Testimonials To Our Camp Director

“The Camp Shane experience has truly made a lifelong impact on Katie”

by Katie and Barbara

Dear David and Ziporah,

We hope that this note finds you happy and healthy. We have wanted to write you this note since our daughter Katie came home from Camp Shane. The Camp Shane experience has truly made a lifelong impact on Katie and we are so grateful to you and your caring staff, especially Helen her Counselor. She took special care of Katie and we are all most thankful to her.

The program that you have developed has turned Katie’s life around, impacting her in so many ways. It’s like a domino effect, if you will, one positive change causing another. She has truly at the young age of only eleven, grasped nutritional concepts that will aid her for the rest of her life. We are impressed with her staying power and renewed sense of self. She has continued to gradually lose weight and growing taller looks great!

Her smile is brighter, her attitude is improved, all demonstrative of the most positive influence this experience has had on her. We are so proud of her accomplishments. I am so impressed with your program. You are very special people and we are all better, having had this experience. Feel free to use us as a referral reference. We are glad to promote your program and do so any chance we get!

Again Thank You! Most Sincerely, Katie and Barbara

Camp Shane Reviews Director
Camp Shane Reviews Director

“We wanted you to know how much we truly appreciate the exceptional staff”

by David & Laurie

Dear David,

Our experience with your staff has been so exceptional that we’ve decided we really should tell you about it. As you know our daughter Shara has had a difficult time this summer being separated from us. Your staff has been unbelievably supportive.

From the get-go, Shara had a hard time getting on the bus, but Michelle was there for her, sitting with her, talking to her and wiping her tears and finaly coaxing her onto the bus. And when Shara finally did get on the bus, Michelle hugged us too!

And Michelle, although a shining example, is not the only staff member who stands out. Shara’s counselor Rachel has been terrific and has demonstrated a level of caring and maturity beyond her years. Bobbie was great as well. Without her professional assessment of the situation and constant reassurances we probably would have taken Shara home on visiting day.

You too David, were a great help on the night when we called after office hours after a particularly emotional call with Shara. We wanted you to know how much we truly appreciate the exceptional people on your staff. It was wonderful to know that – Although she had some trying moments, our daughter was cared for as well as if we had been there ourselves.

“I am so indebted to you!”

by Brenda R. Hussain

Dear David,

I had to write to tell you how WONDERFUL, HAPPY and CONTENT I am with Malik and the progress that he made at Camp Shane!. He weighed in at 195 lbs. tonight! That’s a 16 lb weight loss in 3 weeks! I have praised him over and over again for his efforts and now I must extend the same to you and Camp Shane! Malik now has a new found SELF-ESTEEM and CONFIDENCE about himself!

He is so EXCITED about starting 7th grade! He went from a size 40 pant waist to a 36! He fit into shorts that he could NOT fit into on July 30th! I am so thankful and so grateful for what you have given to my son! He looks GREAT and he feels like a THOUSAND BUCKS! I am so pleased and after all is said and done, Camp Shane saved Malik from another year of teasing and verbal abuse at school! He is bound and determined to lose more weight and I’m going to do everything in my power to help him continue to lose. Thanks again for your caring about my son! You’ve done more for him in 3 weeks then what he has experienced in his entire 12 years on this earth! I am so indebted to you!

“We never would have imagined that Mark would have come home looking as wonderful as he does”

by Felice and Wayne

Dear David,

We never would have imagined that Mark would have come home looking as wonderful as he does. He has not looked this well in years. We thank you so much for helping him to achieve this success. At the beginning of the summer he weighed 276 pounds. He is now 210. Fifty three pounds of that were lost at Camp Shane and even Mark readily admits that never in his wildest dreams did he think he could lose so much so fast.

He was obviously ready to have this happen and committed to doing it but without a program that facilitated it would not have been possible. A quick shopping trip last night to buy a few new things for a trip to LA today was a pleasure. He felt good about standing in front of that mirror. His waist size that had once been 44 is now 38 and he looks GOOD. More importantly, he feels good. He has thanked us for sending him to Camp Shane. And we thank you for helping him regain his life.

