Camping Programs for Children with Chronic Illness as a Modality for Recreation, Treatment, and Evaluation: An Example of a Mission-Based Program Evaluation of a Diabetes Camp

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Abstract

Summer camps have been recognized as a valuable means of delivering services to children with chronic illnesses. Although these camps exist in abundance across the United States, they have been largely underrepresented in the clinical psychology literature. Particularly, there is a staggering discrepancy between the number of camps in existence and the number of published articles pertaining to the systematic evaluation of these camps. We outline the potential benefits of camping programs for children who are chronically ill, describe the importance of systematically evaluating them, and provide a model for this evaluative process. We describe an evaluation of a diabetes summer camp and present implications of this study for camp decision makers and clinical psychologists working in pediatric medical settings.

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