Children’s Summer Camp
For over 59 years Camp Ondessonk has been the premier Children’s Summer Camp of the Midwest. Inspired by positive role models, children will experience the wonders of God’s creation through adventurous, challenging activities in a unique, rustic environment.
During the summers of 2008 and 2009 Camp Ondessonk conducted a study to determine if our children perceived a change in their personal responsibility skills and their sense of independence based on their weeklong experience at camp.
Each Friday a 28-item survey was facilitated in the Camp Ondessonk Dining Hall. This survey consisted of 6 questions that measured children’s self-perception of growth in Responsibility and 8 questions that measured campers’ self-perception of growth in Independence. The survey asked the children to rate themselves on a weighted likert-type scale that examined their current self-assessment for a series of statements. An example of a statement to measure Responsibility would be statement #4 that asks campers to rate their response to “If I mess something up, I try to make things right”. Under the Independence section, statement #8 asks children to rate their response to “I can make decisions without adults helping me”. Directly following each statement in both sections, the camper is asked to immediately consider whether the preceding statement is more or less true at the time of the survey than before they came to Camp Ondessonk on opening day.
While it is interesting to examine where Camp Ondessonk campers rate themselves on self-perceptions related to each statement, of greater interest is the percentage of children responding that each statement relating to measures of Responsibility and Independence were more true of them at the time of the study than when they arrived at Camp on opening day. Study results indicate that a large percentage of Camp Ondessonk campers perceive growth in both areas measured.
The sum of percentages of responses of ‘a little more [true]’, ‘somewhat more [true]’, and ‘a lot more [true]’ was calculated for each of the 6 statements measuring Responsibility and the 8 statements measuring Independence. The mean percentage for both statement sets was then calculated to produce the overall score for Independence and Responsibility.
Results for the summer 2008 study shows that 84.6% of Camp Ondessonk campers reported a growth in their perceived levels of Responsibility while 87.1% reported growth in their perceived level of Independence based on the experience of a week of camp at Ondessonk. Surveys were conducted for the weeks of Boys Season, Girls Season 1, Girls Season 2, Coed Season IV, and Coed Season V with a total sample of 1,222 campers.
Results for the summer 2009 study shows that 91.9% of Camp Ondessonk campers reported a growth in their perceived levels of Responsibility while 89% reported growth in their perceived level of Independence based on the experience of a week of camp at Ondessonk. Surveys were conducted for the weeks of Coed Season 1, Coed Season 2, Coed Season 3, Boys Season, Girls Season 1, Girls Season 2, Coed Season IV, and Coed Season V with a total sample of 2,112 campers.
Overall data combined from the 2008 and 2009 studies suggests that 88.25% of Camp Ondessonk campers report perceived growth in Responsibility and 88.05% of Ondessonk campers report perceived growth in Independence based on their Camp Ondessonk experience.