ERIC Number: ED454029
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jan
The Impact of Camp Programs on Children with Disabilities: Opportunities for Independence.
Fullerton, Ann; Brannan, Steve; Arick, Joel
A study examined the impact of specialized, residential camp programs on children and youth with disabilities. Case studies were used to describe the real-life context of program effects and to explore various effects in situations where there may be no clear, single set of outcomes for all participants. Fifteen specialized residential summer camp programs were selected that had a successful history of serving campers with disabilities, accreditation by the American Camping Association, a comprehensive outdoor program, highly qualified camp staff, strong counselor training, and administrative support for the research. From each camp, five campers were selected that had severe mental retardation, mild mental retardation, any level of mental retardation, physical disabilities, and primary disability. After each subject's camp session, interviews were conducted with the camper's counselor and parents, for a total of 73 interviews. Subjects were ages 7-23 and had attended camp an average of 3 times. Nearly all subjects attended public schools. Six patterns of growth were identified in which subjects demonstrated greater initiative or self-directed independence. The patterns differed in skill domain: self-help and daily living tasks, self-reliance and decision making, leisure activities, social interactions, communication, and interest in helping others. Comments from parents and counselors are included for each pattern. Reasons for differential outcomes among campers, transfer of learning to home, and camp program elements that encourage growth are discussed. (Contains 32 references.) (SV)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A