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Join us at Camp 5210

Where healthy eating and exercise habits start


By Betsy Schwartz, MD, MS
February 12, 2018

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Camp 5210 is one of my favorite summer activities. I love heading out of the city anytime to spend a few days up north. But when it’s to hang out with a group of awesome kids (some of whom are my own patients) and see them make new friends and learn new skills to stay active and healthy, it’s even better.

This year’s overnight camp takes place from June 24 to 28 at One Heartland Center in Willow River, Minnesota.

Camp 5210 is for kids ages 7 to 17 who are struggling to achieve a healthy weight. We focus on lifestyle changes and the prevention of chronic disease. These include type 2 diabetes, heart disease and bone, joint and muscle pain and problems.

What does 5210 stand for?

5210 isn’t the population of Willow River. It’s not the date the camp was founded. And it’s not just a number.

5210 refers to the simple, key ways children (and really, all of us) can live healthier:

  • 5 – Eat five or more fruits and veggies a day
    2 – Limit TV, computer and gaming screen time to two or fewer hours a day
    1 – Get one or more hours of physical activity each day
    0 – Cut back your number of sugary beverages to zero

  • Why choose Camp 5210?

    • It’s fun! There are all sorts of activities to do that make it easy to be healthy.
    • There’s a family feel. Making small changes and improving health is easier when everyone focuses on being healthy.
    • It’s affordable. The cost for the week is based on a sliding scale depending on your family’s income.
    • It’s easy to get to. All the fun happens just 90 minutes north of the Twin Cities. Parents can choose to drop their kids off at camp, or take advantage of free transportation.
    • There are so many new friends to make!

    Parents play a role at Camp 5210, too.

    During the camp week, parents are invited to an activity session for a fun update. Learning to eat better and be more active requires support from the entire family. Parents will also learn tips for helping their kids achieve success at home.

    What happens at camp?

    Kids take part in a variety of fun activities that fit into leading healthy lifestyles. The week is all about enjoying the spirit of camp, teamwork, personal growth and good old-fashioned fun. Weaved into that are simple and easy tips for cooking in a healthy and portion-conscious way, and easing into behavior changes.

    Daily activities include:

    • An early-bird activity. Campers start each day with a fun activity, such as water aerobics, hiking or canoeing.
    • Traditional camp fun. From fishing and swimming to rock climbing and drama, there are all sorts of different things to do that speak to all interests. Kids pick what activities they want to try, and set goals for the week to improve their skills.
    • Health education. Campers get the fun and hands-on opportunity to cook with registered dietitians, and to plan and make food for camp meals. By way of that, they learn how to energize their bodies with better-for-you foods and meal planning. They also discover ways to actually have fun while getting exercise. And every step of the way, they’re given social support to deal with the demands that come with controlling your health.
    • An evening program. Costumes, skits and laughter wind down each day.
    • Circle time before bed. Each cabin dedicates time to talking about hopes and dreams and sharing funny stories.

    Sign up for Camp 5210

    Register at One Heartland or contact 888-545-6658. If you have questions about whether your child is a good fit for Camp 5210, please talk to your child’s doctor or care team.

    Park Nicollet and HealthPartners developed the camp curriculum used at Camp 5210. We have partnered with One Heartland to put on the camp each year since 2010.

About Betsy Schwartz, MD, MS

Dr. Betsy Schwartz is a pediatric endocrinologist at Park Nicollet. She works with a team of physicians, nurses and dietitians in Pediatric Endocrinology. She enjoys partnering with patients and their families to help care for diabetes, thyroid disorders, puberty issues, and overweight and obesity conditions. Dr. Schwartz lives in Minneapolis with her husband, daughters, dog and parakeets. In her free time, she likes reading, downhill skiing and needlepoint.

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