The purpose of this article is to examine the impact of specialized, residential camp programs on children and youth with disabilities. In general, the question is: "Does the camp experience result in positive or negative impacts on development, and do these changes transfer to home or school?" Camps are rich in social (both Vgotsky's and Bandura's conceptualizations; Gredler, 1992) and experiential (Kolb, 1984) learning. In camps, learning occurs while doing tasks within the functional, meaningful contexts of daily and social life in the camp community. Moreover, the naturally occurring consequences of one's actions are immediate and salient. The extensive literature on transfer of learning in special education suggests that these aspects of the camp experience can contribute to successful transfer of learning (Westling & Fox, 2000). Another important factor in the transfer of learning for children with disabilities is the opportunity to counter prior experiences of failure by being able to demonstrate to oneself one's ability to perform skills. When this occurs, motivation and self-confidence may increase to use the skill in other situations (McKeogh, Lupart, & Marini, 1995). It appears that camps contain programmatic aspects that could foster transfer of learning for children with disabilities.
Fullerton, Ann; Brandon, Steve; and Arick, Joel
"The Impact of Camp Programs on Children with Disabilities: Opportunities for Independence,"
Research in Outdoor Education: Vol. 5, Article 11.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.cortland.edu/reseoutded/vol5/iss1/11