Bibliographies of Camp-related Research
A Sociometric Study of Children of Different Socioeconomic Levels in an Interracial, Interreligious Camp
Doctoral Dissertation, University of Georgia, 1971.
Examine the interaction patterns of 8-13 year olds of different racial, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds in a two-week resident camp setting.
Subjects: 175 campers - 85 girls and 90 boys. Ethnic/racial backgrounds included: Jewish, Caucasian, African American, and Cherokee. Religious backgrounds included protestant, catholic, and Jewish.
Camp Affiliation: Project "Camping Unlimited" held at Blue Star Camps in the southeastern United States.
Method: The camp program was a two-week residential program intentionally designed to promote good relationships among campers of different racial, social, economic, and religious backgrounds. Program elements designed to achieve this goal included: mixed living groups, regular camp activities, cultural program during evening activity time, and camper-planned religious services.
Instrument: Campers were asked to fill out an eight-question sociometric questionnaire. On the questionnaire, campers were asked to indicate 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices of cabin-mates or cabin groups in response to different hypothetical situations.
Design: pre-test/post-test. The pre-test was given 4 days into the camp experience and the post-test was given 12 days into the camp experience.
Data Analysis: Chi-square.
- No significant difference in level of cabin group cohesiveness before and after camp.
- No significant ethnically based differences in the acceptance or rejection of group members. Group members selected from their own ethnic groups more often but acceptance and rejection crossed social barriers.
- No significant gender-based differences in ethnocentrism of campers. In general, girls were more ethnocentric than boys, with the exception of African American boys, who were more ethnocentric than African American girls.
- No differences in selection. The longer the period of interaction, the more willingly members of different groups selected each other.
- No significant difference in choices made for emotional-supportive roles and task-oriented roles based on race. African Americans were chosen more often for emotional-supportive roles and Caucasians were chosen more often for task-oriented roles
- Groups that were racially unbalanced or had poor leadership teams showed lower levels of cohesiveness.