Do you know what your outcomes are? The impact of Oregon 4-H residential camp programs on positive youth development.As camp youth development professionals, we all try to keep up with the camp program research base. Research reported in these studies is vital in planning for the inputs required to reach targeted outcomes of our own camp programs.
We know that camp is comprised of three interrelated in·ter·re·late
tr. & intr.v. in·ter·re·lat·ed, in·ter·re·lat·ing, in·ter·re·lates
To place in or come into mutual relationship.
in attributes: the outdoors, education, and community (Slatter Slat´ter
v. i. 1. To be careless, negligent, or aswkward, esp. with regard to dress and neatness; to be wasteful. 1984). These attributes combine to create the camp experience. Research on positive youth development emphasizes the importance of a positive, inclusive atmosphere in youth programming (Roth & Brooks-Gunn 2003). When youth participate in programs, they need to feel included and comfortable in order to benefit from the program. At 4-H camp the adult leaders, the camp counselors, who are often older 4-H teens, and the friendliness of other campers combine to play an instrumental role in ensuring a fun and inclusive camp community where youth can flourish.
While environmental education may not be what most people think of when 4-H is mentioned, developing environmental stewards is a targeted content area for 4-H programs nationwide; a great deal of this target is met through resident camp programs. Campers learn about nature and the outdoors, often returning from camp with a wider awareness and appreciation of the natural world (Smith 2001).
In addition to providing a caring community and content knowledge, all 4-H programs are designed to enhance the development of important life skills in youth (Hendricks Hendricks is a surname, and may refer to
In Oregon Oregon, city, United States
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. , we were convinced that 4-H camps were delivering quality programs as the camp literature base suggests. But could we rely on research at other sites to assure that our youth were reaching the outcomes we designed and desired for them? We knew we were doing lots of things well, but were there things we could be doing better? To explore developing a statewide, multiple-site camp evaluation that would document outcomes at Oregon's 4-H camps, state specialist staff presented a seminar at the 2003 spring 4-H staff development conference.
Methods and Procedures
Because one of the most important aspects of conducting program evaluations Program evaluation is a formalized approach to studying and assessing projects, policies and program and determining if they 'work'. Program evaluation is used in government and the private sector and it's taught in numerous universities. at multiple sites is buy-in Buy-In
When an investor is forced to repurchase shares because the seller did not deliver the securities in a timely fashion, or did not deliver them at all.
Those who fail to deliver the securities will be notified with a buy-in notice. from the site directors (Arnold 2003; Garst & Bruce Bruce, Scottish royal family descended from an 11th-century Norman duke, Robert de Brus. He aided William I in his conquest of England (1066) and was given lands in England. 2003), the questionnaire to be used was developed with significant input from local camp directors--who were primarily 4-H agents in Oregon. This process began at the staff development conference where we invited participating agent directors to articulate articulate /ar·tic·u·late/ (ahr-tik´u-lat)
1. to pronounce clearly and distinctly.
2. to make speech sounds by manipulation of the vocal organs.
3. to express in coherent verbal form.
4. the impact of their camp program on youth.
This session was a critical step in preparing for a meaningful evaluation. We asked the question this way, "How will your campers be different on Saturday Saturday: see week; Sabbath. when their parents pick them up from when they were dropped off on Sunday Sunday: see Sabbath; week. ?" While each of the thirteen Oregon 4-H camps offer different programs at a variety of sites, the camps shared some common desired outcomes for personal growth, life skill development, and camper satisfaction, which were identified by the agent directors.
Information from this session was drafted into an initial two-page questionnaire. The questionnaire was then reviewed by three 4-H agents with significant camp expertise, as well as by a local 4-H county camp advisory council. Following the reviews, the questionnaire was finalized See finalization. for use in the study.
The evaluation was conducted using a multi-site evaluation methodology, with each of the thirteen participating camps administering the same questionnaire and following the same evaluation protocol (Arnold 2003; Garst & Bruce 2003). The questionnaire included basic demographic information, eight questions related to the camper's perceived life skill development (Hendricks 1996); six retrospective LAW, RETROSPECTIVE. A retrospective law is one that is to take effect, in point of time, before it was passed.
2. Whenever a law of this kind impairs the obligation of contracts, it is void. 3 Dall. 391. pre/post questions related to growth during camp (Pratt, McGuigan, & Katzev 2000); and a set of four questions related to the camper's satisfaction with camp.
