Nearly 20 children ages 6 to 12 have been at Children’s Harbor this week, taking part in the first-ever Asthma Camp Eagle held by the Auburn University School of Nursing.
“This is our first time doing a camp like this,” Camp Director Linda Gibson-Young said. “We have 17 participating this year, and we hope to grow that number in the future.”
Designed primarily for children who have moderate to severe asthma, Young said this camp brings all of these children together in one place and gives them the chance to enjoy a wide variety of activities they may not otherwise get to take part in.
“We have time for swimming, sports and games, nutrition education, arts and crafts and a special guest speaker talking about what it has been like to live with asthma,” Young said. “Tomorrow (Wednesday), we will be having a carnival here, and we will have a parent session (this) afternoon, allowing the parents to come in and see what we have been doing here.”
Asthma Camp Eagle is designed to be both fun and educational for the participants, helping them better understand their disease and how to live a happy, healthy life while managing asthma and its symptoms. Sponsored by the Morris Family Foundation through Auburn University, the camp and its many activities are provided at no cost to the campers or their families.
Tuesday afternoon, the campers spent some time canoeing on Lake Martin, enjoying the Children’s Harbor pool, making marble art using shaving cream and reviewing how the device commonly referred to as a spacer or a chamber can help control the symptoms of asthma.
“These kids, they don’t often get to do this kind of thing,” Young said. “Our education, we want to focus on what asthma does in the body, the medicines that are out there to treat the issues and the techniques our campers may use. We are building an asthma action plan for each camper and want to understand their various triggers.”
Moving forward, Young said she wants to continue having Asthma Camp Eagle for area children every year, though she hopes community support will grow just as much as the number of campers wanting to participate.
“We want to build for greater success,” Young said. “We are hoping to get some involvement from the community and local businesses. If someone wanted to come in and volunteer their services with things like archery and other activities, we would welcome that.”
For more information about Asthma Camp Eagle and all it can offer to future participants, visit asthmacampeagle.com.