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Journal of Applied Research on Children






The camp experience has been an important American tradition for 150 years. In 2012, more than 11 million youth and adults attended an estimated 12,000 day and resident camps.1 Day and resident camp experiences differ; a typical day camp lasts roughly six to eight hours on any given day, while resident (overnight) camps operate 24/7 during a camp session. Youth and adults live at resident camp and are therefore in personal contact with one another for a longer timeframe than is typical of the day camp experience. Day or resident camp sessions can last from one week to up to eight weeks, with the average session lasting two weeks. Camp experiences contribute to a variety of positive youth developmental outcomes,2,3 but camp experiences also pose a risk for youth because of exposure to injuries and illness. Injury is a leading cause of the death of children,4,5,6 and childhood illness has a range of negative health, social, and financial impacts.7,8 Reducing the incidence of injuries and illness at camp is central to the provision of high-quality camp experiences.


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