Bibliographies of Camp-related Research

Bibliographies of Camp-related Research

The efficacy of physical activity programs for overweight pre-adults at specialized camps.
Zaccone, P.R.
Doctoral Dissertation, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 1979.

Determine the effectiveness of specialized camp programs for overweight pre-adults.

Subjects: Males and females ages eight to 17 at two different camps. 112 campers (72 females and 40 males) at the coed camp and 55 at the all-female camp.

Camps: Two seven-week residential camps, one coed, one all female.

Method: Camp Programs: at the coed camp, boys and girls followed different exercise routines in a 30-minute mandatory exercise period each morning. The boys' program included cardiovascular endurance activities; the girls' program consisted mostly of stretching. There were five activity periods during the day. Activities offered during these periods consisted of team and individual sports, crafts, and swimming. At the all-female camp, activities included swimming, tennis, dance, biking, slimnastics, weight lifting, and arts and crafts. Campers could elect to go to an off-site health spa three days each week.


  • Body weight measurements (entering and departing).
  • Camper Activity Preference Rating Scale: campers indicated preferences for participation in camp activities. The researcher classified each activity on the basis of caloric expenditure.
  • Camper Activity Questionnaire: campers indicated the frequency of participation in each of the camp activities.
  • Counselors' Rating Scale: two counselors from each camp were assigned to independently rate each camper's participation in physical activities

Design: pre-test/post-test on weight loss measures, post-test on camper activity questionnaire, camper activity preference questionnaire, and counselor rating scale.

Data Analysis:

  • Absolute and relative body weight loss scores were calculated from entering and departing body weights. T-tests were used to analyze for differences between entering and departing weight loss measures.
  • Correlation and Regression Coefficients were calculated for absolute weight loss, relative weight loss, and entering body weight for each camp individually, combined camps, males, and females.
  • Correlation and Regression Coefficients were calculated for absolute weight loss and activity preference scores, absolute weight loss and activity participation scores, and activity preference and activity participation scores.


  • In both camps, campers expended fewer calories than the potential indicated by activity preference scores.
  • No significant differences in attitude toward participation in physical activity. The researcher attributes this to counselors' lack of knowledge of the value of exercise in weight loss.
  • Significant absolute weight loss differences for subjects in one camp, for girls and boys in the same camp and for the combined populations of both camps.
  • Significant differences in relative weight loss between the two camps, between the girls and boys at the coed camp, and between the boys at the coed camp and the girls at the all-girls camp.
  • Physical activity participation did not make a significant contribution to weight loss at either camp.
  • No relationship between the activity preference scores and absolute body weight at departure.