Educational outcomes from summer camps on conservation of freshwater ecosystems


  • Gregor Torkar
  • Petra Mohar



outdoor education, camp, adolescents, awareness raising, freshwater ecosystem


The purpose of this paper is to analyze the educational outcomes of different activities organized through summer camps concerning the conservation of freshwater ecosystems. The six-day duration camps were organised in three different locations across Slovenia. The camps were attended by 15 males and 27 females, aged 11 to 18 years. Educational outcomes were measured on the fifth and sixth day of each camp, using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. Results showed that participants greatly enjoyed attending the camps. The respondents reported that they learned much about freshwater ecosystems, fauna and flora, different research methods and handling research equipment. They also showed a high awareness and
understanding of problems related to freshwater ecosystem conservation.


Becker, P., 2008. Being Faithful to the Past in the Future: The Adventure as a Medium to Regain a Lost Approach to the World. In: Becker, P., Schirp, J. (Eds.) Other ways of learning. The European Institute for Outdoor Adventure Education and Experiental Learning 1996-2006, Marburg, pp.103–110.

Clayton, S., Myers, G., 2009. Conservation psychology: understanding and promoting human care for nature. United Kingdom, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. Conservation International. (10. 3. 2013)

Flogaitis, E., Agelidou, E., 2003. Kindergarten teachers’ conceptions about nature and the environment. Environmental Education Research, 9(4), 462–478. DOI:

Fraser, B. J., 1989. Assessing and Improving Classroom Environment. What research says to the Science and Mathematics Teachers (No. 2). Perth, Australia, The Key Centre for School Science and Mathematics, Curtin University. Hattie, J., Marsh, H.W., Neill, J.T., Richards, G.E., 1997. Adventure education and Outward Bound: Out-of-class experiences that make a lasting difference. Review of Educational Research, 67(1), DOI:


Kellert, S. R., 1996. The value of life: Biological diversity and human society . Washington, D.C., Island Press/Shearwater Books.

Kellert, S. R., 2002. Experiencing nature: affective, cognitive, and evaluative development in childhood, in: S. R. Kellert (Ed.) Children and nature: psychological, sociological, and evolutionary investigations. Cambridge, MA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 117–151.

Kola-Olusanya, A., 2005. Free-choice environmental education: understanding where children learn outside of school. Environmental Education Research, 11(3), 297–307. DOI:

Likert, R., 1932. A Technique for the Measurement of Attitudes. Archives of Psychology 140, 1–55.

Nunnaly, J., 1978. Psychometric theory. New York, McGraw-Hill. Orr, D. 1993. Schools for the twenty-first century. Resurgence, 160, 16–17.

Orr, D. 1994. Earth in mind. Island Press, Washington DC, 215p.

Palmberg, I. E., Kuru, J., 2000. Outdoor activities as a basis for environmental responsibility, Journal of Environmental Education, 31(4), 32–36. DOI:

Palmer, E.J., 2004. A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey toward an undivided life. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 186p.

Ramsar Convention (The Convention on Wetlands). (10. 3. 2013)

Sato, M., James, P., 1999. “Nature” and “environment” as perceived by university students and their supervisors. International Journal of Environmental Education and Information, 18 (2), 165–172.

Schultz, P.W., 2002. Knowledge, information, and household recycling: examining the knowledgedeficit model behaviour change. In: Dietz, T. & Stern, P.C. (eds.) New tools for environmental protection: education, information and voluntary measures. National Academy Press, Washington. pp. 67–82.

Smith, J., Reynold, C., Donaldson, G., Master, H., 1972. Outdoor education (2nd edition). PrenticeHall, Englewood Cliffs. Strayer, D.L., Dudgelon, D., 2010. Freshwater biodiversity conservation: recent progress and future challenges. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 29, 344–358. DOI:

Wang, C.K.J., Ang, R.P., Teo-Koh, S.M., Khalid, A., 2004. Motivational Predictors of Young Adolescents’ Participation in an Outdoor Adventure Course: A Self-determination Theory Approach. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, 4 (1), 57–65. DOI:






Original Research Paper

How to Cite

Torkar, G., & Mohar, P. (2013). Educational outcomes from summer camps on conservation of freshwater ecosystems. Acta Biologica Slovenica, 56(1), 75-84.

Similar Articles

1-10 of 36

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.