The only way Ira Green avoided ridicule as an overweight teen was because of his athletic prowess. But when the structure of high school and college athletics disappeared, his adult weight ballooned to over 400 pounds. “When I had to have surgery to save my life,” said Ira, “I decided to teach kids at weight loss camps.”
After losing over 200 pounds and directing 10 weight loss camps, Ira is gearing up for this summer’s all-girl weight loss camp on the campus of William and Mary. Camp Friends 4ever is based on Ira’s seven weight loss principles: structure, accountability, honesty, rewards, balance, game planning, and selfless selfishness.
While the camp does have a proven and successful curriculum, you won’t see Ira or his staff barking out orders. “Twenty years ago, these kinds of camps were more rugged,” said Ira. “We let the campers choose their activities and in turn, they want to work harder, and my staff doesn’t waste energy on disinterested kids.” His style of discipline is basic: when a camper misbehaves, Ira brings them to his office, sits them down and asks, “Have I ever disrespected you?”.
“They start bawling,” said Ira.
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