Call for Papers for Special Issue: The Value of Camp Experiences for Positive Youth Development


This special issue will focus attention on a broad range of current research that explores the varied contributions of the camp experience to positive youth development. The camp experience includes many types of programs (e.g., nature-based, sports, arts), duration (e.g., day/overnight, multi-day/multi-week), settings (e.g., wilderness, parks, school grounds), and audiences (e.g., urban/rural, children with medical needs, low income). Potential research studies of interest include:

  • 21st century skill development
  • outcomes focused on aspects like career/college readiness for campers and staff
  • health/wellness impacts from camp (i.e., mental and physical health, physical activity, nutrition)
  • developmental values for specialized audiences such as medically-oriented campers, children in foster care, and other potentially marginalized audiences
  • leadership development in young staff
  • relationship of quality programming to youth development
  • relationships between nature-based experiences and youth development

Manuscripts should advance understanding the values of the camp experience, discuss implications for improved practice, and identify new questions for future research and evaluation.

Both submissions of regular length (up to 5,000 words, prepared in accordance with current APA style requirements) and shorter, “brief report” submissions (up to 2,000 words, prepared in accordance with current APA style requirements) will be considered.  The latter submissions are intended for reports of preliminary or pilot research, innovative evaluation projects, and exemplary practices derived from evaluations.  Both senior and junior scholars are urged to submit their work for review.

Manuscripts are due September 15, 2017 for anticipated publication Spring, 2018. Interested authors should submit online at the Journal of Youth Development: (and indicate submitting for Special Issue on the Camp Experience)

Contact Deb Bialeschki ( or Laurie Browne ( for additional information, clarifications, or questions. Interested authors are encouraged to contact one of the co-editors to share potential manuscript ideas.