Neighborhood Organization for Pediatric Asthma Management in the Neighborhood Asthma Coalition: Neighborhood Asthma Summer Camp

During the first summer after the Neighborhood Asthma Coalition began (1992), a day camp was implemented in three of the four neighborhoods. Four half-day sessions were held, two in neighborhood churches and one in a community library. Average attendance at the camp was 8 children. Curriculum included interactive discussions and games to increase asthma knowledge; development of problemsolving and communication skills; crafts such as tee shirt painting and full body drawings, aimed at enhancement of self-esteem; and physical activities, such as kickball, exercises, breathing techniques, singing, and dancing, aimed at gaining confidence in the physical capabilities of asthmatic children.
In 1993, asthma summer camp expanded to include a total of 74 campers. Precamp planning involved the neighborhood Wellness Councils, and, additionally, parents of asthmatic children who would be attending the camp, representatives of agencies providing resources to the camp, and other youth recruited to serve as camp counselors. Sessions were held in two locations, each of which hosted two, 1-week sessions comments generic allegra. An advantage of repeating the camp across the four neighborhoods was the consequent opportunity for individual children to attend more than one session. This was recognized by the neighborhood Wellness Councils in their planning for the camp and built into the plan. As a result, 49 campers attended more than one session.
In addition to the 1992 activities, this year’s camp adopted portions of the American Lung Association’s “Open Airways” curriculum tailored to the needs of our population. Camp activities also included visits by a professional storyteller with stories about African American heroes who overcame hardships, field trips to the St. Louis Zoo and St. Louis Science Center, volunteer assistance from several Neighborhood Asthma Coalition parents, and breakfast and lunch. Older campers served as counselors to younger campers which gave them an opportunity to learn while they taught. Pre-evaluations and postevaluations indicated campers increased their feelings of confidence in their ability to manage their asthma and their positive emotions about themselves and being asthmatic.

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