Investigating the effects of storyline programming in a municipal day camp setting
LE3 .A278 2020
Bachelor of Community Development
Summer camp is a common facet for North American youth. As numbers of day camps steadily increase, it is important to assess their quality and establish conditions and resources that can raise program quality for the benefit of participants. This study examines the use of the storyline framework, a program design element that involves an engaging plotline and evolving characters, in the context of a municipal day camp in the Town of Kentville, Nova Scotia. The study used multiple methods, including staff focus groups and a four-week field observation, to better understand the current experience for day campers, identify elements that impacted program quality, and explore the effects of a storyline day camp program on campers’ achievement of the program objectives. The results indicate that design and delivery elements including use of characters, choice between activities, reflection, detailed program planning, and staff enthusiasm created a better experience for campers. Program quality hinged on staff’s understanding and delivery of intended content. This study found that with sufficient resources and enthusiastic delivery, storylines provide an avenue for day camps to deliver engaging and meaningful content to campers, and prove to be a valuable framework to consider in camp program design.
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