“She is a different person, is able to make better choices and doesn’t want to go back to her old body”

by Chelsea’s Parents

I am so proud of my daughter Chelsea. She is happy and very proud of herself. Enclosed are some pictures I thought you might like. I love them and carry them around with me. She is so excited about the type of clothes she can wear now. Before she would have to shop for adult sizes, but now she has a younger, more upbeat, and wider variety of choices.

She is going to Weight Watchers with me as incentive for each other. She knows she has to be active to stay healthy and help her maintain her weight. Chelsea had a lot of fun, she learned a lot, and made friends that she tries to keep in touch with. People ask her how she did this and she tells them about Camp Shane. I know you probably get a lot of letters like mine but I wanted to thank you and let you know how Chelsea is doing since she is home. She is a different person, is able to make better choices and doesn’t want to go back to her old body.

“He became grown-up, responsible, strong, proud and sure of himself”

by Annette and Daniel

Dear David and Ziporah,

When I finally realized my son Chris was beyond my help, my sister encouraged me to take him to a specialist at the Wilkins Center. She was very honest with me and told me that Chris wasn’t going to lose weight or get better by just seeing a nutritionist. She said his physical and mental health was tragic and referred Camp Shane to me.

When I went home I cried but I knew he had to get help. He was so depressed that he wouldn’t even go outside to play with his sister. He didn’t want to go to school because the children made fun of him because he couldn’t fit in the chair attached to his desk. I called your Camp and you spent a great length of time on the phone with me answering every question.

Arrival day came for Camp, and my husband and I left Chris at his bunk. We got into the car and began to cry. I could only imagine what Chris was thinking: “why are my parents doing this to me, leaving me in a strange place with people I don’t know”? I wouldn’t be able to talk to Chris daily for almost three weeks and it seemed like the longest three weeks of my life.

Of course when I spoke with him for the first time he cried and wanted to come home. When I hung up the phone it was the most horrible feeling sensing your child is going through a difficult time and I couldn’t help him. I had to keep telling myself that he had to be there and in the long run it would help.

Once visiting day came around, my husband, son, daughter and I drove up to Camp to see Chris. I was looking for Chris and I couldn’t find him. I finally spotted my husband and daughter who had walked ahead of me and Chris was standing next to them. I really had to look twice because Christopher had lost 29 pounds and looked great!

Throughout our day with him we noticed not only the physical change in Chris but an even greater one in his attitude. He seemed so grown-up, responsible, strong, proud and sure of himself. He learned how to take care of himself. I am so grateful that we took the leap and sent him to Camp Shane. All of our lives have changed because of his stay there. THANK YOU!

“Determination at Camp Shane”

by daphnethechan

In May we attended your Open House with my brother and his two children who were also interested in attending the Camp. We were very impressed with the cleanliness, professionalism, staff members, of who many were also past campers, as well as the Camp owners’ enthusiasm. My brother signed up my niece for the last three weeks of their program. I enrolled my son for six weeks.

My son left on July 11. Nine days later was visiting day and my son had already lost 16 pounds! We walked right past him. He looked fabulous! He was very homesick at that point however I convinced him that he was doing so great and to keep it up for three more weeks…besides his cousin was coming up the following week for her 3 week stay. His accomplishment was a loss of 35 pounds within weeks! He went from 244 to 209 at 6 foot 2 inches! His pants size went from size 44 to 36!! I couldn’t believe it! The discipline and determination my son learned was WORTH IT!

When he returned to high school, many of the children were surprised at the new slender Anthony! He now walks with pride and confidence. In the past I was not strict with his “seconds” nor got him to be as active as he should have been. He now eats his breakfast, lunch and dinner with thought, not with the emotions of “I am bored, so I will eat now.” I felt so comfortable knowing that my son was in such a wonderful environment. There is an old saying, “Who you employ is a reflection of you” and if that’s the case then you two must be the most loving, caring and trustworthy people in the world. We can’t thank you enough for giving our child back his life.

