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Established in 1997, Camp Open Airways provides an opportunity for children with Asthma to attend a summer day camp under the supervision of medical staff to learn how to control their Asthma while participating in typical camp activities. The children are referred by their physician and are the children in our community most in need of individual extended Asthma education. Hosted by the Kannapolis branch of Cannon Memorial YMCA, this four day camp occurs once during each summer and allows children with a common condition to participate in Asthma education and activities.

Serving children in the community ages 5-10 years, Camp Open Airways empowers the children to care for themselves. Educational activities at this camp extend each child’s knowledge of Asthma and teaches them how to manage the disease process. This increases their recognition of the warning signs and triggers of an Asthma attack, increases their understanding of how and when to use their medication, improves their self-esteem and confidence, and provides enjoyment and opportunities for the children to interact and network with each other.

Camp Open Airways was established to provide a summer day camp for children with Asthma because more often than not these children are turned away from typical camps due to their condition. Most typical camps do not have the staff or equipment to prevent or treat an Asthma attack and therefore do not provide opportunities for children with Asthma to experience the camp environment. In addition to that, the camp utilizes medical staff and resources to support and educate these children and allows them access to self-care educational opportunities which empowers them and their families with the ability to maintain Asthma control. 

The majority of the children who attend Camp Open Airways come from underprivileged families who strive on a daily basis to make ends meet but do not have extra funding to register their child in other Asthma-specific camps who charge. With support and funding through grants provided by Speedway Children’s Charities and other community organizations, the camp continues to grow; reaching more and more children in the community each year and offering the camp free of charge to the children who participate. Thanks to Piedmont Community Care Plan in Cabarrus County we are able to provide transportation to and from camp for children who do not have transportation and otherwise would not be able to attend. This service is also free of charge to those children. It is because of the support received that Camp Open Airways continues to be a beacon of the community; serving children and families whose lives are forever affected by a life-threatening disease called Asthma.

This year the 24 "over the wall" crew stopped by Camp Open Airways to spend a little quality time with the campers! Among many other activites the crew guys helped the kids build race cars, race around a make shift track and even helped with pit stops, supplying their cars with decals and fuel! The campers also played red light, green light and dodge ball. It is believed by all the campers that the "over the wall" crew was more excited to be at camp then the campers were themselves!