Peyer, Karissa L.
Schmidt, Char; Levine, David (Veterinary physical therapist)
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Youth with developmental disabilities (DD) often have limited opportunities for social support and community engagement. Summer camps to meet their specific needs - physical, social or emotional - are intended to help reduce this limitation and provide youth with DD the same opportunities as typical children. The COVID-19 pandemic caused many camps and organizations to prohibit in-person or face-to-face activities, and as a result, Camp Ability created a virtual platform for campers to still engage in a summer camp experience. Camp Ability’s counselors (n = 5) were interviewed at the conclusion of the camp session, and three major themes were revealed: Camp Planning/Processes, Experiences, and Lessons Learned. Through these themes, successes and challenges were identified, modifications for future virtual experiences were discussed, and counselor experiences were reflected on. The study concluded that despite counselors’ concerns, participation was not an issue, and many counselors enjoyed seeing their campers interact in a different setting. One of the greatest issues for counselors was not being able to assist campers hand-over-hand in activities. Additionally, technology created a limitation gap that prevented Camp Ability from serving its typical camp population. Overall, counselors deemed Camp Ability virtual a success, but with room for future improvements.
Thank you to Dr. Karissa Peyer, Dr. Char Schmidt and Dr. David Levine for all the time, critique, and encouragement during this project. I could not have done it without your support.
B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.
Camp; Camp counselors; Developmentally disabled youth
Developmental Psychology | Disability Studies
Bell, Catherine, "Counselors' experiences of a virtual summer camp" (2021). Honors Theses.