National Survey of Australian Outdoor Youth Programs

In 2011, OYPRA commenced an online survey of Australian providers of outdoor programs, in which staff who worked on existing programs were asked to reflect on their current practice. The study set out to establish, for the first time, a comprehensive picture of the scope and diversity of outdoor youth programs on offer in Australia. Information we gathered from the national survey has been compiled into a summary report.

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The Camping, Adventure, Nature – Outdoor Programs for Youth (CANOPY) study

The Camping, Adventure, Nature – Outdoor Programs for Youth (CANOPY) study aims to investigate the potential benefits that outdoor programs may have on young people’s health and wellbeing.

In partnership with three Australian secondary schools, OYPRA undertook a study of the experiences of young people participating in existing structured outdoor and nature-based programs to examine self-reported benefits.

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Key Components of Outdoor Youth Programs: A Review of Empirical Literature

Unlike other reviews that have typically examined outcome studies of camping programs, this review looks at evidence of the effectiveness of key components of outdoor programs in promoting positive youth development. We have drawn on a vast body of literature that lies outside the outdoor adventure and camps domain to source quality empirical studies, meta-analyses, systematic reviews and other existing review papers. This study synthesises evidence about the important ingredients of effective outdoor programs.

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Design, Delivery and formal Evaluation of new Outdoor Youth Program

This study has involved the design, delivery and formal evaluation of a new outdoor youth program, drawing on best practice about what works. Following success in attracting federal government interest in our work through the Australian Research Council’s Linkage Grants scheme, the OYPRA team has been working away at this significant study. We have collaborated with two Victorian secondary schools to take part in our purpose-designed outdoor program, which seeks to maximise health and wellbeing benefits to young people. Students taking part in the study have completed surveys both before and after the outdoor program. Using a novel research design, we hope to track any benefits to students that can be directly attributed to their participation in the campEndFragment experience.

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