Bibliographies of Camp-related Research

Bibliographies of Camp-related Research

A report of an Oregon school camp with program emphasis upon outdoor science experiences.
Hollenbeck, I.E.
Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Colorado, 1958.

Survey school science camping opportunities for Oregon school children and investigate values and feasibility of these experiences.

Subjects: 601 high school seniors completed surveys, 22 fifth and sixth grade children participated in the pilot science school camp.
Camp Affiliation: School camp sponsored by the Southern Oregon College and Medford Public Schools.

Camp Program: Pilot science camp for 22 fifth and sixth graders, 5 counselors, and science instructors. The one week program included a variety of science activities.


  • Questionnaires given to 601 high school seniors. Questions related to types of camps attended, length of stay at camp, age when attending camp, camp location, camp activities of greatest and least emphasis, and participation in science activities.
  • Sociometric Tests: researcher-designed questions.
  • Artistic Representation: students drew pictures about the out-of-doors before and after camp.
  • What I Like To Do, An Inventory of Children's Interests: used to measure shifts in children's interests as a result of attending camp. Areas of interest included: art, music, social studies, active play, quiet play, manual arts, home arts, science.
  • Opinion Surveys: completed by parents, students, and counselors after the camp experience.

Design: pre-test/post-test for sociometric, artistic representation, and interest tests.

Data Analysis:

  • Sociograms derived from the responses were used to determine changes in relationships.
  • A panel of experts was used to analyze the drawings before and after the camp experience.
  • The high school survey results were compared with a similar survey of 495 college freshmen.


  • Questionnaire: No reported school camp experiences. The opportunity to participate in outdoor education experiences was limited. 2/3 of the students surveyed had participated in an organized summer camp experience. 1/3 of those experiences were in church-related camps. Nature study and science experiences were a very small part of summer camp programs and were not led by special science or nature counselors.
  • Sociometric Tests: Student popularity did not change as a result of the camp experience. One exclusive group of girls merged with the rest of the class. Some isolates remained so; one was accepted as an important member of the group after camp. There were fewer gender-based social choices after camp.
  • Art: More drawings on science topics after camp. More post-camp drawings of different tree species, campfires, canyons, bridges, and forested mountains. Post-camp drawings were more detailed and realistic in their depictions of the out-of-doors. Post-camp drawings showed a better understanding of kinds of outdoor life and greater powers of observation.
  • Interest Inventory: Fifth graders made significant gains in science interest; fifth grade boys made gains in all 8 interest areas; girls in 5, including science. Sixth grade boys and girls showed increased interest in 4 areas.
  • Parents: All felt that the week had stimulated the child's interest in the out-of-doors and in conservation.
    Values listed included: more outdoor knowledge, better camping practices, new understanding of wildlife, conservation, and geology, new hobbies, new friends, greater interest in school.
  • Children's Responses: 96% said that camp helped with schoolwork, especially in science, that the group worked well together, and that they learned to be agreeable and share responsibilities. All were enthusiastic about this method of learning.
  • Counselors' Responses: Felt that children learned about the rights of others, appreciation of nature, and gained new understandings of their relationship with other living things.
  • Classroom Teachers: Felt that children learned things about science that they could not have learned as effectively in the classroom. Teachers learned more about the strengths and weaknesses of students as a result of living with them at camp. Teachers felt that children learned the importance of following directions, cooperating with others, doing their share of the work, and were better at coping with unfamiliar and unexpected events.