Residential Summer Camps and Their Possible Effects on Problem Behaviors and Delinquency of At-Risk Youth
Persons, Laura Kaitlin
MetadataShow full item record
This paper examines how residential summer camps may inhibit delinquency and reduce the intensity of or eliminate completely problem behaviors among at-risk youth. Due to a lack of social capital both within the family and the community, which is caused by social disorganization and socioeconomic status, children can develop externalizing and internalizing problem behaviors and possibly delinquency. If, however, one has enough or strong enough inner and outer containments one is able to combat the development of problem behaviors and delinquency. I argue that residential summer camps provide such containment in the forms of reasonable norms. and expectations, effective supervision, and discipline, the fostering of a sense of belongingness and identity, and acceptance, which, in tum, promote the development of a strong ego, a high sense of responsibility, and a good self-concept. In my experience at Camp O'Brian, attending a residential summer camp did appear to positively benefit the campers and lessen their level of problem behaviors, though more research must be conducted on the topic in order to understand the depth of the effects of camp as well as whether or not the behavioral changes remain outside of the camp environment.