Summer Camp Professionals’ Positive Psychology Certification Program

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



This Capstone provides the rationale and preliminary curriculum for a Summer Camp Professionals’ Positive Psychology Certification Program. One hundred and fifty years before the advent of positive psychology, summer camps were designed to teach children the art of flourishing (Paris, 2008). During that time, camps have organically developed techniques to foster positive emotion, engagement, positive relationships, meaning and accomplishment –fundamental building blocks of Martin Seligman’s (2011) PERMA model of wellbeing. As effective as camps are at promoting flourishing, however, they can become even more so by incorporating new insights and techniques from the field of positive psychology. The Camp Certification Program includes five core positive psychology concepts. Each contains a concept overview, discussion of benefits, implementation strategies, and measurement recommendations. The certification course has two goals. First, to enhance the experience for children who attend summer programs by teaching skills and habits that foster flourishing and achievement. Second, to provide a new way to view and value camp’s experiential education to help reposition it as an integral part of children’s development. By integrating positive psychology into modern camping, I hope to build demand for the camp experience and make it available to more children.


camp, positive youth development, children, curriculum, education


Education, Family/Parenting/Children





Date Posted: 29 January 2018