Frequently Asked Questions

Take your power and run with it!

Youth are amazing; they can do anything they want to do. But, sometimes life gets complicated. Sometimes, we become overwhelmed with what life puts in front of us and we turn to food for comfort. Sometimes we are so busy that we forget that physical activity is as important in our lives as school and jobs and friends.

Overeating and a lack of physical activity are the causes of your weight problems. We all have different reasons why we overeat or fail to exercise the way we should to balance our energy input. Whatever the reasons are, they do not define who you are nor what you are capable of.

If the active Challenge program gives you even the slightest glimpse of how amazing you are, we have done our job. Once you have that knowledge, it becomes your strength and your power.

Now, take your power and run with it!


Our Philosophy is based in living every day, with purpose and joy!

The burden of being overweight is heavier than just the extra pounds. Once the cycle of weight gain has started it takes on a momentum of its own. At Active Challenge we want to change the direction of that momentum and move you away from those habits that are not contributing to your good health and move you toward those habits that will positively affect your life. We use outdoor adventure to challenge our campers, to give them something to draw strength from. We have a holistic approach to health and want to support campers in their positive efforts.

By following Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating we exercise appropriate portion control. The staff and campers will enjoy lots of high fiber, nutrient rich foods including, meat, dairy products and plenty of fruits and vegetables.

It is likely that some of the foods that your daughter is currently eating are not giving her the nutrition her body and mind require to be healthy and strong. You work hard to provide healthy food at home but your daughter may not be making the healthy choices when she is away from you.

We want to expose your daughter to a way of eating that is sustainable for a lifetime. Our registered dietitian has helped us to build a menu that is both exciting and gives us the energy we need for our busy days at camp.

Our program is limited to 40 girls. We are looking forward to getting to know your daughter, to being inspired by her achievements, to seeing her have fun and make new friends.

I have heard that weight loss camps don’t work. Weight is easily lost at camp in a controlled setting but very quickly regained once campers return home. Is this not unhealthy?

At active challenge we do not restrict campers calories in such a way that they cannot wait to get back home and get back to their old “comforting” ways of eating.

Our goal is to help the girls to see that it is the old pattern of overeating and under-exercising that led to her weight gain. We hope that when she returns home again your daughter will eat to fuel her new habits and find “comfort” in the knowledge that she has acquired at camp and apply it to her life at home.

Like other strategies for healthy living you may have tried, we cannot guarantee that this program alone will solve all of the challenges facing your daughter in her efforts for good health and a healthy body weight.

Once an overweight teen herself, Jill Baxter understands the hopes that you have for this program and accepts this responsibility.

“Every time I think about the effect that this program could have on the lives of young women every hair on my body stands on end. I have specifically designed this program to build confidence, to instill in young women a sense of their own value so they truly believe that doing something for them is worth the effort. We aim to provide support systems and continued motivation throughout the program. We expose them to many different strategies for achieving a healthy weight over the long term. Just as their current weight is impacting many aspects of their lives, I strongly believe that the lessons learned during this program will carry over into every challenge they face in their futures. I want these girls to look back at the program 2, 5, 10 years from now and still draw strength from the experience. I want the girls to say to themselves:

If I had the strength to climb that rock wall, I can ace this exam.
If I had the courage to paddle those rapids, I can face this interview panel with the grace and confidence I know I have.
I am worth investing in myself everyday.
I am committed to the Active Challenge program and philosophy. I am confident in placing my strengths and my reputation behind it in every way.

The Active Challenge program takes place at Bear Creek Outdoor Centre about an hour and a half west of Ottawa. Bear Creek Outdoor Centre is a beautiful private retreat. There are no boys in speed boats going by, the girls will not always feel that it is necessary to cover up immediately after getting out of the water or hold back on their participation because they do not want to look bad. The site is “off grid” and uses solar power and gravity to supply us with our electricity and hot showers.

Campers are housed in large cabins with a maximum of 7 other campers. The cabins are simple but comfortable and we do have outhouses down the cabin line. Our facilities are consistent with that of a traditional Canadian summer camp because that is what we are. There are 2 private lakes on the site and miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking. We do our canoe trips on nearby rivers and in Algonquin Park.