Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

Committee Member

Jasmine Townsend, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Stephen Lewis

Committee Member

Barry Garst


Background: The purpose of this research was to examine the impact of an inclusive camp setting on young adults with Down syndrome, with a specific focus on personal growth and meaningful friendships. The aim of this exploratory case study was to describe the experiences of returning young adult campers in depth and examine the impact of Camp PALS on their personal growth and meaningful friendships over time using the 5 C’s of Positive Youth Development. Method: Data were collected from ten returning campers between the ages of 21-29. A narrative case study design was utilized and included observations and semi-structured interviews. Results: Findings suggest that inclusive, residential camps can promote positive outcomes for individuals with DS. Conclusion: This study indicates that Camp PALS promotes personal growth and meaningful friendships through the promotion and evolution of the 5 C’s of Positive Youth Development. Implications for research are discussed.



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