Posts Tagged ‘Research’

Think Tank on Camp Research Strategies and Strategic Directions

Posted on June 12, 2017 by Catherine Ross

On May 7, 2017 in Toronto, Dr. Stephen Fine, Chair of the CCA Research Committee, chaired a meeting of CCA Executive Members, John Jorgenson (President of the International Camping Fellowship), and several academics representing various disciplines: education, nursing, architecture, sociology and anthropology, and recreation and leisure studies.  The focus of the Think Tank was to share experience and resources to further research in the phenomena of camp.

Academic participants at the Think Tank on Camp Research included: Dr. Troy Glover, Professor, University of Waterloo; Dr. Karla Henderson, Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina; Dr. Deb Bialeschki , Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Dr. Catherine Laing, Assistant Professor University of Calgary; Dr. Thomas McIlwraith, Assistant Professor, University of Guelph and Dr. Trevor Norris, Associate Professor, Brock University; Peter Gilbert, Professor Emeritus, Ryerson University; and John Blakey, Nature Based Learning Teacher and Educational Researcher, Montcrest School.

The group confirmed that the ultimate goal of research in camping is to assist camp professionals in maximizing the experience for campers. Research results have to be understood by camp directors and seen to have practical applications. Currently research is a strong component at International Camping Congresses.  Local camping conferences can also be suitable venues for researchers to share their work. The Waterloo research project, which proved the benefits of camp, is being used in the upcoming national campaign to promote camp. Research has a role to play in educating the public, informing camp professionals and validating and improving the camp experience.

In the Fall of 2017, the CCA will be contacting member camps across the country as to their interest towards participating in an American/Canadian research project. The project’s  aims and methods align 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 camp within the broad context of youth development programs.  Interested parties should contact: Stephen Fine by email at

Canadian Camping Association Research Award of Excellence Call for Papers

Posted on February 21, 2017 by CCA Communications Committee

Camp Directors:

The CCARAE 2017 Call for Papers is now online.

Please bring it to the attention of all staff or alumni who are engaged in camping–related research in their studies or work.

2016 Canadian Camping Association Research Award of Excellence Winner

Posted on February 20, 2017 by Catherine Ross

Mandi Baker, CCARAE Winner (2016)

CCA is pleased to announce that Mandi Baker, PhD, Griffith U AUS, is the 2016 winner of the CCARAE for her doctoral dissertation: Becoming and Being a Camp Counsellor: a study of discourse, power relations and emotions.

Mandi attended camps in Southern Ontario as a camper, counsellor and program director. She obtained a Recreation degree at the University of Waterloo and is currently a lecturer at Torrens University, Blue Mountain International Hotel Management School NSW, Australia.

Mandi writes, “While camp counsellor experiences can be immensely positive opportunities for young people to mature and learn about the needs of others, the emotional demands can create pressures that staff struggle to manage.”

Mandi’s paper challenges camp directors to recognize the emotional, physical and mental demands of a counsellor’s job and to provide the necessary support and understanding.

Summer Camp Health Initiative

Posted on January 18, 2016 by CCA Communications Committee

The Summer Camp Health Initiative is a project developed by four medical students at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. They are also keen, experienced campers. Their focus is on health promotion and injury and illness prevention at summer camps.

Current programs include a first-aid training program for camp staff and a research study into injury and illness at camp.

Camps can join SCHI and access the information and benefits at no cost.

You can download the Summer Camp Health Initiative poster for more information or visit

Camps as Agents of Change

Posted on September 20, 2015 by CCA Communications Committee

The Sept/Oct 2015 issue of Camping MagazineCamping Magazine Sept Oct 2015 contains an article by Dr. Stephen Fine, Chair of the CCA Research Committee, called Education for Global Citizenship: A Role for Summer Camp.

Stephen advocates that camps can play a major role in “encouraging campers to become globally informed and globally minded” to make the world a better place. The article includes fun activities to help teach campers to become good Global Citizens.

Call For Papers: Canadian Camp Research Award of Excellence

Posted on March 2, 2015 by CCA Communications Committee

Camp Directors: Please forward to your present and former staff.

The annual Award honours and celebrates excellence in research and writing that makes a significant contribution to the body of academic literature relevant to the organized camping movement in Canada. It encourages graduate students, faculty and independent scholars to examine issues and/or practicalities of camp phenomena from a social, educational, economic, technological, political, natural and/or organizational perspective from any academic discipline or professional field.

For details, please click here.

Canadian Camp Research Award of Excellence Winner 2014

Posted on February 23, 2015 by CCA Communications Committee

Catherine Laing, Canadian Camp Research Award of Excellence Winner

Catherine Laing,
Canadian Camp Research Award of Excellence Winner

Catherine Laing, R.N., Ph.D. is the 2014 winner of the Canadian Camp Research Award of Excellence for her doctoral dissertation entitled: “It’s not just camp: Understanding the Meaning of Children’s Cancer Camps for Children and Families.

