Research in Outdoor Education




Nature-deficit disorder has been highlighted as a concern for today's children. Organized camps for children have traditionally been associated with nature-based opportunities. However, the role that camps have in developing an appreciation for the outdoors and environmental stewardship has not been documented. The purpose of this study was to evaluate youths' perceived connections to nature resulting from a pilot test of a leadership and environmental stewardship program (i.e., Camp 2 Grow) undertaken at organized resident camps during the summer of 2009. Qualitative analyses of personal reflection journals were used. Campers recognized through this program that having the freedom to enjoy the outdoors also meant having a responsibility for environmental stewardship. Camp efforts can be focused on promoting nature abundance for children.