Young girls were educated on how to live healthy lifestyles, engage in physical activity and build self-confidence during the week-long Camp iRock at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Young girls were educated on how to live healthy lifestyles, engage in physical activity and build self-confidence during the week-long Camp iRock at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Arkansas Minority Health Commission recently hosted the third annual event which concluded with a closing ceremony Saturday.

Idonia L. Trotter, executive director of the commission, began the ceremony by welcoming the guests and thanking the many volunteers who made the program possible.

A slide show presentation provided the audience with a glimpse into the camp and a look at many of the activities that the girls took part in during their journey to become healthier and happier.

With excitement and enthusiasm, the campers stood up and presented “The Evolution of Me,” a high energy dance which showed off some of the skills that they learned. The dance was so contagious, that Arkansas First Lady Ginger Beebe got up and moved with the music along with the girls.

As the guest speaker for the event, Beebe provided encouraging words for the girls and their families.

“One of my focuses as First Lady has been childhood obesity,” she said. “All of our children’s health is so important.”

She went on to talk about the importance of making good dietary choices and taking time to be physically active.

“Don’t just sit on the couch and watch TV. Get up and move your body. Walk around the house, dance,” Beebe said.

Beebe also expressed the need for whole body wellness, including exercising the mind. She encouraged the girls to take time to read and grow their minds along with taking care of their bodies.

“You know college is not an option. It is a requirement these days, so you’ve got to stay in school,” Beebe said.

Before leaving the podium, Beebe offered some final words to motivate the campers.

“Girls, you have the power right now to make those healthy food choices, to exercise that body, to stay in school so use it.” Beebe said. “You girls can be and do whatever you dream, but it takes work.”

The culmination of a week of hard work paid off for the girls in many ways. To signify their achievement, each girl received a certificate and posed for a photo with Beebe.

After a healthy lunch and vocal performances by Nicky Parrish, Camp iRock parent Lisa Buckner talked about a parent’s role in the health of their children.

Campers were asked to continue to implement the lifestyle changes that they have learned and will check back in with directors in three months to review their progress.