Summer camps are a common youth development setting in North America; however, youth from lowincome backgrounds often cannot attend because of financial barriers. Subsequently, although a robust camp literature exists, little is known about the lasting benefits for youth from low-income backgrounds. Even less is known about how these outcomes may differ based on the number of years youth attend a multi-year camp. The purpose of this study was to examine the long-term outcomes camp alumni reported as attributable to camp and that remain important in their life today. Eighteen outcomes examined via a cross-sectional retrospective survey completed by 449 camp alumni between the ages of 18 and 40 (mage = 22.1, SD = 5.17) were analyzed using repeated-measures analysis of variance to examine the within-subject and between-subject associations between years attended camp and alumni reported outcomes. Alumni of multi-year camps for youth from low-income backgrounds reported that camp was important to the development of many outcomes that are useful to their lives today. The more years that alumni attended a multi-year camp program, the greater the impact they reported that camp had on outcomes important to them today and the more likely they were to have completed post-secondary education. The results of this study provide evidence that practitioners and policy makers may use to advocate for funding to make camp programs more accessible and supportive for youth from low-income backgrounds, and to support youth year-round to stay engaged with camp programs.
Povilaitis, Victoria; Warner, Robert; and Wheatley, Katie McGregor
"The Lasting Benefits of Multiyear Camp Programming for Youth from Low-Income Backgrounds,"
Journal of Youth Development: Vol. 18:
1, Article 7.
Available at: https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/jyd/vol18/iss1/7