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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Arizona: Describing a Public-health Summer Camp for Underserved Children

Summer camps have become an institution of childhood in the United States, with more than 10 million young people attending day or resident camps each year. Summer camps that intentionally incorporate experiences that promote positive developmental processes are considered positive youth development (PYD) programs.

Healthy 2B Me, the summer camp program at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, aims to educate and empower underserved children ages seven to 11 years old to improve their health and well-being through a supportive, educational and entertaining public health-themed summer day camp.

In an article published online on April 4, in the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, researchers at the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health describe how the Healthy 2B Me camp contributes to our understanding of how to design and assess a health-themed, positive youth-development summer camp for underserved children.

Qualitative data collected through camper exit slips, final posters/presentations, and parent surveys were analyzed to identify salient themes demonstrating the impact of camp participation on children’s health. Both camper and parent responses suggested improvements in participant knowledge, attitude and behavior in relation to diet, physical activity, sun safety, hand washing, smoking and kindness.

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