The Experience of Outdoor Education at Operation Purple® Camp

Findings from a Sample of Youth Participants

by Rachel M. Burns, Anita Chandra, Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo

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In summer 2008, the Sierra Club partnered with the National Military Family Association to implement outdoor education activities in Operation Purple® camps, which are free camps for youth from military families. Overall, campers and their parents reported taking part in a wide range of outdoor education activities at camp and discussing these activities upon returning home. The authors suggest several directions for programming and additional research. It may be useful to review the content of the outdoor education activities to determine if and how curriculum should align with youth interests by age and gender. Future assessments of outdoor education should include a pre-camp survey to capture the activities that youth and families are already pursuing in order to more adequately capture change in activity participation over time.

The research described in this report was prepared for the National Military Family Association and conducted by the RAND Health Center for Military Health Policy Research.

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