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Examining Children’s Experiences in Summer Sport Camps using Photo Elicitation. Leisha Strachan Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management University of Manitoba Winnipeg, Canada. NASPSPA 2011. umanitoba.ca. Mini-University:

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  1. Examining Children’s Experiences in Summer Sport Camps using Photo Elicitation Leisha Strachan Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management University of Manitoba Winnipeg, Canada NASPSPA 2011 umanitoba.ca

  2. Mini-University: • Entering 33rd year of sport programming for children and youth • Year-round programs • Summer camp welcomes approximately 6,000 campers to the U of M every year • Largest summer day camp in North America

  3. Introduction • Canadian stats indicate that approximately 76% of children and youth participate in organized sport (Guèvremont, Findlay, & Kohen, 2008) • Three objectives of sport participation (Côté & Fraser-Thomas, 2007; 2011): • Improve physical health • Develop motor skills • Encourage psychosocial growth

  4. Introduction continued… • 92% of Canadians believe that sport can be an avenue for positive growth and development (Mulholland, 2008) • Participation in sport can be valued as a crucial context for positive development

  5. Positive Youth Development… • Positive Youth Development (PYD) advanced the idea that youth are resources to be cultivated (Benson, Scales, Hamilton, & Sesma, Jr., 2006) • Core constructs of PYD focus on contexts involving youth, personal characteristics, and developmental outcomes (Lerner, 2003)

  6. Positive Youth Development continued… • Sport participation linked to higher rates of initiative, teamwork, & emotional regulation when compared to other structured activities (Larson, Hansen, & Moneta, 2006) • Sport participation also linked to lower rates of identity work, positive relationships, and adult network experiences

  7. Sport Programming… • Different experiences within sport may lead to distinct developmental outcomes (Strachan, Côté, & Deakin, 2009) • Great diversity in sport programming • Continued work is needed to explore how to properly structure sport programs for children and youth

  8. Setting Features Framework… • Physical & Psychological Safety • Appropriate Structure • Supportive Relationships • Opportunities to Belong • Positive Social Norms • Support of Efficacy and Mattering • Opportunities for Skill Building • Integration of Family, School, and Community Efforts • Sport programs have a key role in promoting these features (Côté et al., 2008; Perkins & Noam, 2007; Strachan et al., 2011)

  9. Children/Youth Perceptions… • Need to explore not only contextual factors but also a young person’s personal perspective • Informed our understanding of enjoyment, motivational climate, and peer relationships (Wiersma, 2001; Vazou et al., 2006; Weiss & Smith, 2002)

  10. Our culture is “a visual culture in which the image has become more powerful than the word as a form of communication” (Power, 2003, p. 9) Photo Elicitation… • Photo methodology where individuals take photographs within a specific context in order to explore the environment • Photo Methods (Harper, 2003; Power, 2003) : • De-centers the researcher • Allows for different interpretations • Increases the attention of the interviewee • Children/Youth’s perceptions are separate and different from adults • Recognition of children as collaborators (Cook & Hess, 2007)

  11. Research Questions… • Is photo elicitation an appropriate strategy to use within sport settings for children? • What are children’s experiences in the Mini-University sport camps?

  12. Methods • 16 children (Mage = 9.4 yrs) • Minimum of 4 sport camps over the course of the summer • Data collected after being in at least 3 camps Orientation/ Thinking about what is meaningful in sport Taking pictures (people or objects) Selection / Focus Group or Interview Cook & Hess, 2007

  13. Results… • Physical (12) and Psychological Safety (12) • Environment, Equipment, Safety considerations (i.e., signs) • Close Friendships “My friend. There’s only like, you know, people you even know and I have a ton of good times with him” K2, 11

  14. Results… • Appropriate Structure (12) • Schedule, Rules, Equipment, Play “…shows that, like, it’s important to me because I get to play games instead of just doing drills the whole time” M2, 11

  15. Results… • Supportive Relationships (25) • Instructors (teaching skills, humorous, role models, friend) “He’s my best friend adult” T6, 8

  16. Results… • Opportunities to Belong (5) • Partner for Play “…this is meaningful to me because, um, he’s my friend and I have somebody to play with” N6, 8

  17. Results… • Positive Social Norms (6) • Teamwork, Healthy Lifestyle “This picture is playing games. Um, I took a picture of this because…we’re getting active again and we’re having fun” N9, 7

  18. Results… • Support of Efficacy and Mattering (14) • Enjoyment, Recognition, Pride “Uh, this is a picture of a soccer ball…I really like soccer. It’s fun” P1, 11

  19. Results… • Opportunities for Skill Building (14) • Maintaining Skill, Learning New Skills/Games “This is the actual wall we climb on with harnesses…so, the bouldering wall is just to help you practice so you can actually climb to the top of this wall” B7, 12

  20. Results… • Integration of Family, School, and Community (9) • Family – Sibling Influence • School – Instructor Presence • Community – Club Sport in Venues “This picture is of, um, my sister and she’s meaningful to me because she helps me on stuff” N4, 8

  21. Discussion • Setting Features framework may be applied to sport camp settings • All features were present • Emphasis on Supportive Relationships (Instructors) (Smith and Smoll) • Lacking in experiences related to Positive Social Norms and Opportunities to Belong (Allen, 2003)

  22. Implications and Future Directions… • Photo methodology gave insight into children’s summer sport camp experiences • Methodology shows potential • Additional research is needed to focus on experiences of girls • Attention needs to be given to instructors and how they are being trained to improve service delivery • Deliberate PYD sport programming may help to make experiences more meaningful

  23. Thank you… • Dr. Jane Watkinson • Kristin Davies • Jay Gamey • Staff, Parents, and Children of Mini U • strachal@cc.umanitoba.ca

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