Pay It Forward: Corder Pounders Fit Camp helps kids shed pounds without stigma

HARWOOD, Md. (NewsChannel 8) - Childhood obesity is problem in the United States. With easy access to games, movies and social media at their fingertips, the 24/7 battle against obesity is an uphill one for both parents and kids.

Adrienne Corder decided to take matters into her own hands and launched the Corder Pounders Fit Camp (burger-chain pun intended).

“I was working in the pediatric office and realized kids were getting bigger and their parents didn't know what to do or how to do. So we combined a couple of ideas and starting working from the ground,” Corder said.

The Corder Pounder program originally started with Saturday sessions, then moved into after school programs in elementary schools in D.C. and Prince George’s county. Ten years later it’s expanded into a summer camp that includes activities like swimming, hiking, and gardening.

“The activity is really focused on making fitness fun for the kids, allowing them to know it’s not just them that are overweight, it's a lot of kids,” Corder said. “Thirty percent of our children are overweight or obese so it's a big issue that needed addressing and I just jumped in it.”

Corder works with youth ages 7 to 17. Her programs aren’t just about losing pounds but also health education, so that campers can maintain a healthy body weight and lifestyle.

“They learn about the BMI, body mass index, they learn their own BMIs. They know what their target weight or their target goals are. They know what the good foods are, they really learn to apply what we teach in terms of health education to their everyday lives,” Corder said.

Corder Pounder camper Temitayo Ogunduyilemi lost 25 pounds at the fit camp. He says the easy approach helped him get through it.

“When I first got here I was like 'oh I’m going to get made fun of, oh it’s not going to be fun, they're going to work us to death, I'm going to be so mad when I go home.’ Then we went on a walk on my first day and I was good at walking, so as I got through it, it got better and better because I lost more weight as I went on.”

“We work out but it’s not traditional working out. We do a lot of games and stuff, volleyball, kickball, obstacle courses so you don't really know that you're working out,” another camper, Kyah Ayers said.

When campers complete the program by meeting their weight goals or going off to college they’re always welcomed back.

Cameron Williams lost 89 pounds over four years as a Corder Pounder and now he’s back helping out as an alumnus.

“I wanted to be more healthy and live life longer [and to] its fullest and just create a new person and bring it out,” Williams said.

“Over the years I’ve seen a lot of families grow. I just want to motivate those families who are battling with a child who’s overweight or obese. It’s not too late it’s a solvable problem; it’s an easy solution fitness and food.” Corder said.

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