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Research & Literature

Outdoor play, recreation and camp experiences have an abundance of literature supporting their benefits. Likewise, research into inclusive outdoor environments also identifies several benefits for individuals of all abilities.

Outdoor Play

  • "Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children" by Angela Hanscom, OTR/L

  • "Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life" by Peter Gray

  • "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder" by Richard Louv​

Image by Hulki Okan Tabak
Image by Aaron Burden

Positive Youth Development & Camp Experiences

American Camp Association (ACA) 

Academic Articles

  • "Youth Development and the Camp Experience" by Barry Garst, Laurie Browne, and M. Deborah Bialeschki

  • "Facilitating Positive Youth Development through Residential Camp: Exploring Perceived Characteristics of Effective Camp Counsellors and Strategies for Youth Engagement" by Tanya Halsall, Kesley Kendellen, Corliss Bean, and Tayna Forneris

  • "Components of Camp Experiences for Positive Youth Development" by Karla Henderson, M. Deborah Bialeschki, Margery Scanlin, Christopher Thurber, Leslie Schueler Whitaker, and Paul Marsh

  • "Peer Relationships and Camps" by Karla Henderson

  • "Research Reveals the Assets of Camp: Parents and Campers Give their Opinions" by Bari Dworken

  • "Impacts of a Southern Indiana Summer Camp: Adult Reflections on Childhood Experiences" by Colin Snider and James Farmer

  • "Using Occupational Therapy Principles in Developing a Nature Camp for All Children" by Angela Hanscom and Sarah Schoen

Inclusion in Camp Settings

  • "The Power of the Inclusive Camp Experience" by Aron Hall, Torrie Dunlap, Julie Causton-Theoharis, and George Theoharis

  • "Let's ALL Play: Helping to Make Inclusion in Summer Camps a Success" by Gary Siperstein, Sarah Pociask, and Kristy Barnes

  • "20/20 Toolbox: How Can Counselors Be Inclusive?" by Greg Cronin and Joanna Sadler

  • "Social Inclusion of Children with Intellectual Disabilites in Recreational Settings" by Gary Siperstein, Gary Glick, and Robin Parker

  • "Disability Awareness Program in a Summer Camp" by Christina Papaioannou, Christina Evaggelinou, Vassilis Barkoukis, and Martin Block

  • "Effects of the STAR Intervention Program on Interactions between Campers with and without Disabilities during Inclusive Summer Day Camp Activities" by Christina Boyd, Jeffrey Fraiman, Kelly Hawkins, Jennifer Labin, Mary Beth Sutter, and Meghan Wahl

Image by Tommy Lisbin

Outdoor Environments & Occupational Performance

  • "Using Occupational Therapy Principles in Developing a Nature Camp for All Children" by Angela Hanscom and Sarah Schoen

  • "A Century of Therapeutic Use of the Physical Environment" by Amy Marshall, Christine Myers, and Doris Pierce

  • "The Influence of the Environment on the Quality of Social Interaction Among Children During Play" by Angela Tirabassi

  • "Sensory Integration and Contact with Nature: Designing Outdoor Inclusive Environments" by Nilda Cosco and Robin Moore

Research & Literature: Services
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