Getting fit for summer at Scorton's boot camp

Ever wondered what it's really like inside a boot camp? We sent Amanda Griffiths to find out<br/>Photography by Kirsty Thompson

The sound of military-style commands reverberate around Nicky Nook as the boot camp comes to this pretty part of Lancashire.

Like many women, sisters Justine Jordan and Annie Collinson worried about their weight and keeping fit. Both entered triathlons and cycling challenges and know the importance of physical exercise and healthy eating to keep fit, physically and mentally.

Now, thanks to their own experiences, the sisters have set up SlimThin Boot Camp, a five day affair where people take part in not only the physical activities but a number of workshops about diet.

‘The idea is to help other women motivate themselves and to get out in the open air to exercise,’ says Justine.

‘It’s as much about increasing self-confidence as it is getting fit. It’s an all round experience for the mind, body and soul.’

She and Annie spent two years exploring the idea and a session at a boot camp convinced them they could do better.

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‘Both Annie and I know the Scorton area well and we knew we could offer something here that made the most of the location,’ says Justine.

‘As soon as we found the accommodation at Barnacre Cottages, where there are five star award winning holiday cottages, everything else just fell into place.’

Annie adds: ‘It’s five days all about you. A typical day starts at 6.30am and runs through to about 8.30pm. It’s not all exercise, though. We try to break up the sessions with rest breaks, plus meals and workshops because you have to remember that people are going from little exercise at all to five or more hours a day.

‘We’re organising and running it, but we’re not the experts. We’re just the back up and will be attending as many classes as we can.’

The camps, costing �449 per person with up to 12 on each, have two trainers, Steve Cody described as their military man, and Laura McConville, who specialises in high-intensity interval training. Steve has just come back from America where he was training Mel B and her husband. While they admit to some ‘shouting’ it’s aimed at encouragement rather than than punishment or bullying. There are more details on their website at

‘We’re trying to make the exercise fun so that people are more likely to join fitness groups and clubs when they return home,’ says Annie. ‘All our sessions have an element of fun and include bike rides, power walking, team games, swimming and hula hooping.’

Justine says: ‘Boot camp is the most rewarding experience. It’s amazinghow quickly people bond. We’ve certainly found we still keep in touch with the people who were on the boot camp we attended.’

Justine, a keen cook is also going to be preparing the meals for clients atthe camp. Currently working in IT development, Justine has had previous experience of catering when she worked as a chalet girl in ski resorts. It was there she developed a passion for mountain biking.

‘The challenge for me is going to be cooking healthy meals so they taste good and include all the nutrients as well as the best local ingredients.

‘I love cooking and want to share how good it feels to eat fresh, nutritious food rather than beige stodge. It’s all about portion control.’

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