Creation vacation: brings low-income families to camp.
When reflecting on our formative formative /for·ma·tive/ (for´mah-tiv) concerned in the origination and development of an organism, part, or tissue. years, most of us remember family vacations, picnics, and camping trips as important to family recreation, relationships, and memories. Increasingly, people are enjoying outdoor activities. Easily overlooked are the many low-income families without the financial or transportation means to make such experiences possible.
Since 1997, Camp Magruder, a United Methodist ministry on the north Oregon coast The Oregon Coast is a geographical term that is used to describe the coast of Oregon along the Pacific Ocean. Stretching 362 miles from Astoria to the California border, the Oregon Coast is unique in that the whole coastline is public land. , has sponsored a program called Creation Vacation, providing gift four-day vacations to families living in low-income housing. Hosting seventeen families the first year, by 2000 the program had grown to two sessions, serving forty-nine families (194 persons) from Portland and Salem, Oregon Salem (IPA: [ˈseɪ ləm̩]) is the capital of the U.S. state of Oregon, and the county seat of Marion County. The district of West Salem lies in Polk County. . The participating families have given many positive reports about the benefits of relaxed recreation time in the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost of the natural setting.
The camp staff works with community social workers to recruit, screen, and prepare families for the camp experience. Families were selected to attend based on several criteria: (1) parent/guardian and children lived together in the community and would attend the camp together: (2) if applicable, family members were in recovery and not currently experiencing active addiction addiction: see drug addiction and drug abuse. or abuse; and (3) family members were viewed by the community social workers as interested in a family camp experience. Thus, the families who attended were not necessarily representative of the housing community as a whole The families meet during the spring with their social worker and the camp director to plan and prepare for the vacation -- families offer input regarding activities and logistics. Bus and van transportation is provided. At camp, the families each have their own room and are provided wholesome whole·some
adj. whole·som·er, whole·som·est
1. Conducive to sound health or well-being; salutary: simple, wholesome food; a wholesome climate.
2. meals and snacks, recreation and craft activity options, insurance, a disposable camera and film development, and bedding and per sonal items needed to make the vacation possible. The families engage in a variety of activities, including swimming, boating, beach play, donkey rides Donkey rides have been a traditional feature of seaside resorts in the United Kingdom, especially England. Children were allowed to ride donkeys on a sandy beach for a charge in summer months while on holiday, normally led in groups at walking pace. , variety show, campfires, crafts for all ages, hikes, and watching sunsets.
Volunteers, known as family friends, are recruited from churches and the camp community Each family friend is paired with one or two families. They welcome and orient o·ri·ent
1. To locate or place in a particular relation to the points of the compass.
2. To align or position with respect to a point or system of reference.
3. the families upon arrival, guide activity participation, build friendships, and assist with children so that parents get both respite RESPITE, contracts, civil law. An act by which a debtor who is unable to satisfy his debts at the moment, transacts (i. e. compromises) with his creditors, and obtains from them time or delay for the payment of the sums which he owes to them. Louis. Code, 3051. and one-on-one time with different family members.
The cost has been approximately $500 per family. The camp director has raised funds from foundations, individuals, churches, and the camp's business suppliers. In 2000, the cost of meals for the children was partly covered by the USDA USDA,
n.pr See United States Department of Agriculture. Summer Food Service Program for low-income children.
To guide program design and to explore the possible outcomes for participants of the camp experience, Camp DirectorTed Hulbert contacted Portland State University Professor Ann ANN, Scotch law. Half a year's stipend over and above what is owing for the incumbency due to a minister's relict, or child, or next of kin, after his decease. Wishaw. Also, an abbreviation of annus, year; also of annates. In the old law French writers, ann or rather an, signifies a year. Fullerton to conduct an outcomes study of the July 2000 session. The director, community social worker, professor, and students met to determine the study questions, methods for gathering and analyzing the data, and roles each could play in this process. This collaborative effort allowed the team to pool resources and conduct an outcome study at little cost. The camp and housing community staff assisted with data collection and preparation, and the university provided data analysis and written reports.
Family camping programs have been associated with improved family bonds and relationships (Hawks Hawks , Howard Winchester 1896-1977.
