Camp Asthmacadabra Teaches Kids How to Better Handle Asthma

DENNISON TOWNSHIP -- Camp Asthmacadabra is just like any other camp, with archery, swimming and arts and crafts.

What sets the camp apart from any other in Luzerne County? Kids are also learning how to better deal with their asthma. It was inspired with two people in mind.

When the sun hits the lake just right at Camp Asthmacadabra, Michael Tracy said he feels something more than just the warmth of the sunshine.

"I feel them all the time, I carry them all the time in my heart," Tracy said.

Tracy founded the camp near White Haven alongside his mother-in-law Kate Button.

Tracy lost his wife Lorraine Button Tracy and son Max to complications with asthma. Lorraine was just 40-years-old when she passed. Max was ten.

"We decided to start a camp where children who aren't able to attend regular camp because of their asthma after losing my daughter and then my ten year old grandson," Button said through tears.

Despite their dark times, they wanted to spread light by creating the camp.

Medical professionals teach breathing classes to show kids how to handle their asthma.

"The doctors, therapists, respiratory therapists and they all volunteer and it wouldn't happen without the volunteers," Button said.

Campers said they have also made lifelong friendships here.

Megan Padden was a camper during its first year. 19 years later, she is a volunteer camp counselor.

"My oldest friends, my whole family is everything from this camp. The people I love the most and have known the longest are the people from here," Padden said.

Kids do everything they would normally do at another summer camp, but they have the reassurance of knowing a medical team is on hand if anything goes wrong.

"It makes me feel protected, safe and just knowing I can have fun without having to worry about anything," Ashleigh Button said.

With Lorraine’s positive spirit and Max’s curiosity, Michael said his wife and son would be proud of what Camp Asthmacadabra does every summer.

"Ten times out of ten when they kids leave here, they leave a lot healthier than when they arrived," Tracy said.

The 2017 summer session for Camp Asthmacadabra wraps up on Sunday. You can follow along on their Facebook page.

For more information about the camp, click here.