Camp as educator: A study of summer residential camp as a landscape for learning and living

by Ozier, Lance, Ed.D., TEACHERS COLLEGE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, 2012, 246 pages; 3508527


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.

AdviserRuth Vinz
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsEducational sociology; Education policy; Recreation
Publication Number3508527

About ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
With nearly 4 million records, the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) Global database is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. It is the database of record for graduate research.

PQDT Global combines content from a range of the world's premier universities - from the Ivy League to the Russell Group. Of the nearly 4 million graduate works included in the database, ProQuest offers more than 2.5 million in full text formats. Of those, over 1.7 million are available in PDF format. More than 90,000 dissertations and theses are added to the database each year.

If you have questions, please feel free to visit the ProQuest Web site - - or contact ProQuest Support.