Affordable Fat Camps in Illinois

By Deborah Reis

There are several fat camps in and near Illinois. Some camps serve children and teens exclusively while others are designed for adults. In Chicago, an adult boot camp serves those who prefer a day camp and a rigorous workout. Day camps, of course, are always more affordable than resident camps. There are, however, three resident camps located in or near Illinois. These camps are generally designed to serve children ages nine through 17. While resident camps are more costly, they also are all inclusive.

South Side Boot Camp

South Side Boot Camp is an adult fitness camp offering a three-day, four-week "challenging" exercise course that promises to help members get into shape and lose weight. The camp concentrates on strength training to improve cardiovascular fitness, endurance and flexibility. Candidates must be reasonably fit to apply. The camp instructor is a certified personal trainer and boot camp fitness instructor. The boot camp is held in St. Ethelreda Elementary School in Chicago. Classes are limited to six people per session. This organization also offers a private boot camp available for up to 6 people in their own home or facility.

The South Side Boot Camp is a membership organization. A membership fee of $150 covers the entire 12-week session. South Side Boot Camp email address:

Camp Endeavor

Camp Endeavor is located in Lake Delton, Wis., approximately 96 miles north of the Illinois state line. The resident coed camp offers two and four-week sessions during the summer for children ages nine to 17. This camp takes a holistic approach to weight loss, including physical exercise and nutrition education. Memberships include $2,000 for a two-week session and $3,700 for four weeks. Financial assistance is available. Camp Endeavor is located on Monroe Ave, Lake Delton, WI 53940. Phone: 608-448-9752. Website

Camp Jump Start

Camp Jump Start in Imperial, Mo., is about 30 miles south of the Illinois state line. The camp, licensed in Missouri and Illinois, offers four and eight-week sessions for children and teens, ages nine through 17. Camp goals are designed to educate campers to pursue a healthy lifestyle and maintain weight loss. Professional staff guides campers in behavior modification, healthy eating habits and fitness. Four-week sessions cost $3,695 and eight-week sessions are $6,695. Some insurance companies will provide at least partial coverage. Camp Jump Start is located at 3602 Lions Den Road, Imperial, MO 63052. Phone: 636-287-5004. Email:

Camp Jump Start Illinois

Located on the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge on Little Grassy Lake near Carbondale, Illinois, Camp Jump Start is a weight loss camp for kids. The camp stresses fitness, behavior modification and well-balanced and portion-controlled meals. This is a coed camp for children ages 10-17. The trained staff promotes self-discipline and a positive self-image. Camp Jump Start can be reached at 7453 Hibbard Lane, St. Louis, MO 63123. Phone: 314-729-0175. Email:


About the Author

Living in Union, Wash., Deborah Reis has been a freelance writer since 1990. Her articles have appeared in the "Chicago Tribune," "Dental Products Report" and other trade magazines. An educator and reading specialist, Reis has taught all levels, K-graduate students. She holds a bachelor's in English and master's degree in education from Eastern Washington University.

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