10-Second Tip: Avoid the Mystery Meat at Camp

Jacob Eckeberger
July 21st, 2016

At the NATIONAL YOUTH WORKERS CONVENTION, we stopped youth workers from all across the U.S. and asked them to share a 10-second youth ministry tip.


Don’t eat the mystery meat at camp.


Whether it’s the mystery meat that could send you running to the bathroom, or the endless supply of ice cream and cookies, nothing destroys a healthy diet quite like a week of camp food. Here are a few healthy eating tips for your camp week:

1) Eat all the colors available.

It may not be realistic for you to count calories during your meals at camp. But a good way to know that you’re selecting the healthiest options available is to load your plate up with food of as many different colors as possible. For instance, get the green vegetables, and the red and orange fruit, but try to stay away from as many deep-fried brown things as you can.

2) Pack pre-planned snacks.

Create a series of daily snacks for mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and evening that include healthy options, like baby carrots, apples, small portions of almonds, and Clif bars. Having these preplanned snacks will help you avoid the temptation of carrying a box of leftover pizza back to your bunk at night.

3) Never skip a meal but don’t always get seconds.

Even if the only breakfast option is donuts, it’s better for you to have 1 donut than to skip breakfast altogether. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should eat more than 1 donut, even if they are stuck together.

4) Drink tons of water.

Beyond the normal eight 8oz glasses of water that you should be drinking a day, also drink another 8oz glass of water when you first start to feel or think that you’re hungry. It won’t prevent hunger, but 8oz of water will help curb an appetite 10-minutes after you drink it. Make it easy on yourself and buy a Nalgene water bottle with the ounce markers to help keep you on track.

*Be sure to talk to your doctor before beginning any new diet. They may not understand why you’d choose to spend so much of your life at a camp with teens, but they’ll know how to stay healthy while you do it. 

Join us this year for the National Youth Workers Convention in Cincinnati, OH for way more tips and ministry ideas from the 50+ seminars and training opportunities. Register early for NYWC to save BIG: NYWC.COM.

JACOB ECKEBERGER is the Content Manager at Youth Specialties, an itinerant worship leader, the spouse of a church planter, and a long time volunteer youth worker. You can find him blogging about social media and digital strategy ideas at JACOBECKEBERGER.COM.

Jacob Eckeberger

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.