Each site agreed to designate des·ig·nate
tr.v. des·ig·nat·ed, des·ig·nat·ing, des·ig·nates
1. To indicate or specify; point out.
2. To give a name or title to; characterize.
3. time at the end of camp during which campers were asked to complete the questionnaire about their camp experience. The completed questionnaires were sent to the state 4-H office for data entry and analysis. By the end of the summer, each camp received a report of the results for its own camp from the state office. The data were then aggregated for use in this statewide analysis--a strategy that allows a more robust understanding of the impact of similar programs that are held at different sites (Arnold 2003; Straw & Herrell 2002).
Eight hundred forty-nine youth campers, entering grades four through nine, completed the questionnaire (100 percent response rate). Five hundred fifty-nine Adj. 1. fifty-nine - being nine more than fifty
cardinal - being or denoting a numerical quantity but not order; "cardinal numbers" of the campers were girls (66 percent) and 238 were boys (34 percent). Three hundred campers (35 percent) came from urban communities. Five hundred forty-nine (65 percent) came from rural communities. Sixty-one Adj. 1. sixty-one - being one more than sixty
cardinal - being or denoting a numerical quantity but not order; "cardinal numbers" percent (518) of the campers were 4-H members. This was the first time attending 4-H camp for 55 percent (467) of the campers.
Opportunities for Personal Growth
To measure personal growth, campers were asked how they felt about six items related to the camp experience. For example, campers were asked about being away from home, managing their free time, living in nature, and doing skits or presentations in front of others. Using a retrospective pretest pre·test
a. A preliminary test administered to determine a student's baseline knowledge or preparedness for an educational experience or course of study.
b. A test taken for practice.
2. and a 1 to 4 scale, campers rated each item based on how they felt before camp and then after camp. A rating of 1 indicated the statement was "not true" and a rating of 4 indicated the statement was "very true." Before-and-after ratings were analyzed an·a·lyze
tr.v. an·a·lyzed, an·a·lyz·ing, an·a·lyz·es
1. To examine methodically by separating into parts and studying their interrelations.
2. Chemistry To make a chemical analysis of.
3. using a paired t-test t-test,
n an inferential statistic used to test for differences between two means (groups) only. This statistic is used for small samples (e.g.,
N < 30). Also called
t-ratio, stu-dent's t. . The analysis revealed a significant, positive change for each item (p < .05). Using Cronbach's Alpha Cronbach's (alpha) has an important use as a measure of the reliability of a psychometric instrument. It was first named as alpha by Cronbach (1951), as he had intended to continue with further instruments. the internal reliabilities for the personal growth scale were calculated at a =.56 for "before" and a =.61 for "after." Table 1 (see page 48) presents the pre- pre- word element [L.], before (in time or space).
1. Earlier; before; prior to: prenatal.
2. and post-camp mean scores and the results of the paired t-test analysis.
Life Skill Development
Campers were asked how much 4-H camp helped them to develop life skills selected from the Targeting Life Skills Model (Hendricks 1996). Campers rated each of eight skills on a 1 to 4 scale, with a rating of 1 indicating that camp contributed nothing to the development of that skill and a 4 indicating that camp contributed "a lot!" (Cronbach's Alpha =.89). Mean ratings ranged from 3.10 (working through disagreements) to 3.47 (learning new things I like to do). Table 2 (see page 48) presents the score range and mean ratings for each of the life skills.
Camper Satisfaction with Camp
Finally, in an effort to determine the extent of a positive atmosphere at camp, campers were asked about their counselors, friends, and whether camp was fun. Campers were asked to rate each of 4 items on a 1 to 4 scale, with 1 indicating "not true" and 4 indicating "very true" (a = 73). Mean ratings for camp satisfaction ranged from 3.32 (camp was one of the most fun things I have done) to 3.80 (I liked my camp counselors). Table 3 presents the score range and mean ratings for each item.
The results of the Oregon 4-H Residential Camp evaluation adds to the growing body of research in camp-based youth development suggesting that summer camps play an important role in the development of young campers. The results show that camp provides an opportunity for youth to grow socially, to develop important life skills, and experience nature, all in a fun, hands-on hands-on
Involving active participation; applied, as opposed to theoretical: "We're involved in hands-on operations, pulling levers, pushing buttons" Arthur R. Taylor. setting. At the end of camp, campers reported that camp helped them to feel good about themselves, learn new things, to make friends, and work together in a spirit of cooperation. Perhaps most importantly Adv. 1. most importantly - above and beyond all other consideration; "above all, you must be independent"
above all, most especially , the natural setting of camp allowed campers to enjoy learning about the natural world. This information, gleaned specifically at Oregon 4-H Camps, will be valuable to agents in communicating the values of 4-H camp to parents, grant funders, and stakeholders Stakeholders
All parties that have an interest, financial or otherwise, in a firm-stockholders, creditors, bondholders, employees, customers, management, the community, and the government. .
