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Strengthening Families: Exploring the Impacts of Family Camp Experiences on Family Functioning and Parenting
Journal of Experiential Education
  • Barry A. Garst, American Camp Association
  • Sarah Baughman, Virginia Tech
  • Nancy K. Franz, Iowa State University
  • Richard W. Seidel, Carilion Clinic
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Peer Reviewed
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Research suggests that family camp experiences can enhance family relationships. Families often participate in family camp experiences for a vacation, as part of a therapeutic and/or intervention strategy, or to gain general enrichment or engagement. To better understand the impacts of family camp experiences on family functioning, a mixed-methods study was conducted with 60 families across 18 camps. Respondents shared that family camp experiences benefit families because of the positive impacts of the camp staff, parenting reinforcement, and enhancement of family relationships, with 60% of respondents indicating that family camp experiences reinforced good parenting and 86% of respondents indicating that the family camp experience reinforced family relationships. Recommendations for future research and practice are provided.

This article is from Journal of Experiential Education. 36(1)2013: 65-77. doi: 10.1177/1053825913481582. Posted with permission.

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The Authors
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Citation Information
Barry A. Garst, Sarah Baughman, Nancy K. Franz and Richard W. Seidel. "Strengthening Families: Exploring the Impacts of Family Camp Experiences on Family Functioning and Parenting" Journal of Experiential Education Vol. 36 Iss. 1 (2013) p. 65 - 77
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