Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.S. in Sport and Recreation Administration

First Advisor

Kim R. Beason

Second Advisor

Martha Bass

Third Advisor

Donald J. Rockey

Abstract

American summer camps have provided significant life experiences for camp counselors and staff for over 150 years. The purpose of this study was to identify and validate scale measures of philosophy, mission, and vision (PVM) with special regard to any differences in camp affiliation and camp counselor alumni (CCA) PVM manifestation. Preliminary assessment of 83 camp PVM revealed five general constructs in the scale and included: relationships formed, community involvement, environmental ethics, participation in healthful recreation, and religiosity. For the purpose of this study, camp affiliation was chosen as the main effect. This study used purposive sampling to recruit the participants; which consisted of counselors who had worked at a camp for at least 2 summers and had been out of the counselor position for at least one year (n = 213). A survey link to an online survey identified three camp types; Independent, Religious, and multi-camp affiliated. The exploratory Camp Orientation and Experiences Scale (COES) instrument developed for this study showed good internal consistency (.95) and the 5 PVM constructs were all highly correlated. Based on analyses, the COES developed for this effort appears to be a valid and reliable measure of PVM and predictor of the impact of camp experience on CCA lives. The results suggest that PVM differed among camp type. Specifically, the constructs focusing on the relationships formed at camp and environmental ethics were identified based on camp type and are the most meaningful measures of PVM within CCA current lives. In examining if males and females differed in the values they placed on the specific constructs of camp PVM in their daily lives, statistically significant differences were found in women and men on four of the five constructs, with women placing greater importance on relationships, community, environmental ethics, and religiosity. Camp administration may use this instrument to gain a better understanding of how CCA manifest the three camp-type PVM in their professional and personal relationships and that camp type instill strong environmental ethics, especially in women. Initial results indicate that the COES may be used as a tool to determine the level camp PVM affects lives of camp counselors long after their camp experiences and careers have ended. Future testing of the scale using a greater N and using control group comparisons is warranted.

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