Beautifully written in a popular style, “It’s not just camp”, recounts day to day realities for families living under the specter of cancer and attests to the therapeutic power of camp. In this qualitative study, Laing meticulously explores by way of philosophical hermeneutics what others within the field of oncology have often only expressed through objective quantitative approaches.

An important and courageous addition for the medical journals and camp research, this work challenges the hard science of medical economics. Particularly intriguing are her future plans to explore the concept of social return on investment (SROI) which assigns a monetary value to items traditionally non-valued, overlooked, or misunderstood such as quality of life and self-confidence. Dr. Laing presents herself as a true advocate for social medicine who hopes to expand the perspective of oncologists towards viewing cancer camp as a therapeutic imperative.

Download the abstract of Dr. Laing’s paper here.

Download Dr. Laing’s disssertation here.

A great idea worth emulating!

Posted on October 6, 2014 by Catherine Ross

Barb Gray,
Director, Ontario Easter Seals Camps

Barb Gray, Director of Ontario Easter Seals Camps, knows how to make camping research work for her!

In a note to Dr. Stephen Fine, Chair of the CCA Research Committee, Barb writes:

“I use the data from the University of Waterloo Canadian Summer Camp Research Project when applying for grants to make the proposal more professional by providing quantifiable data. I also use the research findings when speaking to our Board members, Senior Management and fundraising staff as most never attended camp as children and believe that summer camp is a luxury. I use the research findings with case studies of our campers to make the presentations more powerful.

Thanks so much for doing this research and showing the amazing benefits attending a summer camp has for our campers.”

Announcing the Canadian Camp Research Award of Excellence

Posted on September 8, 2014 by Catherine Ross

The CCA is pleased to announce a new Canadian Camp Research Award of Excellence.

This award encourages research in fields that relate to camping in Canada in its social, economic, technological, political and organizational environments.

Camp Directors, we ask that you please forward this information to staff who may be interested.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, December 12, 2014.

Winning entry(s) will be posted on the CCA website and added to the camping collection of the Trent University Archives.


The annual Award honours and celebrates excellence in research and writing in all academic disciplines relevant to the organized camping movement in Canada.

It encourages graduate students, faculty and independent scholars to become involved in research in fields that relate to camping in its social, economic, technological, political and organizational environments.

It augments the body of research literature electronically accessible world-wide on the CCA Research webpage, and as more durable hard copy in the unique Camping Collections at the Trent University Archives for long term access by future researchers.


At their discretion, the judges may award the “Canadian Camp Research Award of Excellence”, and may award one or more “Canadian Camp Research Award(s) of Merit”.

The judging criteria are the value to camping research in Canada, the depth and breadth of research, the strength of analysis and synthesis, and the quality of scholarly writing.

The Canadian Camp Research Award Committee works at arm’s length from the CCA Board, and the judges’ decisions are final.

An official certificate from CCA will be presented to each winner.


Entries are accepted in English or French.

Send your electronic entry to:

If your entry is hard copy, post it to:

Prof. Peter Gilbert (Chair), 14240 County Road. 2, Brighton, ON, Canada, K0K 1H0
and email us that you have sent it.

THE ENTRY DEADLINE is: Friday, December 12th, 2014.

Camp Research Project: Purpose, Findings and Practical Applications

Posted on February 24, 2014 by Dr. Stephen Fine

The Canadian Camping Association, as a federation of camps across the country, is experiencing a variety of challenges: rising costs, shrinking youth market share, increased government scrutiny and regulation, and risk management issues.

Validated research is a powerful instrument for addressing and protecting this common interest because today more than ever before there is a vital need to back up our claims with evidence based research.

We now possess authoritative confirmation of our industry’s value through the findings of the CCA/ University of Waterloo (UW) “Canadian Summer Camp Research Project.” The next steps are to now effectively broadcast this information,  keep it in the public view, and to put it to practical purposes.

The research proved that camp provides development in five key areas:

Canada Kids Camps Research Benefits Development

Additionally, in the survey of over 1400 parents from across Canada, the overwhelming (or statistically significant) response was that lessons learned at camp successfully transfer from the camp environment to home, school and neighbourhood settings. Parents reported that they saw either a change for the better or an enhanced and continuing positive attitude in their children.

We do not intend to allow this study to languish. So, this is what we are now doing in order to assist you as camp professionals:

  1. The first resource soon to be available to camp directors and administrators will be a series of briefing papers. These are short, concise overviews of the findings related to each of the key development areas. These will offer insight to parents as to what outcomes a camp experience can reasonably provide for their child.
  2. The second resource will be information packages that will be of use to provincial camping associations or camps themselves. Individually keyed toward the purposes of public awareness, government lobbying, or the seeking of funding or sponsorship. These will be based on the CCA’s proven camp benefits backed up with findings from comparable research studies.
  3. In the longer run, staff training initiatives and program development based on CCA/UW research findings will be piloted at CCA camps in an effort to provide elements of intentionality to existing programs.