Middlebury Girls Getting Fit While Having Fun

Girls doing dance moves to video on monitor.

Staying active is important at any age and making those activities fun can lead to new connections. That’s what’s happening at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County’s Middlebury Clubhouse.

Fourth and fifth grade girls are taking part in a new activity called “Fit and Fab.”

“We want them to move their bodies and learn about nutrition, teamwork and encouragement with each other,” said Teen Supervisor Leah Tuttle.

The group starts each session with a video dance warm up. That’s followed by a main fitness activity and finally stretching to cool down. The main activities are designed for fun. One activity allows members to draw cards from a deck. Each card is associated with an activity. Another involves doing cardio activities on a ground ladder.

Girls exercising with floor ladder“They have asked that it be longer than just 45 minutes. So they really like it. I’ve had people who aren’t signed up show up for the sessions and come back,” Tuttle said.

She encourages the girls to lead the different activities and said they have been eager to take on those leadership roles. Tuttle hopes the sessions expand to a bigger fitness activity.

“The goal is to have Girls On The Run eventually, so this is a good way to check commitment levels as we start out,” she said.

Tuttle holds the sessions in the Teen Club, which offers the members more privacy than the gym as they try new activities.

“I think they love the opportunity to do something in the teen center. They really love the opportunity to get into that space,” she said.

She hopes that serves to streamline interest into moving in that space as they get older.

Middlebury Area Director Erin McNeal said she was eager for Tuttle to start this group.

“Leah is very good at self-care so I knew this would be something she could share with the girls who wanted smaller group opportunities to connect,” she said. “I can see their confidence building already. They’re really enjoying getting to move.”

“It’s also a good opportunity for me to get to move during the day,” Tuttle said. “I love being able to do something I’m passionate about at work and get other people fired up about it.”