American filmmaker whose works include His Girl Friday (1940) and The Big Sleep (1946). , 1991). Programs that bring members of low-income communities together can foster greater community cohesiveness (Stagner & Duran, 1997). The team was interested in three possible outcomes of the camp experience.
1. Did families experience outcomes related to the natural setting and outdoor activities?
2. Did families experience outcomes in the area of family relationships (e.g., connection, quality time together)?
3. Did members of a low-income housing community experience outcomes in the area of community building (e.g., meet one's neighbors, more cohesive cohesive,
n the capability to cohere or stick together to form a mass. community)?
To explore the outcomes from multiple perspectives, both the families and the volunteers were interviewed at the end of the camp experience. In order to explore whether the experience was associated with any changes after the families returned to their homes and communities, the families completed a survey five months later.
Families were asked if they wished to participate in the study. It was stressed that families were free to decline participation, with no repercussions repercussions npl → répercussions fpl
repercussions npl → Auswirkungen pl to their involvement in the camp experience. The procedures used to ensure confidentiality were also described. Nineteen or 70 percent of the twenty-seven families agreed to be interviewed and complete the survey. The family friends were asked to interview the families and to interview each other at the end of the vacation experience, all of the family friends agreed to participate.
The camp director, social worker, and university researchers developed the interview and survey questions (see Figure 1). Before families arrived, the family friends were instructed on how to conduct the interviews and record responses. On the last day of the vacation, each family friend interviewed the family with which they had spent time. After the families left for home, the family friends took turns interviewing each other. Five months later, the community social worker delivered a survey to each family and collected them after they were completed. All of these handwritten hand·write
tr.v. hand·wrote , hand·writ·ten , hand·writ·ing, hand·writes
To write by hand.
[Back-formation from handwritten.]
Adj. 1. responses were then typed for analysis and numeric numeric
see ten-key pad. codes were assigned as·sign
tr.v. as·signed, as·sign·ing, as·signs
1. To set apart for a particular purpose; designate: assigned a day for the inspection.
2. to each response to ensure confidentiality Two researchers, working independently, read and categorized cat·e·go·rize
tr.v. cat·e·go·rized, cat·e·go·riz·ing, cat·e·go·riz·es
To put into a category or categories; classify.
cat all of the responses for each question. They then met and compared the categories they had identified, discussed any disagreements, and reached consensus on how to code each response. The number and percentage of responses, which fell into each category, was deter mined. The qualitative methods used are described in an easy-to-use book, Beginning Qualitative Research Qualitative research
Traditional analysis of firm-specific prospects for future earnings. It may be based on data collected by the analysts, there is no formal quantitative framework used to generate projections. : A Philosophic and Practical Guide. See the reference list for more information.
The families represented a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds including Hispanic Hispanic Multiculture A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race Social medicine Any of 17 major Latino subcultures, concentrated in California, Texas, Chicago, Miam, NY, and elsewhere , African-American, Vietnamese, Hmong, and Caucasian Caucasian or Caucasoid: see race. . Family size ranged from one to six children (average of two per family) who were from one to eighteen years of age. All nineteen participating families described one or more positive outcomes of the camp experience during the post-camp interview and five months later via the survey. Different families experienced different outcomes, as described below.
Outcomes associated with a natural setting and outdoor activities
When asked how it had felt to spend time at the beach and surrounding sur·round
tr.v. sur·round·ed, sur·round·ing, sur·rounds
1. To extend on all sides of simultaneously; encircle.
2. To enclose or confine on all sides so as to bar escape or outside communication.
n. area, 61 percent of the families commented on the peacefulness and relaxation re·lax·a·tion
1. The act of relaxing or the state of being relaxed.
2. Refreshment of body or mind.
3. A loosening or slackening.
4. The lengthening of inactive muscle or muscle fibers. . About one-third talked about enjoying the natural world and another third about the break from the city noise and pollution. A few described health benefits such as relief from allergies Allergies Definition
Allergies are abnormal reactions of the immune system that occur in response to otherwise harmless substances.
