Aaron Dube, 10, gets a hand from volunteers Devon Kwon and Zach Larson during the Bald Faced Truth Foundation’s Camp Exceptional, held at La Salle Prep in Milwaukie in July. The weeklong camp focused on building relationships between children with and without disabilities. (Courtesy La Salle Prep)
Aaron Dube, 10, gets a hand from volunteers Devon Kwon and Zach Larson during the Bald Faced Truth Foundation’s Camp Exceptional, held at La Salle Prep in Milwaukie in July. The weeklong camp focused on building relationships between children with and without disabilities. (Courtesy La Salle Prep)
MILWAUKIE — The campus of La Salle Prep filled with the laughter of 150 kids taking part in Camp Exceptional in July.

Run by the Bald Faced Truth Foundation, the camp brought together children with and without disabilities to learn about one another through games and sports.

“It’s a relationship camp,” said sports columnist and radio host John Canzano, who co-founded the foundation. “Kids understand, within a day, that everybody has strengths and weaknesses.”

Canzano — whose foundation supports children’s art, music, education and sports — started the camp in 2013 to “keep kids active and inclusive.”

He worked with his brother Ben Canzano, who is an adaptive physical education specialist in central California, and Todd Jacobs, another adaptive physical education specialist, to create the camp.

Campers, who were 5 to 15 years old, spent three hours playing traditional sports such as soccer, as well as made-up games, like doing laps while sitting and hopping on giant balls. The campers — along with professional, collegiate and high school athletes who volunteer at the camp — cheered for one another, focusing on sportsmanship over scores.

This marked the first year the camp was hosted at La Salle.

Chris George, La Salle athletic director, said the camp aligns perfectly with La Salle’s mission.

“It’s about inclusiveness and trying to make sure kids are accepted and respected,” he said. “It’s not necessarily about competition. It’s about focusing on character and values while playing.”