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St. Luke's McCall Holds First Kid's Camp

Liz Jones, St. Luke's McCall community education coordinator, preps the kids for a farmer's market treasure hunt.
June 27, 2014

Catie McCarthy is making sure she and her family eats healthier after attending the first St. Luke’s McCall Kid’s Camp this summer.

“Catie has been fixing us oatmeal with steel cut oats and berries since she learned how a healthy breakfast can help us all get our days off to a good start,” said her mother, Vic McCarthy.

St. Luke’s McCall partnered with the University of Idaho Valley County Extension to offers kids a fun and interactive way to learn and practice healthy lifestyle choices.

“The goal is for kids to increase their knowledge about the benefits of good nutrition and exercise, and positively influence their peers and families to embrace healthier lifestyle choices,” said Liz Jones, St. Luke’s McCall community education coordinator.

St. Luke’s McCall held a three-week camp, with nine sessions, for kids ages 7 to 11, including three family days. Each day’s program included a fitness adventure, nutrition lesson, and hands-on healthy meal creation.

The fitness adventures were led by Jones and guest exercise enthusiasts to introduce kids to different types of fun and beneficial exercise, including tennis, stress and relaxation exercises, Zumba, walks, and fun-n-fit exercises families can do together.

St. Luke’s McCall Registered Dietitian Susan McCandless led activities on how to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into kids’ diets. She provided fun and easy-to-prepare recipes that most kids can make on their own, including fruit kebabs, crunchy vegetable burritos, power smoothies, banana dogs, and breakfast tacos.

Good food, and good food for thought as well.

“I learned to cook,” camper Larrissa Rude said. “It’s better to eat more nutrition than sugar. A lot of cereal has too much sugar.”

Along with the recipes, McCandless encouraged kids to “eat from the rainbow” by learning how different colors of produce can lead to a healthy heart, eyes, and bones, and prevent colds and flu. She also took the kids on a “Sugar Sleuth” exercise to help them learn that sugar isn’t only in cookies and cake and how to find “sugar hide-outs” by reading labels.

As an Accountable Care Organization, St. Luke’s is committed to delivering on our Triple Aim of better health, better care, and lower costs. All St. Luke’s sites conduct a Community Healthy Needs Assessment, which help to identify our communities’ health needs, and one of those key health issues is diabetes. Pre-diabetes and diabetes are appearing earlier and earlier in life, and St. Luke’s and other healthcare organizations are actively involved in finding solutions to reverse the alarming trend.

One out of five children in the U.S. is considered overweight or obese, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Along with that comes a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes as children or as an adult. Fitness and nutrition are two of the most effective ways to prevent and manage pre-diabetes.

“St. Luke’s is tackling the issue by addressing kids at an early age by exposing them to the benefits of making healthy choices. If good nutrition and exercise habits are developed early, it can lead to living a healthy lifestyle as an adult and reduce the risk of getting type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases,” said Lyle Nelson, St. Luke’s McCall’s community relations and Center for Health Promotion director.

To support ongoing encouragement and learning about nutrition and exercise, monthly after-school programs at the elementary schools in Donnelly, McCall, and Cascade will continue for the upcoming school year.

Upcoming St. Luke’s kids camps:


Explore – Summer Camp at Bogus Basin

July 28 through Aug. 1

Aug. 11 through 15

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

$88.75 for Boise residents and $137.01 for non-residents

(Scholarships are available.)

Explore will feature outdoor exploration activities, Iron Chef competitions, and individual and team skill-building.

For kids ages 9-14 with a Body Mass Index of 85 percent or greater.

Register online at

3rd Annual Don Scott Diabetes Family Camp

Sept. 12, 6 to 9 p.m.

Sept. 13, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area, Simplot Lodge

$25 per person or $100 per family

(Financial assistance available.)

For families who have children with type 1 diabetes.

This fun, active camp in the forest of Bogus Basin will offer outdoor activities for the entire family, along with group sessions for parents and caregivers and peer-to-peer opportunities for kids.

For information and to register, contact Lisa Gonser, St. Luke’s Humphreys Diabetes Center, at 381-7438 or

Magic Valley:

Kids Fest (sponsored by St. Luke’s Magic Valley)

Saturday, Aug. 23

Event: 10 a.m. to 2pm

CSI Herrett Center

Yeah! Fun Run – 9am

Kids entry fee, free, adults, $5 suggested donation

A community event filled with healthy activities for the entire family, from healthy eating tips and exercise demonstrations to wellness education and Planetarium shows!

For information, contact Laura Stewart, St. Luke’s Magic Valley, at 814-0015 or

Wood River:

YEAH! Youth Engaged in Activities for Health

Sept., 2014 An eight-week healthy lifestyle program for children ages 5-16 and their families with a focus on healthy eating, physical activity, and positive behavior changes.

To learn more and to find out if your family is eligible, call St. Luke’s Clinical Nutrition at (208) 727-8356.