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Seasonal Summer Camp Staff Experiences: A Scoping Review

Robert P. Warner, Mary Godwin, Camilla J. Hodge


Every year, nearly one million staff work seasonally at summer camps. Although little research has investigated staff experiences compared to campers’ experiences, literature does exist. Understanding the breadth and depth of this literature is an important way to guide future investigations and employment practices regarding seasonal summer camp staff experiences. The purpose of our scoping review was to synthesize the literature about seasonal summer camp staff experiences. Using two scoping review manuals as guides, we systematically retrieved and reviewed the corpus of literature produced from 1900 to 2020 regarding seasonal summer camp staff experiences. We reviewed 116 documents, including peer-reviewed journal articles, theses and dissertations, and refereed conference abstracts. We extracted and analyzed documents’ topics, methods, sample and setting characteristics, major findings, and future research suggestions. We present our analysis of literature in two sections: staff outcomes and administrator/staff concerns. Findings from our review may inform future research and practice.

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organized camping; seasonal employment; emerging adult; social-emotional learning; out-of-school-time; scoping review

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