Summer Camps from the Perspective of Participants and Organisers

Open access


Introduction. Summer camps are the most important form of organised leisure activity for children and adolescents, and their popularity has been increasing year after year. Providing tourism services for this group of recipients constitutes a big challenge for the organisers because they have to satisfy the expectations of not only the participants but also their parents. Hence, the aim of the study was to obtain data making it possible to estimate the degree of convergence between the needs of summer camp participants, their parents’ needs, and the tourism product, that is summer camp.

Materials and methods. The study involved one hundred participants of a summer camp, aged 11-17 years. A diagnostic survey carried using direct interviews and questionnaires. The data have been processed and analysed statistically by means of Excel and Statistica v.12; a significance test was used for comparing two proportions at the significance level α = 0.05 (with p < α indicating the presence of statistically significant differences and p ≥ α indicating a lack of statistically significant differences).

Results. The children of educated mothers participated in summer camps significantly more often than children of mothers with vocational education (p = 0.0115) and secondary education (p = 0.0422). When selecting the summer camp, most respondents (44.57%) paid attention to the degree of correspondence between the programme and their interests. The camps that were the most popular were sport summer camps (41.30%). Boys chose survival summer camps more often than girls (p = 0.0360) whereas girls preferred active and sailing summer camps (p = 0.006). The most attention in a summer camp was paid to the staff.

Conclusions. When choosing a summer camp, children and parents pay special attention to whether or not the programme is rich in attractions; however, it is the staff that conditions positive emotions of the participants as well as their good memories. Organisers know how important the staff are and that they are the warrant of the summer camp’s success. The results presented confirm that preparing a summer camp offering requires much work and involvement because one must satisfy the expectations of both participants and parents, who use different criteria of camp evaluation.

1. Case E.K. (2012). Specialized summer camp for children and adolescents with learning disabilities: A naturalistic context for enhancing social competence, friendship, and self-concept. PhD thesis, University of Toronto. Retrieved February 05, 2018, from

2. Nawara H., Cooper A. (2007). Summer camps: Healthy – happy – safe. Wrocław: Wydawnictwo AWF. [in Polish]

3. McCarthy A. (2015). Summer camp for children and adolescents with chronic conditions. Pediatric Nursing 41(5), 245-250.

4. Gula E., Sokołowski J. (2004). Summer camps. Wychowawca 7-8,18-19. [in Polish]

5. Demakova I.D., Valeeva R.A., Shipova A.V. (2016). Socialization of adolescents: Cultural practices in children’s summer camp. International Journal of Environmental & Science Education 11(7), 1631-1640.

6. Włastowski Ł., Górska-Warsewicz H. (2016). Designing a holiday marketing product for children and youth. Przedsiębiorczość i Zarządzanie 17(9), part 3, 119-128. [in Polish]

7. Zarzycka M. (2011). Report on youth tourism. Wiadomości Turystyczne, Retrieved on January 17, 2018, from [in Polish]

8. German M. (2017). School and youth tourism with good prospects. Wiadomości Turystyczne, March 2017, Special Issue. [in Polish]

9. Public Opinion Research Centre (CBOS). (2016). Leisure travel and summer jobs among students. Report from research no. 135/2016. Retrieved on January 20, 2018, from [in Polish]

10. Zarzycka M. (2011). Report on youth tourism continued. Wiadomości Turystyczne 04.04.2011. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from [in Polish]

11. Żelazna K., Górska-Warsewicz H. (2013). Tourism behaviour of youth. Problemy Turystyki i Rekreacji 2, 36-51. [in Polish]

12. Omelan A., Huk-Wieliczuk E., Podstawski R. (2015). Education related to tourism received by Polish tourism and recreation students in childhood and adolescence and its impact on their tourism activity. Polish Journal of Sport and Tourism 20, 95-104.

13. Gaworecki W. (2003). Tourism. Fourth edition revised. Warszawa: Polskie Wydawnictwo Ekonomiczne S.A. [in Polish]

14. Parzych K. (2010). Determinants of tourism activity of school youth based on the example of high school youth from Słupsk and Częstochowa. Turyzm 20(1), 37-44. [in Polish]

15. Statistics Poland (GUS). (2014). Tourism and leisure in households in 2013. Warszawa: GUS. [in Polish].

16. Statistics Poland (GUS). (2017). Tourism in 2016. Warszawa: GUS. [in Polish].

17. Tomczykowska P. (2013). Socioeconomic determinants of youth tourism. Zeszyty Naukowe no. 11, Seria geograficznoturystyczna no. 6, SWPR, 21-52. [in Polish]

18. Supreme Audit Office (NIK). (2015). Safety of children’s and youth’s leisure. Information about the results of the inspection. Warszawa: NIK, Departament Nauki, Oświaty i Dziedzictwa Narodowego. [in Polish]

19. Crompton J.L. (1979). Motivations for pleasure vacation. Annals of Tourism Research 6(4), 408-424.

20. Kozioł L. (2012). Typology of travel motivation factors. Zeszyty Naukowe Małopolskiej Wyższej Szkoły Ekonomicznej w Tarnowie 20(1), 88-98. [in Polish]

21. Borek Z., Eider J., Mynarski W., Rozpara M., Puciato D. (2011). Tourism activity of youth aged between 15 and 17 years. Ekonomiczne Problemy Usług 78, 285-299. [in Polish]

22. Przecławski K. (1997). Man and tourism. Outline of tourism sociology. Kraków: Impuls. [in Polish]

23. Bury M. (2017). Summer camps only without mobile phones? Retrieved on February 7, 2018, from [in Polish]

24. Thorton P.R., Shaw G., Williams A.M. (1997). Tourist group holiday decision-making and behaviour: The influence of children. Tourism Management 18(5), 287-297.

25. Brazendale K., Beets M.W., Weaver R.G., Chandler J.L., Randel A.B., Turner-McGrievy G.M. et al. (2017). Children’s moderate to vigorous physical activity attending summer day camps. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 53(1), 78-84.

26. Mazur A. (2010). Camp offerings and the needs and expectations of children and youth. Wychowanie Fizyczne i Zdrowotne 10, 30-34. [in Polish]

27. Dłużewska A., Majewska D. (2015). Summer camps as an appropriate form of spending leisure time for children? Tleń and Jarosławiec camps: Case study analysis. Geography and Tourism 3(2), 71-80. [in Polish]

Polish Journal of Sport and Tourism

The Journal of Jozef Pilsudski University of Physial Education in Warsaw, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport in Biala Podlaska

Journal Information

Index Copernicus: ICV 2016 = 100.00
Ministry of Science and Higher Education: 14 points


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 71 71 40
PDF Downloads 42 42 21