At first glance, Camp Superstuff may seem like your run-of-the-mill day camp. Children can be seen running around on a soccer field, creating a mural, performing a skit or taking a dip in the pool. Yet after spending just an hour at Camden Community Center, any visitor will realize that Camp Superstuff is far from your typical camp experience. Now in its 33rd year, Breathe California’s summer camp program is designed specifically for children age six through 12 who are suffering from asthma. Each day, campers participate in asthma-related lessons to help them understand their condition, recognize attack triggers, know when and how to take their medication and learn other strategies to manage their disease. Facilitated by trained camp staff, the health education curriculum incorporates role-playing activities, games and open dialogue to engage the children and make learning fun. “They had a great time overall,” said Leigh Rene Sanchez, a Campbell resident whose children attended Camp Superstuff, “It was a different environment, and it made both of my children aware of their asthma and the fact that other kids also have asthma.” In addition, Camp Superstuff provides a fun and safe environment where campers can interact with other children who are afflicted by the same disease. Campers forge common bonds and friendships while participating in traditional camp activities, including swimming, sports, art projects and field trips to local attractions such as Great America. Because they can avoid the stigma of “being different,” campers enjoy the week’s activities while building confidence in themselves and their abilities. As Maria Martinez from Santa Clara said about the camp, “My children were really happy to be there. They learned how to take care of themselves. My son Victor is so much better – He now knows how to prevent attacks.” Asthma is a chronic lung disease characterized by inflammation of the airways. Asthma usually manifests itself through periodic “attacks” which can cause its victims to suffer from shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and wheezing. In extreme cases, asthma attacks result in death. Asthma afflicts close to 1 in 5 (160,000) Bay Area children and is the leading chronic cause of childhood illness and school absenteeism across the country. Camp Superstuff will be held from July 31st to Auguest 4th at Camden Community Center, located at 3369 Union Avenue in San Jose. For the past 95 years, Breathe California (formerly the American Lung Association of Santa Clara-San Benito Counties) has been dedicated to fighting lung disease in all its forms and working with our communities to protect lung health.