American Lung Association of VA (800) LUNG-USA
If you have a child who suffers from any level of asthma, consider Camp Superkids (we call it "asthma camp"). Our daughter has attended for the past four years and it is always her top priority for the summer. Anything else is scheduled after she has put "asthma camp" on the calendar.
Camp Superkids is an overnight camp lasting only two days and two nights - how she wishes it were longer. This camp is targeted for children between the ages of six and eleven years from anywhere in Virginia. It usually happens in August and offers many benefits.
The camp takes place at Camp Holiday Trails in Charlottesville, Virginia. The many activities include canoeing, horseback riding, fishing, obstacle courses, pool swimming, crafts and games. Throughout the days, several educational sessions teach the kids more about their difficulty breathing, relaxation techniques, correct use of inhalers/other medications, as well as other asthma related topics. Written materials are provided to each child that are easy-to-read and understand. Everyone leaves with a peak-flow meter (a device useful to detect air flow changes) and the skills to use it. The children are taught by knowledgeable, trained medical professionals whose primary purpose is to help the kids understand and better cope with asthma. They want the kids to learn that they can indeed live a normal, active life.
Several cabins house the campers. Boys and girls are separated by cabins. Each cabin holds a small group of kids with a staff person in each sleeping area who usually has experience because he/she has asthma themselves or a child with asthma. The level of caring is high. The main benefit I see is the coming together of so many kids with the same problem. In the real world, they are a minority. At "asthma camp", they meet kids involved with a whole range of severity. This common ground increases their bonding and confidence.
All you need to do to register is call the 800 number. You will then need to complete the paperwork and get your doctor to fill out a brief form. The total charge to you for Camp Superkids is $35.00. Scholarships are available if you need financial assistance. All meals and snacks are provided. Your whole family is invited on the final day for a family lunch, family education program, and camper awards ceremony. The learning at this camp sticks better than I could ever have imagined. Too bad my daughter will be too old to attend next year. Maybe she can now become a volunteer and let the cycle of helping continue. She would love it.
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