Impact of a summer camp experience on at-risk middle school youth

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 10.51.38 AMIn 2012 the Open Journal Of Occupational Therapy published the findings of a study entitled ‘Effects of a Summer Camp Experience on Factors of Resilience in At-Risk Youth’, which addressed the impact of a summer camp experience on at-risk middle school youth by exploring self-reported growth in skill development and resilience. Results showed statistically significant differences in the campers’ belief of a good future for themselves Three significant themes emerged from individual in-depth interviews including: (a) engagement influences skill competence (b) the camp environment expands positive choice and availability of positive occupations (c) males developed skills and resilience from informal physical activity while no equivalent existed for females. Middle school aged at-risk youth can benefit from occupation-based summer camp programs that promote active engagement in an enriched environment and sustain gains once they return to high-risk environments. This research contributes to a growing understanding of the potential contribution of occupational therapy in the design and delivery of effective summer camp experiences for at-risk youth. Read the full study report

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