The Benefits Of Camp: Necessity Of The Outdoors And Community In The Digital Age

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Annie Pharr (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Joy James

Abstract: In today’s culture, one of the biggest challenges is people spending less time outside, and less time with people face-to-face (SHAPE America, 2016; Monke, 2015; Coon, 2011). In this age where technology is of growing importance, places where children can spend time outdoors, such as summer camp, are vital to their growth and well-being (Louv, 2005). Existing camp research, coupled with the outdoor setting, have shown to have positive impacts on youth development (Chawla, 2015). This thesis explores the need for research to help improve the camp experience from the child’s perspective. Purpose: to examine how camp’s natural setting and community impacts the youth experience. Research questions: 1) How spending time in the outdoors is valuable, and 2) what is the summer camp experience impact on children’s developmental skills. Methods include a pre- and post-survey administered to campers during the summer of 2017. Surveys looked at four measures of youth development: teamwork, community, affinity for nature, and responsibility. Results showed improvements in boys’ affinity for nature, but no significant changes for female campers. However, this may be a reflection of the short length of camp sessions, revealing the need for more research from the youth perspective to maximize developmental benefits.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Pharr, A. (2018). "The Benefits Of Camp: Necessity Of The Outdoors And Community In The Digital Age." Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2018
Summer Camp, Youth, Developmental Benefits, Outdoors, Nature

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