The camp experience

Learning through the outdoors

Authored by: M. Deborah Bialeschki , Stephen M. Fine , Troy Bennett

Routledge International Handbook of Outdoor Studies

Print publication date:  November  2015
Online publication date:  November  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138782884
eBook ISBN: 9781315768465
Adobe ISBN: 9781317666523


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Since the earliest days of the organised camp movement more than 150 years ago, leaders have advocated that the outdoors is an influential site of learning for youth and that the camp experience is a valuable educational tool to promote nature-based learning. The evolution of camps was similar within the USA and Canada, while a great many camps were established within the former USSR in the years following the First World War. In the 21st century, camps have become a global phenomenon. At summer camp, children are motivated by the fun and camaraderie of peer and staff interaction, interesting settings and physically dynamic activities. Additionally, the pace of learning is accelerated through personal insights, social interaction, mentorship and skills development that overlap and can occur within a short span of time.

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