What started as a backyard program when her five children were growing up has blossomed into something much bigger for state Rep. Jeanne Ives.
The Wheaton Republican played host Tuesday to her inaugural health and fitness boot camp for kids ages 3 through 12 at Cantigny Park in Wheaton.
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A graduate of West Point and a U.S. Army veteran, Ives said the camp is designed to let kids see how well they can complete fun and age-appropriate fitness tests. She said she put together similar camps for her own children and their friends and wanted to offer the activities to a broader group.
"I'm really excited about this event," Ives said Tuesday. "It's something I started doing just as a mom. Having been in the military, I knew my kids loved fitness and they loved to do it in a fun and exciting way. So we came out to Cantigny to build this bigger event about kid's nutrition and kid's health and fitness, which we hope to grow every year."
The free boot camp featured standard pushups and sit-ups as well as a climbing wall and obstacle courses. Participating kids also learned about health and nutrition.
"I think it's great because they are encouraging kids to stay healthy," said 9-year-old Maggie Gnorski of Wheaton. "It's awesome and a lot of fun."