This summer, Elliott is working with Fiver Children’s Foundation at Camp Fiver, a sleepaway camp for youth from inner New York City to escape for several weeks out of the summer. As a Health Coach fellow, he works to make sure Fiver youth receive high quality health programs that inspire them to bring these tools and tips back home and carry throughout their lives.
A lot of people ask: What is health? This is a very good question that adults and youth are still trying to figure out. Most of us think health is just about eating well and exercising regularly. Yes, those are great examples of healthy living but it goes so much deeper than that. There are many states of health, including: emotional, mental and physical. All these forms play out in our lives daily and impact how we process the world around us.
Physical health is really what we typically think about when we think about well-being - healthy eating and staying active. Yes, it does matter how we eat and how much physical activity we put in during the course of the day - especially for youth. Ultimately, this fuels us throughout the course of the day - learning, moving, and socializing with others.
Emotional health affects our mental state of being. It’s important to make sure we have a balance of healthy relationships, relaxation, and reflection to maintain emotional health. It is especially important to make time for reflection. That way, you have a chance to realize all of the positives and negatives in your life, allowing you to weed out the good from the bad and lead an overall healthier lifestyle. Relaxing and just taking it easy sometimes is also important because it allows you to regroup your thoughts and bring you closer to the process of reflection. Relaxation and reflection is also hard for many youth to come by - especially if they’ve been exposed to trauma or adversity at a young age. When working with youth, it is important to allow them the space to learn and practice emotional health. At Camp Fiver, we try to do this by allowing youth time to just be themselves and take it easy throughout their stay.
Camp Fiver provides many structured and unstructured ways to ensure the success, happiness, and overall well-being of Fiver youth. The health classes play a huge role in educating Fiver campers about healthy life choices. In one class, we may talk together about what health actually is, exploring mental, physical, and emotional health. It is key for young people to understand these things because it impacts their overall development into young adulthood. In other classes, campers are able to play sports, read, reflect, and sing together. All of these different components work together to instill positive and healthy habits in Fiver youth.