A qualitative study of inclusion at a residential summer camp
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this qualitative case study was to understand the inclusion process at a Project Rainbow affiliated camp. Project Rainbow is a non-profit organization which promotes inclusion into children's camps in Ontario. This study was completed in order to provide stakeholders of the camping industry insight on how inclusive techniques can be implemented in residential camps. The researcher observed one camp's inclusion techniques for six days. The researcher observed three campers with disabilities and the camp staff and campers that interacted with them on a daily basis. While the researcher was at the camp, she interviewed nine staff members. The staff members consisted of the camp director, the inclusion coordinator, four camp counsellors, and three inclusion counsellors. An additional interview was conducted after arriving home from camp with the manager from Project Rainbow. The qualitative analysis program NVivo was used to help organize the analyzed data. The researcher found that in attempting to build a culture of inclusion, two important concepts are necessary. First, mutual leadership involved the camp director and Project Rainbow working together as a team to facilitate the inclusion process. Second, power of supportive relationships focused on inclusion being the responsibility of everyone, teamwork, and creating a welcoming environment. Hints at some potentially serious problems related to staff training, teamwork, and attitudes of non-disabled campers pointed to future research and policies which focus on the Ontario and Canadian Camping Associations' role in inclusion, in addition to camp in this study and Project Rainbow.