Generic "one-size-fits-all" evaluation instruments may seem like the answer to a camp director's dream. However, the commonalities in generic instruments may become so broad as to lose any ability to inform a camp's own on-site youth development practice. An evaluation, based on the camp's targeted outcomes, should identify not only what the camp is doing "right," but where there is room for improvement.
The Youth Development Outcomes of the Camp Experience Study found "that religiously affiliated camps appear most likely of the sponsoring groups to see statistically significant positive change in their most important outcome, which in most cases, was spiritual growth (Henderson & Scanlin 2004)." For programs that have identified this as an important outcome, this is the expected result. Similarly, we should not be surprised that camps that do not target environmental attitudes as an outcome showed "no growth" in this area in the study.
Not only should a camp integrate its most important outcomes into everyday camp life, these outcomes should be reflected on the camp's evaluation. To document the delivery of quality youth development programs, camps must intentionally in·ten·tion·al
1. Done deliberately; intended: an intentional slight. See Synonyms at voluntary.
2. Having to do with intention. identify outcomes that can be measured with an evaluation. Do you know what your outcomes are?
Arnold, M. E. (2003, December). Using Multi-Site Methodology to Evaluate 4-H Youth Leadership Retreats. Journal of Extension, 41(6). Retrieved October 27, 2004, from www.joe.org/joe/2003december/rb1.shtml.
Garst, B. A. and Bruce, F. A. (2003). Identifying 4-H Camping Outcomes using a Standardized standardized
pertaining to data that have been submitted to standardization procedures.
standardized morbidity rate
see morbidity rate.
standardized mortality rate
see mortality rate. Evaluation Process across multiple 4-H educational centers. Journal of Extension, 41(3). Retrieved November 22, 2004 from www.joe.org/joe/2003june/rb2.shtml.
Henderson, K. and Scanlin, M. (2004). Information is Power: A look at the latest data and emerging trends in youth development and the camp industry. Camping Magazine, September-October.
Hendricks, P. A. (1996). Developing youth curriculum using the Targeting Life Skills model: Incorporating developmentally appropriate learning opportunities to assess impact of life skill development. Ames Ames, city (1990 pop. 47,198), Story co., central Iowa, on the Skunk River; inc. 1870. Its chief manufactures are electronic, water-analysis, and water-treatment equipment; motor vehicles; construction materials; and machinery. Iowa State Univ. , IA: Iowa State University Academics
ISU is best known for its degree programs in science, engineering, and agriculture. ISU is also home of the world's first electronic digital computing device, the Atanasoff–Berry Computer. Extension.
Pratt, C. C., McGuigan, W. M., & Katzev, A. R. (2000). Measuring program outcomes: Using retrospective methodology. The American Journal of Evaluation, 21(3), 341-349.
Roth, J. L. & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2003). What exactly is a youth development program? Answers from research and practice. Applied Developmental Science, 7, 94-111.
Powell, G. M. (2003). What happens to campers at camp? The social, health, and psychological impact on children attending camp. Camping Magazine, September-October.
Slatter, T. (1984). The temporary community. Albatross albatross (ăl`bətrôs), common name for sea birds of the order of tube-nosed swimmers (Procellari-iformes), which includes petrels, shearwaters, and fulmars. Books, NSW NSW New South Wales
Noun 1. NSW - the agency that provides units to conduct unconventional and counter-guerilla warfare
Naval Special Warfare . Australia.
Smith, P. L. (2001). A view from the woods: Camping as character-building experience for children and youth. Camping Magazine September/October.
Straw, R. B., & Herrell, J. M. (2002). A framework for understanding and improving multi-site evaluations. New Directions for Evaluation, 94, 5-15.
This research was possible because of the contributions of many people. Specifically, we would like to thank:
Tammy Skubinna and Robin Van Winkle. 4-H Youth Development County agents; and the Clackamas County 4-H Camp Advisory group for their thoughtful review and critique of the evaluation instrument.
