Isiah Henry, Texas A&M University – Commerce

Camp Administration: The ‘Forgotten Gem’ of SRM

Abstract: Many students who enter in to a Sport & Recreation Management degree program across the US have dreams of working in professional sport or serving as a head coach or athletic director at a Division I school. Other areas of sport and recreation are highlighted throughout a course of study as potential career options (including facility management, city parks and recreation, and corporate fitness). The contention here, however, is that camp administration is often overlooked as an avenue for a long and impactful career, viewed in this research as a ‘hidden gem’.  According to the 2015 ACA Sites, Facilities, Programs Report, more than 14,000 day and resident camps are currently in operation across the USA, employing more than 1.5 million people, representing a huge opportunity for students interested in impacting people’s lives. Experience in this sector of the sport and recreation industry gives students the chance to develop transferable skills, while building relationships and changing lives.  Underpinned by transferable skills literature (Bridges, 1993; Humphreys, Greenan & McIlveen, 1997; Toperzer, Anderson & Barcelona, 2011), and in particular the work of Bolton & Rosselli (2017), this presentation, the first part of a broader research project, will discuss the development of transferable skills including those identified by NACA and NIRSA as skills missing from recent graduates – e.g. working in a team structure, verbal communication, time management and planning, and proficiency with computer software programs – to recognizing the importance of empathy, relationships and impact which can be achieved within a camp setting.


Bolton C. & Rosselli, T. (Fall 2017). The Assessment of Transferable Skills in a Mid-sized Regional University Campus Recreation Program: An Exploratory case study on how professionals teach and how student employees learn. Recreational Sports Journal, 41(2), 125-143.

David Bridges (1993). Transferable skills: A philosophical perspective. Studies in Higher Education, 18:1, 43-51.

Humphreys, P., Greenan, K., & McIlveen, H. (1997). Developing work-based transferable skills in a university environment. Journal of European Industrial Training, 21(2), 63-69.

Toperzer, L., Anderson, D.M., & Barcelona, E.J. (2011) Best Practices in Student Development for Campus Recreation Professionals. Recreational Sports Journal, 35(2), 145-156.

Presentation Author(s):
Isiah Henry*

Judging Forms Official judges only