Sincerely, Annette and Daniel (Anthony’s parents)

“Two happy campers who loved Shane”

by mlperkins

My son and daughter have both attended Camp Shane. My son, whose weight reached 280 pounds by the age of 15, attended for 4 weeks. The following year, he was joined by my daughter (age 13) who was probably about 30 pounds overweight. She was motivated by her brother’s success and the stories of great friendships formed and fun experiences at Camp Shane.
Our son had been to several doctors and we had tried to motivate him. He had been bullied and was always the last person chosen for sports teams at school. One spring, he spent 12 weeks with a personal trainer and followed that up with Camp Shane.

He brought home an awareness of what he was eating and a motivation to continue his successful experience. He immediately asked us if he could return the following summer. Although with his weight now down, he really didn’t need to go back however really wanted to see his friends again. Our daughter also loved Camp Shane. She was pleased with her weight loss and all the friendships she had made.

Yes, it is rustic (as most camps are) and yes, it is geared at fairly rapid weight loss. We would not have chosen a weight loss camp if that had not been the goal! Both of my children are now at what I would consider a near ideal weight. My son has maintained his total weight loss of 100+ pounds for over a year. He is currently in the process of writing essays to apply to some of the top engineering schools in the country and he is telling this story of weight loss as his greatest challenge and achievement putting it above some perfect scores on his SAT’s. Camp Shane was the primary driver of his success. Both my children are happier and more self-confident than ever before.

“About Camp Director”

by Fonda Michigan

Both of my children were overweight and wanted to go to Camp Shane for part of the summer. As much as I would have loved to send them I simply could not afford the tuition. I had been a single mother for 16 years therefore camp seemed out of the question. I called the camp in hopes of speaking to someone to see if there was any way possible to get a tuition rebate or payment plan. I was put through to the camps owner David Ettenberg who took the time to listen to my story. David Ettenberg turned out to be my family’s guardian angel. He adjusted the tuition and created an affordable plan for us to budget which gave me the opportunity to send both my daughters.

Mr Ettenberg is such a kind man! He has a heart of gold, and is my personal hero for having helped my children get healthy. If one can see the transition in a child that was once overweight to a child that is now glowing with self confidence, it would make you cry. To have watched the changes take place in my own children is something I will forever be grateful for. It is because of David Ettenberg’s kindness that my children have their life back!! David Ettenberg and Camp Shane are angels to thousands of children who are unhappy being overweight. Thank you to David Ettenberg for having created such a wonderful place!


by Pennsylvania

I am a 43 year old parent with a 13-year-old son named Alex. My son’s childhood had so far reflected my own life in one very unfortunate respect—a continuous battle with obesity. Watching my son’s struggle with weight has been heartbreaking for me. I wanted it to be different for my son therefore I tried many programs for Alex although none seemed to work or have any kind of lasting effect.

When I called David to ask about the Camp, it was clear to me that he genuinely cared about helping my son. David’s genuine concern not only touched me, but also, frankly, it surprised me. After all, this was a man who had worked with thousands of overweight kids. Surely, wouldn’t he be jaded by now? The answer was ‘NO,’ and it showed in the questions he asked me about Alex and his thoughts on the best ways to help him. David also proved his genuine concern through his generosity in tuition assistance.

In the weeks before camp began, my son was getting quite nervous, especially about being so far from our home. Despite David’s very busy schedule, he took the time to speak to Alex, reassuring him, describing the fun activities he’d enjoy, and getting Alex excited about coming to Camp. By the time Alex and I arrived at Camp Shane, he was indeed nervous. He felt like he already knew David, though, like he had already made a friend, and this calmed his anxiety. I had three visits to Camp Shane over the course of the summer, and David’s ability to make each child feel special was one of his qualities that impressed me the most. The fondness that the kids had for David, the respect that the counselors had for him, and David’s ability to manage all the aspects of the camp operations also impressed me greatly.

I asked David on one trip, “How do you do all this?” He said, “It’s second nature to me at this point. Besides, I love it.” At the end of my son’s stay at Camp Shane, he had lost 40 pounds and gained something even more: Enormous self-confidence, knowledge about nutrition and fitness, several good friends, and a great desire to return to Camp Shane next summer. I am grateful for David Ettenberg and the work he does for the health and well-being of children and their families, his generosity, his intelligence, his enthusiasm and heart.

Camp Shane Reviews Director

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