Brittané Curry jumpstarts her future
October 2, 2015
In the span of two weeks, 75 campers befriended her, 18 counselors guided her and she lost 26 pounds and 15 inches. Camp Jump Start led Brittané Curry, junior, to gain confidence in herself, to complete her goal of losing weight, and to make close friends in Imperial, MO June 14 to July 11.
“When I was in eighth grade, I wanted to commit suicide because I was bullied,” Curry said. “I realized that I was bullied because of my weight, and that’s just one thing I wanted to shut away. I felt like if I went [to Camp Jump Start], then my dad would be proud of me, that he’d start communicating with me more and that everybody in my family would love me.”
Thirty minutes away from Kirkwood, Camp Jump Start is a health camp intended to help kids mend their bodies, minds and spirits. The camp has also been featured on MTV’s Made and offers an anti-bullying camp.
Curry said she decided to go to the camp to fix herself in a healthy way by exercising and eating healthy foods, rather than self-harming, doing drugs or drinking alcohol.
“Going to Camp Jump Start was just another way for me to find myself,” Curry said.
While dancing in the registration line on the first day of camp, Curry and Brandi Loving, her mother, prompted another to dance, a green-haired Sophia Chiocco. Chiocco, a junior and first-time camper from Bentonville, AR, ended up being assigned in the same nine-person cabin as Curry. The two were each other’s first friends at Camp Jump Start.
“I immediately thought, ‘I want her as my friend.’” Chiocco said. “She’s a very outgoing person, and I guess that kind of drew me to Brittané.”
Each day, Curry participated in three different classes, which changed every day and ranged from strength to arts and crafts. She said she enjoyed the aerobics classes the most because of the opportunity to dance, while she found the cardio class, including hill sprints, to be her least favorite. Each Friday morning of the month-long camp, the campers were weighed, but not allowed to see the reading on the scale.
“I was really calm the whole month,” Curry said. “I found that, if I do bad things to myself, then I’m not treating my body the way it should be treated. [Camp Jump Start] helped me realize that I needed to rethink my life and do better things.”
Among the daily activities at Camp Jump Start, Curry said her favorites were soccer, handball, kickball and capture the flag dodgeball (CTFDB).
During a round of CTFDB, Curry accidentally broke another camper’s hand. This injured teammate, Alex Boker from Carbondale, IL, eventually donned a blue polo shirt and khakis and went with Curry, in a navy-blue, knee-length and lacy dress, to the end-of-camp dance.
After ending Camp Jump Start and losing the most weight out of all the girls, Curry has implemented the lessons she learned, completed a squat challenge and lost another 15 pounds. She has also maintained contact with all her friends she made through social media, phone calls and text messages.
“I don’t want people to end up like me,” Curry said. “I don’t want them to have to feel like they need to go to suicide just for them to get somebody to love them, so that’s my main reason for going to [Camp Jump Start].”