Local camp teaches kids how to be as “Fit as a Firefighter”

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SLIDELL, La. -- It's officially the month of June, which means summer camps are pretty much in full swing.

Aside from your typical field games and pool fights, some camps tend to go in a different direction.

Fit as a Firefighter camp is changing the game when it comes to day camp rituals.

It was created as a joint effort between Slidell Memorial Hospital and St. Tammany Fire Protection District 1.

It's one that teaches kids about fitness, the right eating habits, and what to do in case of a fire.

"We go into the smokehouse and we learn about how to stay low under smoke and so we don't breathe it in," says 11-year old, Katie Strecker.

"You learn to stop drop and roll, and you learn to get like on the ground and breathe the fresh oxygen, not all of the bad oxygen that's up there," describes 10-year old camper, James Graham.

"This camp was the brain child of a lot of people 13 years ago to fight childhood obesity. Every little kid wants to be a fireman when they grow up. We needed a catchy name, something that was going to grab the kids attention, something they would really want to do," says Sam Caruso Jr., Director of Business Development at SMH.

The weeks activities include cross fit for kids, water day games, nutrition class, and more.

"I like nutrition, because we get to make food and it's really good. I actually tried some at my house," says Katie.

Organizers hope that these kids learn to embrace a healthier lifestyle while having fun.

"The kids do learn that there is more to life than screen time. So, it is a wonderful tool for the kids, and it's a wonderful tool for parents. We hope they take advantage of that and carry it on once the kids get home," says Sam.

Sam says this year there are a record number of campers with 131 kids.


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