Allergies are among the most common of medical disorders. and better sleep. Three families commented that such vacation opportunities were rare in their lives; two families had never been to the beach, which is eighty miles from their home.
The volunteers observed that these families gained new comfort in the natural setting and new excitement and fascination with the environment. For example, "...They were hungry for new information about the natural world, wanted to watch stars, learn information about the tides, find out the names of the plants and trees...."
Five months later, when surveyed about their most memorable camp story or experience, 50 percent recalled the beach and natural surroundings. As one parent said, "...I love getting out and away from the city to camp, hike, and just enjoy the peace and quiet that being here allows you. It gives you time to relax and go back to your everyday routines with a fresh attitude...." For other parents (40 percent), their fondest memory was seeing their child (or themselves) engage in a new activity such as rowing a boat or singing in front of others at campfire.
Outcomes for family relationships
At the end of the camp experience, 50 percent of the families said that the opportunity for time together as a family, without other demands, was an important outcome of the experience. One half of the families learned new things about family members that they had not known before, and 37 percent of the families commented that eating meals together was a practice they had experienced at the camp that they planned to continue at home.
The volunteers' observations were consistent with the families' self-reports. In addition, however, the volunteers observed that as parents became more relaxed in the natural setting and viewed it as a safe environment, they gave their children more freedom to explore the setting and try new things. One mother wrote, "My most memorable happening is the feeling of complete security for my girls that I get when I get off the bus at camp."
Five months later, family members were asked via the survey if the camp experience had influenced how they did things as a family or otherwise benefited their family. Fifty percent of the families mentioned that they had been spending more time doing things together as a family One family specifically mentioned continuing the practice of eating meals together. One half of the families also stated that their family had grown closer and bonded more as a family since the trip. One quarter of the families described specific ways of interacting with family members that they had observed in other families, or had discussed with their family friend, which they continued to practice themselves since the camp trip. For example, one parent commented "...I'm more careful how I express myself to my children...."
Outcomes for the community
At the end of the vacation, 74 percent of the families reported that they had met or befriended new individuals or families who also lived in their housing community, mentioning people by name. One parent reported, "...I have met more families in three days than I have met in a year...." Members of three families (15 percent) noted that they intended to continue these new friendships after they returned home. Volunteers observed 59 percent of the families either deepened existing or formed new relationships with other families.
Five months later, 79 percent of the families reported that they felt more comfortable saying "hello" and stopped more often to talk to others in their neighborhood. Since the camp vacation, 32 percent of the families had either stayed in touch or spent time with new friends they had met during the vacation. This included whole family, adult-adult, and child-child friendships.
Families were also asked if they had observed any change in how other people interacted with each other in the community. Sixty-three percent noted that when people met each other on the street or in the buildings they were more comfortable saying "hi" and talking to Noun 1. talking to - a lengthy rebuke; "a good lecture was my father's idea of discipline"; "the teacher gave him a talking to"
rebuke, reprehension, reprimand, reproof, reproval - an act or expression of criticism and censure; "he had to one another; which "... we would not have done before ...." A few (16 percent) commented that their neighbors had gotten together, or stayed in touch with others, since the trip. One person said, ". . . they now seem to have a wider circle of friends and network opportunities...."
Others acknowledged that they wanted more contact with others than time allowed. Still, they wrote that the vacation was an important shared experience of the community:
"... Seeing people from Creation Vacation on the street... it's a quick hello and they're off to their busy life. Maybe there is no after-camp contact, but it all comes back at the first planning meeting [for the next trip]. We have something very pleasureful in common--our wonderful, most-looked-forward-to vacation, peace and quiet, worry free...."
These comments were consistent with the observations of community social workers--the shared experience of the camp vacation was a factor that contributed to positive interactions in the housing community.
Although qualitative and descriptive in nature, the results of this study suggest that the Creation Vacation family camp is associated with positive outcomes for low-income families and their community. The study also illustrates a process whereby camps, social agencies, and universities can partner to conduct small-scale studies useful in program design and evaluation.
