The Experience of Outdoor Education at Operation Purple (registered trademark) Camp: Findings from a Sample of Youth Participants
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA CENTER FOR MILITARY HEALTH POLICY RESEARCH
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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 registered trademark camps. Operation Purple is a free camp for youth from military families. In 2008, there were 63 camps at sites nationwide. The mission of Operation Purple is to facilitate socialization among military youth and to help youth, particularly those who have experienced a parental deployment, cope with the stress of war. Youth between 7 and 17 are eligible to attend. The Operation Purple curriculum is designed to incorporate outdoor activities intended to meet four objectives 1 teach children about the outdoor environment through nature walks 2 educate camp participants about ways to preserve and keep the environment clean 3 expose children to the psychological and emotional benefits of outdoor activities, such as taking a walk to release stress and 4 teach children to enjoy the outdoors through group and individual activities, such as camping. The outdoor education curriculum was primarily intended to focus on local ecology e.g., ideas about conservation and the impact of humans on the environment and good stewardship of the environment e.g., recycling. This study was conducted to determine the level of engagement in outdoor and environmentally friendly activities during camp participation with attention to environmental stewardship and interests in outdoor activities e.g., hiking, ecology camp participants intentions to continue such activities the extent to which those activities are sustained post-camp and whether those activities are a topic of discussion between the participant and hisher nondeployed caregiver.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Environmental Health and Safety