Bibliographies of Camp-related Research

Bibliographies of Camp-related Research

The use of the residential summer camp for promoting responsible environmental behavior through environmental education.
Strickland, M. A.
(Master's Thesis, Dalhousie University, 1991). Master's Abstracts International, 31-02, 0550.

Determine the effectiveness of a residential summer camp experience in changing environmental behavior of staff and CIT's, and to discover which facets of the camping experience led to the change.

23 staff members and 14 CIT's (7 female, 7 male).
Camp Affiliation: Camp Glenburn, St. John YM-YWCA, New Brunswick, Canada.

Control Group: 71 children not participating in an organized camping experience.


  • Camp program designed to develop environmental sensitivity, environmental efficacy, and knowledge and skill in environmental action strategies through direct experience with the outdoors.
  • CIT's in a 9-week program including: environmental awareness training, performing an environmental audit, developing and implementing corrective actions and personal codes of environmental ethics, playing and training in leadership of Project Wild games, journal writing, and environmental restoration work.


  • Quantitative Data: Behavioral Questionnaire
  • Qualitative Data: journals and focus groups


  • Quantitative: Pre-test/post-test/follow up on behavior questionnaire. Pre-test before camp, post-test one week following camp, follow-up test four months after camp.

Data Analysis:

  • Quantitative: paired t-tests. Results should be interpreted with caution due to the use of multiple t-tests, which could lead to increased probability of Type I error.
  • Qualitative: analysis of journal content using a system of categories evaluated by a panel of experts. Focus groups with CIT's were also used.


Significant increases by staff and CIT's between pre-test and post-test on daily environmental behavior.

No significant difference between post-test and follow-up for either group, meaning that behavior changes were retained.

CIT's showed significant increases and retention in political behavior between pre-test and post-test, while staff did not.

No significant differences between staff and CIT's on any of the test scores on environmental behavior.

Qualitative results indicated direct experiences in the outdoors and goal-directed environmental learning experiences resulted in development of:

  • Positive attitude towards the outdoors accompanied by an increased understanding of ecological principles and interconnectedness of humans and the environment.
  • Understanding of interconnectedness of the environment and humans and the environment.
  • Belief that the environment is fragile.
  • Positive attitudes towards taking action to improve the environment.
  • Attitude of importance of environment over importance of human wants when negative environmental impact will result.
  • Increase in individual and group feelings of environmental efficacy.

Evidence of transfer of increased responsible environmental behaviors to home environment.