Jana Mienhold, M.S., (ABD ABD
A candidate for a doctorate who has completed all the requirements for the degree, such as courses and examinations, with the exception of the dissertation.
[a(ll) b(ut) d(issertation).] ), doctoral candidate in Human Development and Family Sciences at Oregon State University Oregon State University, at Corvallis; land-grant and state supported; coeducational; chartered 1858 as Corvallis College, opened 1865. In 1868 it was designated Oregon's land-grant agricultural college and was taken over completely by the state in 1885. entered the data and conducted the camp-by-camp analyses. She also prepared reports that were sent to each camp.
County 4-H Youth Development faculty members at each camp site were responsible for data collection. A special thanks is extended to each person who helped make the data collection go so smoothly and effectively.
Finally, a big thank you to the 849 campers who took the time to complete the questionnaire at the end of a very busy and fun-filled week at camp!
All photos courtesy of Janet Janet: see Clouet, Jean.
JANET - Joint Academic NETwork Nagele, Clackamas County Oregon 4-H Camp.
Janet Nagele is a 4-H youth development agent with the Oregon State University Extension Service. She is responsible for the Environmental Education and Latino Outreach Outreach is an effort by an organization or group to connect its ideas or practices to the efforts of other organizations, groups, specific audiences or the general public. initiatives in Clackamas County and serves on the state 4-H Natural Science committee. Nagele has worked in the youth development profession for eighteen years, developing and administering camp programs, natural science education, club programs, and after-school, oudoor education. Her e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virginia Virginia, state, United States
Virginia, state of the south-central United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (E), North Carolina and Tennessee (S), Kentucky and West Virginia (W), and Maryland and the District of Columbia (N and NE). D. Bourdeau is an extension specialist with the Oregon State University Department of 4-H Youth Development. She has authored and co-authored five 4-H leader publications. Bourdeau has worked in the camp profession for twenty-seven years.
Mary Olszewski Arnold holds a Ph.D. in Adolescent ad·o·les·cent
Of, relating to, or undergoing adolescence.
A young person who has undergone puberty but who has not reached full maturity; a teenager. Development and is a program planning and evaluation specialist with the Oregon 4-H program. Her work centers on helping 4-H youth educators articulate and measure the impacts of 4-H educational programs.
A version of this article including an analysis of gender differences has been accepted for publication by and will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Extension (JOE) <www.joe.org>.JOE has granted permission for publication of the present article.
Janet Nagele, Virginia D. Bourdeau, and Mary Olszewski Arnold, Ph.D.
Table 1 Camper Skills Before and After Camp Before After Mean N Camp Camp Difference SEM Being away from home 844 3.58 3.68 0.10 0.02 Knowledge about nature 839 2.79 3.30 0.51 0.03 Presentations in front of others 838 3.20 3.47 0.27 0.02 Managing free time 841 3.29 3.54 0.25 0.02 Liking nature and the outdoors 840 3.54 3.64 0.10 0.02 Meeting new people and friends 842 3.66 3.79 0.13 0.02 t df Sig.*** Being away from home -4.53 843 0.00 Knowledge about nature -19.66 838 0.00 Presentations in front of others -11.12 837 0.00 Managing free time -10.95 840 0.00 Liking nature and the outdoors -6.38 839 0.00 Meeting new people and friends -8.03 841 0.00 a = .56 "before"; .61 "after" *** Statistically significant differences for all items Table 2 Camper Ratings of Life Skill Development N Min. Max. Mean SD To learn new things that I like to do 841 1 4 3.47 0.77 To make me want to try new things 840 1 4 3.42 0.81 To feel good about myself 844 1 4 3.41 0.82 To be responsible 841 1 4 3.35 0.82 To cooperate with others 836 1 4 3.35 0.80 To talk to others more easily 828 1 4 3.32 0.87 To work with others as a team 846 1 4 3.28 0.77 To work through disagreements 841 1 4 3.10 0.92 a = .89 None 23 A little 98 Some 346 Lots! 379 To work with others as a team Note: Table made from bar graph. Table 3 Camper Ratings of Camp N Min. Max. Mean SD I liked my camp counselor(s) 839 1 4 3.80 0.56 I made new friends at 4-H camp 836 1 4 3.71 0.59 I am going to share about camp with 835 1 4 3.54 0.79 friends who were not here I want to invite others to 4-H camp 834 1 4 3.45 0.83 4-H camp was one of the most fun 839 1 4 3.32 0.86 things I have ever done a = .73