Unfortunately, childhood obesity is on the rise. Many families are struggling to keep their children from becoming overweight and healthy. Sadly, my 9 y/o child suffers with childhood obesity. Therefore, I had to make the hard decision to enroll her in a weight loss camp over the summer. Being that she is only 9 years old my choices of weight loss camps were limited. I did find a few camps and decided to send her to Camp Shane in Arizona. I reviewed the services on the website , and I was encouraged to enroll her based on the reviews from parents on the website- my first mistake. Also, I made several calls to the camp and spoke with the representatives who further encouraged me to enroll my child because the experience was "so great" and "all the children love coming to this camp" and "the children learn ways to live healthy for life". I even received a phone call from the camp owner, David Ettenberg, who further encouraged me to enroll my child. I did enroll my child. What a big mistake.
Being that this was my child's first time away from home, I played it safe and enrolled her for only one of the three sessions which were offered by the camp. I was told by Camp Shane's staff that it was possible to enroll for additional sessions in the future; this sounded great. Feeling confident about enrolling my child into this camp which offered to help my daughther become healthy, I gave them my personal account information thinking that they would only charge me for the session I enrolled my child to attend. Well, I got a rude awakening. Camp Shane charged me twice for session 1; I did bring this to their attention. I told them to keep the overcharged amount to cover session 2 which I had decided to extend to that session. But the charges did not end there. Even though, I did not extend to session 3, Camp Shane decided to charge me for session 3 anyway , and to make matters worse , they made an unauthorized withdrawal from my account (behind my back). I thought , maybe, this was a mistake; I called and notified them about the charge. Instead of doing the right thing and return my money, they lied and said I extended to session 3, and that they do not make refunds. Confused, I assured them that my daughter was home before session 3 started and that I never extended to session 3. I also reminded them to look at that thing called a "contract" and tell me what did they see. I was told that does not matter to them. I asked to speak with the owner, David Ettenberg who I thought would be eager to resolve the issue. Well, suprisedly, Mr Ettenberg has been going along with the lie that I extended my daughter to session 3. He has told several lies to the point where he has made up information and sent it to Better Business Bureau( of course, I have filed this information to them). My mouth dropped when I read the information , Mr. Ettenberg, supplied to BBB. It was all lies. This man is willing to lie in order to keep my money.
Also, my child's 10lb weight loss was short-lived. She regained the weight really soon. Let me explain why. Well, the program is a failure. They feed the kids very little (I have issues with how much nutrition the children are provided; they do not put their menu on the web like other weight loss camps). Moreover, the children exercise all day long. You would think this is great. However, this is not a realistic schedule. In the real world , these kids cannot take up exercising all day long. They have school to attend; they have to study; they go out with friends. In addition, the camp is staffed only with undergraduate college students who have not even finished school; this includes the dietician (not licensed) and fitness trainers. Unfortunately, a lot of bad eating habits are related to psychological problems. Well, your child will not receive any psychological therapy here, because it is not offered. And, you would think this camp has a medically approved scale to measure weight; there is no medically approved scale at this camp. They us a scale that you can pick up at Walmart to monitor the kids weight.
Don't send your young kids to this camp. My daughter's soap and deodorant was still packed in her bags in the original wrapping, untouched. She lost nearly all her clothes even though they were labeled. Did they monitor her activity? She is a younger child who needs to be monitored more than the teenagers; however, this attention did not occur. This camp should not accept younger aged children if they are not prepared to care for them. My daughter has asthma and they were notified about this; they did not help her keep track of her inhaler; moreover, she was not permitted to go to the nurse as much as she needed for her asthma exacerbations.
Lastly, those reviews on Camp Shane's website cannot be trusted. Keep in mind, a lot of these kids who are obese , do not have a lot of friends; they are shunned at school and the community. Camp Shane is the only place where they come into contact with kids who look like them and have the same problems. The kids feel accepted here and this makes them happy. Like most parents , when the kids are happy, the parents are happy. Most of Camp Shane's clients are repeat campers. They have to repeat the sessions to lose the weight that they have regained, and they want to be back with their friends.
Thus, I would like to advise people to avoid sending your children to Camp Shane. Camp Shane/David Ettenberg is not above sneaking money from your bank account. Moreover, Camp Shane offers incompetent services to help your child maintain weight loss to become healthy.