New Auburn (WQOW) - You say "camp" to a football player this time of year and they think of pre-season practices and grueling workouts.
Wednesday, WQOW News 18 was at a camp in which the football players are the teachers, and not the students.
"Last year when we did this, the feedback from the kids, that was one of the favorite moments, getting to see these college athletes," says John Plewa, a pediatrician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire and the Camp Wabi Medical Director.
UW Eau Claire athletes from the football and volleyball teams were at Camp Wabi Wednesday. The camp is offered through Mayo Clinic Health System and the YMCA for kids who struggle with obesity.
"A lot of these kids are used to being ostracized or maybe even bullied, so this is really a nice chance for these kids to be more involved, more active,"says Plewa.
The student athletes ran through exercise drills with the campers and held a Q & A session.
"I can date back to when I was a kid actually, we didn't have a college football team in my area of Milwaukee but I remember looking up to high school kids when I was younger and I just idolized them. And I am just trying to look through their eyes and try to be the best role model that I can," says Sean Graham who plays for the UW Eau Claire Bluegolds.
Diet and exercise play an important role in what campers learn at Camp Wabi. But there may be an even more important lesson many of them are already running with.
"I feel like if I try my hardest at anything that I want to do, that I can accomplish it. But it's going to take more than a few days to accomplish, " says camper Amira Kuster.
Camper, Patrick Klenke, says, "If like, you already have your mind set on doing something in life, and trying to get somewhere in life, just don't give up on it after you crash and burn once. Just to keep moving."
"I'm very motivated at this point, and I can't wait to get home and start trying all the things they taught us, and I can't wait to be a slimmed down, healthier version of myself," says Kuster.
The camp runs for two weeks and the group of 48 campers will go home on Friday.
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