In studies that use on-site interviews where staff interview participants or other staff, the situation may bias participants to give positive responses. Participants may want to reciprocate re·cip·ro·cate
v. re·cip·ro·cat·ed, re·cip·ro·cat·ing, re·cip·ro·cates
1. To give or take mutually; interchange.
2. To show, feel, or give in response or return.
v. for their free vacation, and staff may want to feel they have made a difference. It's important to keep this potential bias in mind when reviewing results. When conducting interviews, it's a good idea to ask respondents In the context of marketing research, a representative sample drawn from a larger population of people from whom information is collected and used to develop or confirm marketing strategy. to give specific examples of outcomes that can later be reported. That way, the reader can assess the significance of these descriptions of behavior change Behavior change refers to any transformation or modification of human behavior. Such changes can occur intentionally, through behavior modification, without intention, or change rapidly in situations of mental illness. .
As organized camping continues to develop ways to examine and report out-comes; we will all have a knowledge-base from which to determine what kinds and depth of outcomes we hope to achieve from a four-day or weeklong week·long
Continuing through the week: a weeklong conference.
Adj. 1. weeklong - lasting through a week; "her weeklong vacation"
seven-day experience. As such research increases, one meta-finding is emerging -- that outdoor programs appear to produce positive outcomes that continue after the experience. This is less true of other types of program interventions (Neill, 2002). In this small-scale study, families reported several positive outcomes that had continued five months later.
For information about the Creation Vacation program contact Ted Hulbert at: email@example.com.
Questions Asked of Families and of Family Friends
(In Interviews and Surveys)
For each question, the respondent In Equity practice, the party who answers a bill or other proceeding in equity. The party against whom an appeal or motion, an application for a court order, is instituted and who is required to answer in order to protect his or her interests. was asked to describe and give examples.
Questions for Families:
* Share your most memorable Creation Vacation story or memory.
* What was this vacation experience like for your family?
* In what ways has this vacation affected your family?
* Have you met new people or made new friends?
* You have spent three days at the beach, beside the lake, among the trees. How has it felt?
* Are there ways that things are done here that you'd like to start (or have started) doing at home?
Questions for Family Friends:
* What things (if any) did you see happen in this family in terms of relationships, communication, and understanding?
* What personal growth, if any, did you see in individuals within the family?
* What things (if any) did you see happen in terms of this family's relationships with other families?
* What things (if any) did you see happen in this family in terms of understanding and being comfortable in the natural environment?
Hawks, S. R. (1991). Recreation in the family: In: Family research -- a sixty year review 1930-1990. Vol. 1, Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.
Mayhut, P & Morehouse, R. (1994). Beginning qualitative research: A philosophic and practical guide. Washington, D.C.: The Palmer Press.
Neill, J. (2002). The state of play: Reviewing meta-analytic research on the outcomes of outdoor education. Coalition for Education in the Outdoors Research Symposium symposium
In ancient Greece, an aristocratic banquet at which men met to discuss philosophical and political issues and recite poetry. It began as a warrior feast. Rooms were designed specifically for the proceedings. , Bradford Woods Bradford Wood may refer to: Politicians
Stagner, M.W & Duran, M. A. (1997). Comprehensive community initiatives: Principles, practice, and lessons learned. The future of children, 7, 132-140.
Ann Fullerton, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Graduate School of Education at Portland State University.
Ted Hulbert is director of Camp Magruder, Rockaway Beach, Oregon Rockaway Beach is a city in Tillamook County, Oregon, United States. The population was 1,267 at the 2000 census. History
The community of "Rockaway" was established in 1911 and renamed "Rockaway Beach" in 1987. .
Paul Pierson Paul Pierson (born 1959) is an American political scientist, noted for his research on comparative public policy and political economy, the welfare state, and American political development. is a teacher in Portland Public Schools Portland Public Schools can refer to the school district in at least three school districts.
Oregon, city (1990 pop. 18,334), Lucas co., NW Ohio, a suburb adjacent to Toledo, on Lake Erie; inc. 1958. It is a port with railroad-owned and -operated docks. The city has industries producing oil, chemicals, and metal products. .
Jennifer Waldorf is a teacher in David Dougless Schools, Portland, Oregon.
Annie Calhoun is the volunteer coordinator of Creation Vacation and a social worker.