Summer camps provide both adults and children with a positive environment for growth. This is particularly true for camps with targeted outcomes, such as sports camps, leadership camps, and camps for individuals with disabilities. Day camps are created for campers who for whatever reason are not able to attend an overnight, or residential, summer camp. Children with disabilities can learn appropriate social interactions, which are required for full leisure participation, through therapeutic recreation (TR) interventions. TR is practiced by Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS) who are proficient in conducting interventions in group settings. Can TR day camps provide children with disabilities the opportunity to grow in social skills more than a traditional day camp model? After a literature review for background information on camps, recreation for children with disabilities, and social skills during recreation, surveys were sent to parents of campers from three different municipal TR day camp programs. The parents were asked questions about their child’s social skills and interest in recreation both before and after camp. The results collected were nonconclusive; however, the views of parents can be used by CTRSs who are facilitating day camp programs so as to better understand possible social needs of campers.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 2018


Michelle Davis Gerken

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Recreation and Parks Administration

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Recreation and Park Administration

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)