Measurement Approach

How we make a difference

Summer Program

Tims Camps summer program is strength-based, high-impact leadership development with a rigorous learning model based in research and intentionally designed to the meet the needs of the youth we serve.

Measuring impact is critical to our program development and ensuring the long-term support of our programs. Our program frameworks are grounded in evidence that focuses on developing tangible skills to help youth succeed. Our programs are intentionally designed to support these short, medium and long-term outcomes and are rigorously measured for effectiveness.

 Our Summer Program methodology accesses each individual youth’s progress towards demonstrating the priority outcomes of social and emotional skills, learning and innovation skills, post-secondary access and independent living capability.

Outcomes Framework Summer Program
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The impacts of our summer program build on each other as participants grow through the multi-year program, starting with short-term outcomes that lead to intermediate outcomes and create long-term outcomes.

Starting in the short term, youth at Tims Camps develop foundational skills they need to become resourceful, responsible, and empowered individuals. These skills fall into two categories:

Social and Emotional Skills

  • Positive identity
  • Positive behaviors
  • Positive connections

Learning and Innovation Skills

  • Cognitive skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Interpersonal skills

Once mastered, those short term skills enable youth at Tims Camps to be prepared for life after high school. Post high school readiness is marked by two outcomes:

  • Postsecondary access
  • Independent living capability

Having gained access to postsecondary education or joined the workforce, graduates of Tims Camps continue to develop along the long-term trajectory of the program as they successfully transition to adulthood. This is marked by three outcomes:

 

  • Postsecondary completion
  • Meaningful employment
  • Supportive relationships

Summer Outcomes Landscape

In creating this framework, we mapped our outcomes against similar organizations to answer two primary questions:

  • Are these outcomes what our youth need?
  • Are these outcomes realistic and attributable to our programs?
Outcome Landscape Analysis Summer
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Among 16 organizations serving youth, we found universal alignment on the focus on social and emotional skills. Likewise, there was widespread agreement on importance of learning and innovation skills (12 out of 16 organizations). Where Tims Camps is unique is in the emphasis on job readiness (only two of 16 organizations focused on this), postsecondary access and financial knowledge and skills—both of which are singularly emphasized at Tims Camps. There are other areas that organizations emphasize not currently found at Tims Camps summer program, including environmental awareness, healthy behaviors, academic achievement and civic engagement.

  1. Waves of the Future: The First Five Years of the 4-H Study of PYD. 2009.
  2. Identifying 4-H Camping Outcomes Using a Standardized Evaluation Process Across Multiple 4-H Educational Centers, 2003.
  3. Addressing (Nature-Deficit Disorder): A Mixed Methods Pilot Study of Young Adults Attending a Wilderness Camp, 2015.
  4. Exploring the Impact of a Wilderness-Based Positive Youth Development Program for Urban Youth
  5. The Art & Science of Creating Effective Youth Programs. Algorhythm.
  6. A Multi-Method Approach to Understanding Empowerment Processes and Outcomes of Adventure Education Program Experiences, 2009.
  7. Outward Bound Program Outcomes: http://www.outwardbound.org/about-outward-bound/philosophy/outcomes/
  8. Research and Evaluation Projects Update. Foundation for Youth Development. 2014.
  9. Project K in Black & White: A theory-driven & randomised controlled trial evaluation of a youth development programme. 2012.
  10. Youth Development and the Camp Experience. New Directions in Youth Development. 2011.
  11. Youth Development Outcomes of the Camp Experience: Evidence for Multidimensional Growth. 2006.
  12. Components of Camp Experiences for Positive Youth Development, 2006.
  13. Wilderness challenge programs for delinquent youth: a meta analysis of outcome evaluations. 1999.
  14. Adventure Camp Programs, Self-Concept, and Their Effects on Behavioral Problem Adolescents. 2007.
  15. Factors associated with positive youth development outcomes of youth summer camps. 2013.
  16. The Effects of a Summer Camp Experience on Factors of Resilience in AtRisk Youth. 2012.
  17. Wilderness challenge programs for delinquent youth: a meta analysis of outcome evaluations. 1999.
  18. Influences of Resident Camp Experiences on Career Choice: A Case Study of Female Alumnae
  19. Transforming Leadership: Focusing on Outcomes of the New Girl Scout Leadership Experience. 2008
  20. Boy Scouts of America Summer Camp Outcomes Study. 2001.

School Program

Working with schools in priority neighbourhoods to host students for two three-day camp sessions per school year, our school program inspires students to become visible, positive leaders in their schools and make their communities more positive places. This model allows us to leverage the capacity of our camps and serve more youth in our communities in a meaningful way. 

In addition to the focus on social & emotional skills and learning & innovation skills, the school, program focuses on positive contributions to the school environment including motivation to learn, volunteerism and classroom behavior. The long term goal is to strengthen communities with productive avenues for family involvement, supportive neighborhoods, empowered youth. This program truly relies on collective impact- working hand-in-hand with educators, school and school boards to move the needle on these key indicators.  

School program outcome framework
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Similar to the impacts of our summer program, youth in Tims Camps school program begin with foundational skills and behaviours in the short term that lead to intermediate and long-term outcomes.

