Environmental Education: Camp as an Alternative Learning Site

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There is major concern worldwide about our environment and its sustainability. To address issues of conservation, protection, and sustainability, environmental education has become an even more important subject of learning. This research project surveyed Directors of residential youth camps, located in the State of Wisconsin, USA, regarding their environmental education programs and other camp activities that contain components of environmental education. The scope and breadth of the activities that encourage environmental education and awareness as identified by camp directors are explored in this presentation. Possibilities for achieving the Model Curriculum Standards for schools as developed by the State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction were examined to evaluate the possibility of learner achievements through residential camp programming. Survey results, along with summer camp outcomes identified by the American Camp Association are used to create a case for creating camp/school partnerships to provide an alternative learning site that can enhance students’ understanding of environmental education topics.


Keywords: Environmental Education, Experiential Education, Outdoors, Partnerships, Camps, Schools
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Environmental Education


Prof. Karen Barak

Associate Professor, Health,Physical Education, Recreation & Coaching, University of Wisconsin Whitewater
Whitewater, WI, USA

Professor Barak has taught Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater for the past 20 years. Her PhD degree was earned from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in Educational Administration. Dr. Barak has presented papers for many professional associations at their national and international conferences including those sponsored by the World Leisure Organization, World Association of Case Method Research & Application, Association of Outdoor Recreation Association, Leisure Studies Association, Leisure Research Symposium, and American Camp Association. Dr. Barak’s research interests are in experiential education, outdoor education, adventure education, education administration and special event management. She also coordinates the Recreation Leisure Studies minor and the Health Human Performance and Recreation major’s internship program at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater.

Ref: L09P1228