.
“We wanted to find a way to get kids active over the summer,” Morgan said. “And it’s very affordable.”
She said the district is talking about adding transportation to the mix next summer.