For over 100 years educational researchers have concerned themselves with a "summer learning gap" for students who experience academic losses during the summer months they are away from school. Simultaneously, American summer residential camps have provided landscapes of learning for generations of school children to improve skills and build competencies. Despite the current availability for camp experiences to fill the "summer learning gap" experienced by students during the summer vacation, contemporary education reform initiatives have largely not recognized the seemingly natural connection between camp and school.
This study describes the significant historical linkages between the American camp movement and formal school settings and uses a case study approach to identify the learning experiences of 10 camp participants of a multi-year summer residential camp program in upstate New York. The study finds that students who participated in the camp program reported benefitting from 21 st century learning outcomes that include relationship building, role modeling, collaboration, confidence, independence, and academic enhancement.
Conclusions of the study indicate the significant role of camp experiences in the learning lives of children, and the need for policy makers to adopt reforms that include provisions for out-of-school time learning opportunities like camp.
|School||TEACHERS COLLEGE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY|
|Subjects||Sociology of education; Education policy; Recreation and tourism|
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