Your child’s experience at summer camp will be something they will never forget. Not only will they get to try new things, learn new skills, make life-long friendships and embark on exciting outdoor adventures they’ll also gain self confidence, learn to love nature and physical activity, develop social skills, emotional intelligence and a stronger connection to the environment. These positive benefits of summer camp have been scientifically proven through the Canadian Summer Camp Research Project.
About the Canadian Summer Camp Research Project
The Canadian Summer Camp Research Project was a five-year study conducted by the University of Waterloo in conjunction with the Canadian Camping Association’s National Research Committee. The purpose of the study was to examine the outcomes children experience after participating in a summer camp program. The overall objectives were to explore camp professionals’ experiences regarding camper outcomes, understand the changes in behavior and attitudes experienced by campers after participating in camp and determine whether skills developed at camp were transferable to home, school and community contexts. They focused on five areas of camp:
- Social integration and citizenship: Access to a wider social network with closer bonds to more friends and/or staff and with other camp alumni through shared experiences.
- Attitudes towards physical activity: Participates in more physical activities within home, school, and community contexts.
- Self-confidence and personal development: More flexible, resourceful, and self-aware, thereby better able to deal with life’s challenges.
- Environmental awareness: Leads a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle, reduces ecological footprint, and encourages environmental responsibility.
- Emotional intelligence: More balanced and self-aware, thereby capable of empathy and relating to others on an emotional level.
A survey was conducted with parents of campers. In the key outcome areas, parents shared that since returning from camp, my child:
Social Integration and Citizenship
- Has stayed in touch with camp friends;
- Has stayed in touch with staff members; and
- Feels a sense of membership or belonging to the camp’s broader community when talking about her/his experiences therein
Attitudes towards physical activity
- Participates in more physically active pursuits at home;
- Participates in more physically active pursuits at school; and
- Participates in more physically active pursuits as extracurricular activities
Self-confidence and personal development
- Is able to do more things on her/his own;
- Expresses more interest in trying new things;
- Demonstrates increased self-confidence when facing challenges; and
- Is better able to deal with challenges on her/his own
- Demonstrates more environmentally friendly behaviors; and
- Demonstrates more interest in outdoor activities and pursuits
- Displays more awareness of her/his emotions as s/he experiences them;
- Is more likely to share her/his emotions with others;
- Has better control over her/his emotions; and
- Is more sensitive to the feelings and emotions of others
You can learn more about how the Canadian Summer Camp Research Project was conducted here.
Find a Summer Camp in Alberta
The Alberta Camping Association has accredited member camps located throughout the province. Use our camp finder to find a camp that is near you, has activities and skill development programs your child might enjoy the most and suites your families schedule for this summer.