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Research in Outdoor Education

Abstract

Many camp professionals find themselves continually challenged to document the value of the camp experience for youth. Funders want to hold camps accountable to their goals, boards want to see evidence that camp programs result in benefits in line with the organization's mission, and directors themselves want to know if they achieved the desired outcomes as well the most effective "best practices". The American Camp Association (ACA) teamed with Youth Development Strategies, Inc. (YDSI) in a project to look at how campers assessed their camp experiences on outcomes that contribute to positive youth development. The purpose of this study was to establish a baseline of supports and opportunities for youth development offered through the camp experience as defined by the Community Action Framework for Youth Development (Gambone, Klem, & Connell, 2002).

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