Tools for Measuring Youth Development Outcomes

Camper high-fiving staff

The youth development outcomes tools were designed specifically for camps interested in exploring what their campers gain from their camp experience. Camps use the data they gather using these tools to advocate for funding and to demonstrate to parents that camp experiences foster important developmental outcomes, such as:

  • Affinity for Nature
  • Camp Connectedness
  • Family Citizenship
  • Friendship Skills
  • Independence
  • Interest in Exploration
  • Perceived Competence
  • Problem Solving Confidence
  • Responsibility
  • Spiritual Well-Being
  • Teamwork

Camps interested in demonstrating youth development outcomes are encouraged to select tools from this list and build a customized survey that aligns with their mission and goals.  

The following versions of these tools are available:

Young Camper Learning Survey

Young Camper Learning Scale combines several of the outcomes listed above into a single survey designed specifically for kids 6 to 9 years old. As a single scale, the results represent a single measure of camper learning and should not be used to make conclusions about the outcomes individually. 

 

Surveys for Campers 8 and Older

The Basic and Detailed Versions are designed for kids age 8 to 12 and 12 and above, respectively, although these age ranges may vary depending on reading ability. Both versions are surveys that campers complete at or toward the end of camp, typically with support from camp staff. The Detailed Version is recommended for campers older than 12 because each question has two parts: the first that asks about the campers’ status (their perception of the outcome at the end of camp), and a second that asks how that status has changed because of their time at camp. This version is a great option for camps interested in showing change because of camp (akin to a pre-test/post-test).

 

Measure Youth Outcomes Online (YOB 2.0)

Measure Youth Outcomes Online (YOB 2.0) is an online tool built around the Basic Version described above. In this system, subscribers can design their own survey by selecting any of the 11 outcomes and adding up to 10 additional questions of their choosing.  Campers complete the survey via tablet or computer while on site, typically with support from camp staff.  Data are automatically summarized and reported by age, gender, session, and other variables.

 

Staff and Parent Perceptions Tool 

Staff and Parent Perceptions Tool measures outcomes growth based on adult observations of youth under their direct care of staff or a caregiver. The same outcomes available in the YOB are used in this version for staff and/or parents. These measures were statistically tested, easily administered, and offer staff language useful in communicating with parents about the growth of their child. The YOB: Staff and Parent Perceptions are stand-alone measures or ideally are used in conjunction with the YOB camper surveys. The measures work well with any age youth, but are especially helpful when working with children under the age of 10 years old or whom may have special needs.

 

ACA Youth Outcomes Norming Tables

ACA Youth Outcomes Norming Tables are available for the Youth Outcomes Battery tools. During the summers of 2010-2011 and 2014-2015 the ACA (through the support of the Not-for-Profit Council) began the process of collecting normative data on the ACA Youth Outcomes Battery (YOB). All scales were included except the Young Camper Learning. The outcome of this project is normed tables that allow individual camps to compare their scores on the YOB outcomes to representative scores from typical ACA not-for-profit camps. Through the norming process, the data suggest that campers experience growth when attending camp, and this growth may be related to the amount of time spent at the particular camp.