Camp Research Papers

Database of camp research papers

Youth Impact Study

In the Fall of 2018 findings from the American Camp Association/Canadian Camping Association Youth Impact Study were presented at the National Leadership Forum Moncton, NB.

The project’s aims and methods aligned with the National Research Council’s work on college and career readiness, which means that reports on the results of this project will help position the camp within the broader context of youth development programs.

Funding for the Canadian version of the project was generously provided by the following:
Alberta Camping Association – $15,000.00, Saskatchewan Camping Association – $6000.00, Ontario Camps Association – $5000.00, and The Society of Camp Directors – $1335.00 (1st of 3 installments).

Canadian Summer Camp Research Project

The University of Waterloo published a poster outlining parents perceptions of the changes they have observed in their children after returning from summer camp.

Camps are encouraged to use the information on the poster as they speak with families about the beneficial experiences that summer camp provides.

Additional Resources

  • Dr. Stephen Fine compiled camp-based health and fitness citations that serve as a resource for students and faculty engaged in camp research.
  • The National Camping Association of Japan released a white paper reviewing research that was conducted on the organized camps that are operated and directed by the certified leaders of the NCAJ, to reveal their actual conditions such as management style, program contents and participation fees.
  • During the summer of 2015, the United Way invested in four summer camp programs across London and Middlesex area. Their report provides a snapshot of how these camps impacted those who attended.
  • The Teresa Group operates a one-week camp where children and youth affected by HIV can connect with peers facing similar challenges, gain a sense of belonging within a supportive community and reduce their isolation. The research design of the Canadian Summer Camp Research Project (Canadian Camping Association – University of Waterloo Partnership) was used to evaluate their camp program.
  • Dr. Stephen Fine explores the role that summer camps play in developing global citizens.
  • The HALO Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play acknowledges a deficiency in opportunities for youth to spend time outdoors, including during formal learning.
  • The 2015 American Camp Association annual conference featured a Research Forum. The Book of Abstracts features 16 abstracts that were presented at the conference.
  • Dr. Stephen Fine’s article, Fighting for Free Play (published in the Nov/Dec 2014 issues of ACA’s Camping Magazine)
  • The 2014 International Camping Congress featured a Research Symposium with papers presented by authors from Canada, the United States, Japan, and Mongolia. You can download the Book of Abstracts that was presented at the Symposium.
  • The American Camp Association 2014 Research Forum Abstracts (19 papers including the CCA/University of Waterloo study) are all available for free on the ACA Research Forum page.
  • Dr. Stephen Fine’s article, A Burgeoning World of Camp Research (published in the Sept/Oct 2012 issue of ACA’s Camping Magazine)
  • CCA National Research Committee Report (December 2011)

Additional Works

The CCA presents the work of Canadian undergraduate students and graduate student work-in-progress in the interests of encouraging and promoting camp research at the university level.

Elizabeth Cooper (Vancouver Island University)

Click here to access Elizabeth’s two papers (“Camp Consumer Behaviour Project” and “Camp Staff Training Report 2011”).