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ERIC Number: EJ855822
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-0840-8114
Why It's Good to Go to Camp
Howell, Matthew
Pathways: The Ontario Journal of Outdoor Education, v20 n4 p16-19 Sum 2008
In the author's fourth year of undergraduate studies at the University of Waterloo he had the opportunity to explore the benefits attained by children attending a summer camp by way of an academic literature review. The author worked with Dr. Troy Glover who has been commissioned by a group of camping associations to perform a study on the benefits realized by children who attend summer camps. The author's review focused on the literature regarding overnight or sleep-away camps. During this review the author realized that studies on the outcomes of summer camps dated as far back as 1909 (Stone, 1986) and covered topics as diverse as race relations within children's play (Moore, 2002) and the physical effects of attending summer camp on children with cystic fibrosis (Blau et al., 2002). The author divided the 26 studies he reviewed into four general themes: (1) sociological research that excludes the camp environment as a study variable; (2) medical research that examines medical interventions administered at specialized summer camps for youth with specific illnesses; (3) work experiences (e.g., how employment at summer camps benefits employees); and (4) benefits of camp for campers. The author was able to identify areas of both strengths and weaknesses in camping research, providing guidance for future studies. As a result of conducting this review he feels not only comfortable, but also confident, in telling parents that summer camp is beneficial for youth based on his personal experience and the amalgamation of the results of a number of studies. It will take a few more large-sample, longitudinal research studies that provide quantitative measurements of changes in a person's abilities, skills and self-perceptions, similar to Philliber Research Associates' (2005) ground-breaking study of 5,000 diverse families from 80 camps of varying characteristics and associations, before he will be comfortable and confident in telling parents that summer camp is academically proven to be of benefit to their children.
Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario. 1185 Eglinton Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario, M3C 3C6, Canada. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada