The Case for a New Classification System for Summer Camps Based on Variation in Their Physical, Social, and Activity Structuring

Authors

  • Lisa K.-P. Olsen Clemson University and Glenwood Resource Center
  • Robert D. Bixler Clemson University
  • Gwynn M. Powell Clemson University
  • Barry A. Garst Clemson University
  • Laura E. Stephens Clemson University
  • Deborah M. Switzer Clemson University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18666/JOREL-2021-V13-I2-10554

Keywords:

classification system, challenge commentary, physical setting, social milieu, activity profiles

Abstract

The camp community understands that participation in camp produces a variety of impacts; what is less understood are the causal mechanisms leading to outcomes. In the past, research on the camp experience treated causal mechanisms as monolithic; this commentary argues that a weakness in existing camp research is the assumption that “camp” is “camp” and that there is a lack of attention to how components of camp interact to produce valued developmental outcomes. Using two indices from complementary fields (Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment [HOME] and Healthy Sports Index [HSI]) as exemplars, a framework exploring variation in the elements of tri-dimensional offerings between camps is proposed. What the HOME index and HSI have established in other fields is what the camp community could have: a tool that initially helps researchers examine how the structural variations within and between individual camps may eventually help explain the quality and strength of outcomes for campers and counselors.Subscribe to JOREL

Author Biography

Lisa K.-P. Olsen, Clemson University and Glenwood Resource Center

Lisa K-P Olsen is a Clemson University Graduate in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management. She is currently employed with the Department of Human Services, State of Iowa.

References

American Camp Association. (2018). 2018 ACA Camp Compensation and Benefits Report (Rep.).

Arnold, M. E., Bourdeau, V. D., & Nagele, J. (2005). Fun and friendship in Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment he natural world: the impact of Oregon 4-H residential camping programs on girl and boy campers. Journal of Extension, 43(6).

Aspen Institute Sport and Society. (2018). Healthy Sport Index. https://healthysportindex.com/.

Aus, J. P. (2009). Conjunctural causation in comparative case-oriented research. Quality & Quantity, 43(2), 173.

Ball, A., & Ball, B. (2012). Basic camp management: An introduction to camp administration. American Camping Association.

Bartlett, L., & Vavrus, F. (2017). Comparative case studies: An innovative approach. Nordic Journal of Comparative and International Education (NJCIE), 1(1). https://doi.org/10.7577/njcie.1929

Bixler, R. D., Floyd, M. F., & Hammitt, W. E. (1995). Feared stimuli are expected in specific situations: The use of situationalism and fear expectancy in a self‐report measurement of fears. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 51(4), 544-547.

Bixler, R. D., Carlisle, C. L., Hammitt, W. L., & Floyd, M. L. (1994) Observed fears and discomforts among urban students on field trips wildland areas. The Journal of Environmental Education, 26(1), 24-33.

Bradley, R. H. (1989). HOME measurement of maternal responsiveness. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 1989(43), 63-74.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2018). Labor force statistics from the current population survey. https://www.nlsinfo.org/content/cohorts/nlsy79-children/topicalguide/assessments/home-home-observation-measurement

Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.). Sage Publishing. DOI: 10.7748/nr.12.1.82.s2

Elardo, R., & Bradley, R. H. (1981). The Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME) scale: A review of research. Developmental Review, 1(2), 113-

Garst, B. A. (2010). From what to how: Targeting specific factors that influence outcomes. Journal of extension, 48(6), 1-5. https://doi.org/10.1002/yd.398

Garst, B. A., Browne, L. P., & Bialeschki, M. D. (2011). Youth development and the camp experience. New Directions for Youth Development, 2011(130), 73-87.

DOI: 10.18666/JOREL-2016-V8-I2-7694

Garst, B. A., Gagnon, R., & Whittington, A. (2016). A closer look at the camp experience: Examining relationships between life skills, elements of positive youth development, and antecedents of change among camp alumni. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership, 8(2), 180-199. https://doi.org/10.18666/jorel-2016-v8-i2-7694

Gillard, A., Witt, P. A., & Watts, C. E. (2010). An examination of staff-level stakeholders and

organizational culture at a camp for youth with HIV/AIDS. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 28(3).

Graves, P. (2013). Consumerology: The Truth about Consumers and the Psychology of Shopping. Hachette UK.

Henderson, K. A., Thurber, C. A., Whitaker, L. S., Bialeschki, M. D., & Scanlin, M. M. (2006-2007). Development and application of a camper growth index for youth. Journal of Experiential Education, 29(1), 1-17.

Henderson, K. A., Whitaker, L. S., Bialeschki, M. D., Scanlin, M. M., & Thurber, C. (2007). Summer camp experiences: Parental perceptions of youth development outcomes. Journal of Family Issues, 28(8), 987-1007.

Klem, M. D., & Nicholson, D. J. (2008). Proven effectiveness of Missouri 4-H camps in developing life skills in youth. Journal of Youth Development, 2(3), 135-143.

Meltzer, L. J., & Rourke, M. T. (2005). Oncology summer camp: Benefits of social comparison. Children's Health Care, 34(4), 305-314.

Nisbett, R. E., & Wilson, T. D. (1977). Telling more than we can know: Verbal reports on mental processes. Psychological Review, 84(3), 231-259.

Olsen, L. K. P., Powell, G. M., Garst, B. A., & Bixler, R. D. (2018). Camp and college parallels:Crucibles for transition-linked turning-points. Journal of Youth Development, 13(1-2),

-143. https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2018.558

Sibthorp, J., Wilson, C., Povilaitis, V., & Browne, L. (2020). Active ingredients of learning at summer camp. Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education, 23(1), 21-37.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s42322-019-00050-6

Snider, C. L., & Farmer, J. R. (2016). Impacts of a Southern Indiana summer camp: Adult reflections on childhood experiences. Journal of Youth Development, 11(3), 175-187.

https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2016.470

Solomon, J. (2018). Aspen Institute Releases 1st Tool to Assess Health Benefits of High School Sports. https://www.aspeninstitute.org/news/press-release/healthy-sport-index/

Sudman, S., Bradburn, N., & Schwarz, N. (1996). Thinking about answers: The application of cognitive processes to survey methodology. Jossey-Bass.

Wilson, C., Akiva, T., Sibthorp, J., & Browne, L. P. (2019). Fostering distinct and transferable learning via summer camp. Children and Youth Services Review, 98, 269-277.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.01.017

Wilson, T. D. (2004). Strangers to ourselves. Harvard University Press.

Published

2021-05-12

Issue

Section

Special Issue: Critical Exploration of Evidence-Based Practice in Organized Camping