Summer camp for asthmatic children : an evaluation study

A program evaluation was undertaken to assess the effectiveness and the needs for improvement in a ten day summer camp program for asthmatic children. A total of 99 boys and girls between the ages of 7 - 15 years participated in the camping program. Several procedures were employed to gather information in the course of the evaluation. Interviews were conducted with program officials, questionnaires were designed and administered to campers and their parents, gains in camper self-esteem were measured by a standardized test, an experiment was conducted to measure the effects of asthma education, and direct observation by the evaluator was used to generate theoretical questions. All campers were expected to achieve significant gains in self-esteem. Differences between pre and post scores on the Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale were expected to provide empirical support. An educational treatment was delivered to an experimental group of 14 male and female children. The group was compared with a control group in measures of performance on a criterion test as well as in gains in self-esteem. Discriptive information about the campers was collected by questionnaires to campers and parents. The same procedure was used to assess camper and parent expectations, the extent of satisfaction, and extent to which camp counselors influenced satisfaction. Results of the evaluation were expressed in terms of the grounded theory that generated the theoretical questions. All data was derived from sources internal to the program. A 2-tailed correlated t test indicated a significant difference ( /.05) in the mean scores of pre and post testing of self-esteem. Statistical significance testing was not possible for the asthma education experiment due to subject loss, however a comparison of means and standard deviations provides some support for both hypotheses: the education group performed better on the criterion test and the education group achieved greater gains in self-esteem. Descriptive information about campers is summarized in tables as are parent and camper expectations and ratings of satisfaction. No significant differences were found in levels of satisfaction expressed by different age groupings of campers.