Starting in the short term, youth in the Tims Camps school program establish skills and behaviours they need to become resourceful, responsible, and empowered individuals. These fall into three categories:

Social and Emotional Skills

  • Positive identity
  • Positive behaviors
  • Positive connections

Learning and Innovation Skills

  • Cognitive skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Interpersonal skills

Positive Contributions

  • Motivation to learn
  • Classroom behaviour
  • Volunteerism

Once mastered, those short-term skills enable youth in Tims Camps school program to invest in their academic success and the future of their community. Youth contribute to a positive school climate as marked by two outcomes:

  • Academic growth
  • Civic responsibility

Having invested themselves in their own growth and civic responsibility, youth in Tims Camps school program contribute to stronger communities in the long term. This is marked by three outcomes:

 

  • Empowered youth
  • Supportive neighbourhoods
  • Avenues for family involvement

Our Methodology

Our method collects a mix of qualitative and quantitative data which allows us to measure and qualify impacts on program outcomes and provide exploratory insights and useful context to build compelling narratives on program impacts through surveys and interviews. We track growth and change in each outcome through pre-post surveys and use secondary research as a comparative benchmark to approximate what it would have been like otherwise for each youth by comparing their experience and results with similar youth who did not participate in our programs.

Summer program measurement
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Year 1 (12 years old): Pre-Camp Baseline Youth Survey

Year 2 (13 years old): Interviews of Sample Youth

Year 3 (14 years old): Midpoint Youth Survey

Year 4 (15 years old): Interviews of Sample Youth

Year 5 (16 years old): Endpoint Survey

PSE-Career: Alumni Survey (2-5 years out)

In addition to these efforts we will amplify the youth voice in our programs. This includes camper continuous improvement surveys, our youth advisory council and camper focus groups.

 Provincial Curricula Alignment Map

Our schools program outcomes are highly aligned to Canadian provincial outcomes, included on provincial report cards and/or communicated as learning outcomes by the provincial Ministry of Education.

Many provinces directly measure indicators aligned to Social and Emotional Skills, Learning and Innovation Skills, and Academic Engagement.

Provincial curricula alignment map
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Social and Emotional Skills: Our focus on social and emotional skills is mirrored in provincial curricula in Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Ontario.

Learning and Innovation Skills: Our focus on learning and skills is mirrored in provincial curricula in Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Ontario.

Positive Contributions: Our focus on positive contributions is mirrored in provincial curricula in Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Ontario.

Civic Responsibility: Our focus on civic responsibility is mirrored in provincial curricula in Manitoba and Newfound and Labrador.

Academic Growth: Our focus on academic growth is mirrored in provincial curricula in Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Ontario.

School program evaluation includes a pre/post youth survey, evaluating changes to key indicators using report card data (where applicable) and a retrospective pre/post Educator survey.

Appendix - Outcomes Definitions

Social & Emotional Skills
  • Positive Identity- Youth develop self-awareness, emotional intelligence, self-confidence, self-efficacy and a sense of empowerment
  • Positive Behaviors- Youth develop the self-management, impulse control, stress-management, self-motivation, and perseverance necessary to behave responsibly and positively
  • Positive Connections- Youth develop healthy and rewarding relationships with peers, adults, and the community
Learning & Innovation Skills
  • Cognitive Skills- Youth develop communication skills, problem-solving skills, conflict resolution skills, teamwork and collaboration skills, leadership skills and cultural sensitivity skills
  • Organizational Skills- Youth develop time management, planning, resourcefulness, and goal-setting skills 
  • Interpersonal Skills Youth develop communication skills, problem-solving skills, conflict resolution skills, teamwork and collaboration skills, leadership skills and cultural sensitivity skills
Post-High School Readiness
  • Postsecondary Access- Youth obtain their high school diploma, gain access to financial support and gain knowledge of PSE 
  • Independent Living Capability - Youth demonstrate job readiness skills and financial knowledge and skills
Successful Transition to Adulthood
  • Postsecondary Completion- Tims Camps alumni complete PSE degree or certification 
  • Meaningful Employment- Tims Camps alumni obtain a job in their desired career path 
  • Supportive Relationships- Tims Camps alumni feel a sense of belonging with peers and the community
Positive Contributions
  • Classroom Behaviour- Youth demonstrate active participation, self-management and respectful and caring attitudes in the classroom 
  • Motivation to Learn- Youth demonstrate positive attitudes towards school and learning, a growth mindset, and commitment to academics and good attendance 
  • Volunteerism- Youth volunteer through community service and social activism to bring about social change
Positive School Climate
  • Academic Growth- Youth achieve a higher letter grade on school marks or standardized tests 
  • Civic Responsibility- Youth demonstrate civic efficacy, civic interest and awareness, civic attitude and civic initiative
Stronger Communities
  • Empowered Youth- Tims Camps alumni demonstrate civic leadership and academic success 
  • Supportive Neighbourhoods- Residents believe in the future of their community, participate in the community, and maintain a sense of belonging 
  • Avenues for Family Involvement- Parents/guardians are provided a welcoming school environment and have opportunities to be involved in youth’s education and success.