Food & Nutrition

The health of our campers is paramount. Our program is effective because it balances nutrition with plenty of physical activity. No pills, drugs or food supplements are ever used or encouraged. Our program is designed to safely produce an average weight loss of 3 to 5 pounds per week, depending on the amount of weight the camper has to lose. Our registered and licensed dietitians are professionally experienced with adult and child weight loss. The nutrition staff consists of highly qualified individuals with college-graduate level education in the field of nutrition. We teach a healthy approach to food and nutrition. We don’t believe in fad diets, deprivation, or clinical treatments in a school atmosphere. Rather, we teach you how to live a healthier life by making smarter choices, being conscious of portion sizes, and engaging in physical activities while enjoying our beautiful, private camp setting.

The nutrition program at Camp Pocono Trails is centered on a balanced meal plan for kids and teens. The meal plan is based on the updated My Plate Guidelines from the USDA, as well as the Exchange List for Weight Management from the National Institutes of Health. The focus is on eating natural, whole foods at every meal while eliminating highly processed foods. Campers will enjoy a variety of real foods in appropriate portions in order to lose weight in a nutritious, delicious, and safe way.

The meal plan is tailored to different age groups and genders, but averages to approximately 1600-1700 calories each day. Meals and snacks are carefully designed to include all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals each child needs to feel the very best. If desired, campers are able to follow a Vegetarian menu as well as a Kosher menu.

Each camper will attend nutrition and cooking classes weekly to learn about nutrition and gain hands-on experience in order to be successful continuing their healthy lifestyle at home. Nutrition classes cover topics such as reading food labels, dining out, emotional eating and behavior modification. Cooking classes allow campers to take an active role in preparing delicious, healthy and easy recipes that can be incorporated into their family’s busy lives.

“What happens if my child is a picky eater or has food allergies?” Campers are encouraged to try new things but always have options for meal substitutions. Our meal plan can accommodate even the pickiest of eaters! All food allergies and intolerances are carefully addressed and monitored by the registered dietitian and nutrition staff.

Our dietitians and nutrition staff will guide your child through all of their nutrition and cooking classes. The nutrition staff will also be available at every mealtime to monitor and answer any questions that may arise. The menu, nutrition class curriculum and take-home booklet are all developed by our registered and licensed dietitian and are based on current nutrition and health science research.

Campers are weighed individually, in private, on a weekly basis. The ultimate goal is not the number on the scale, but rather that campers use the knowledge and skills learned at camp to maintain healthy eating and exercise habits upon returning to the camp-free world. While weight loss is an obvious achievement to be celebrated, the Camp Pocono Trails focus is truly on changing lifestyle habits, improving health and having fun.

Start planning for Summer Camp! View our camp dates and rates. Or call us at 1-800-365-0556.

The Camp Pocono Trails meal plan is based on the updated My Plate Guidelines from the USDA, as well as the Exchange List for Weight Management from the National Institutes of Health. The focus is on eating natural, whole foods at every meal while eliminating highly processed foods.


Marla Jacobs is a Registered Dietitian in the Greater Pittsburgh area. She holds both a Bachelors of Science and Masters in Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Pittsburgh. She has experience in community health, nutrition education, program development, and pediatric weight management counseling.

Marla started working with Camp Pocono Trails in the summer of 2014 as a nutrition specialist and found her way back in the summer of 2017 as the Head Dietitian and ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor

When not in the office, you can find Marla supporting an active lifestyle by exploring the outdoors and playing Ultimate Frisbee all across the county on her Pittsburgh Club team. Marla also loves cooking, reading and biking.