NPR logo Facing Fat Camp

Facing Fat Camp

Courtesy William Morrow/HarperCollins
Courtesy William Morrow/HarperCollins

Fat camp is one of those things. One of those things, you know, that you really sort of want to know more about. Whispers in the hall at school, "Did you see Jane? She has so lost weight. I totally heard she went to fat camp."

There's derision in the accusation, but probably a lot of curiosity, and even envy, too. I know I've always wondered about fat camp — when MTV did its two-part special on a fat camp in the Poconos, I watched it twice, and I'm not alone.

Enter Moose. Blogger Stephanie Klein became famous by blogging frankly about her life and dating exploits, but she wasn't always popular. As a kid, Stephanie was fat. Her parents sent her to fat camp, and she's condensed those summers into a book she named after herself, Moose. It's revealing, it's candid, it's uncomfortable. At school, Stephanie was unpopular — the jocks called her "Moose." At camp, she was popular, dating one of the most desirable boys, hanging with the cool girls... Until they turned on her. Turns out, fat camp's a lot like life on the outside, but recalibrated.

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Did you spend your summers away, exercising, drinking tons of water, eating with chopsticks, and sneaking over to the boys' side of camp? What did you learn at camp... the good, the bad, the ugly?