The preliminary effects of a recreation-based military family camp on family functioning


  • Brent L. Hawkins, PhD, CTRS
  • Jasmine A. Townsend, PhD, CTRS
  • Sandra E. Heath, MS, CTRS
  • Kate Lipton, CTRS



family functioning, military families, military camps, recreation, mixed methods


Recreation-based programing has emerged as a therapeutic service for military families to readjust and improve family functioning after military deployments. This mixed methods study attempted to understand the changes in family functioning during and after a recreation-based therapeutic camp for military families. Pre-post-follow up survey data were collected from families who attended the camp. Results indicated no statistically significant changes in the family functioning across time points; however, qualitative data indicated the camp provided a unique environment to foster other elements of family functioning not measured (eg, family interactions, between family connections). Intentionally creating opportunities for military families to recreate at camp may help facilitate meaningful connections; however, more targeted programing efforts based on assessed, individualized family goals may elicit stronger family functioning outcomes.

Author Biographies

Brent L. Hawkins, PhD, CTRS

Recreational Therapy, Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

Jasmine A. Townsend, PhD, CTRS

Recreational Therapy, Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

Sandra E. Heath, MS, CTRS

Recreational Therapy, Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

Kate Lipton, CTRS

Camp Twin Lakes, Atlanta, Georgia


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How to Cite

Hawkins, PhD, CTRS, B. L., Townsend, PhD, CTRS, J. A., Heath, MS, CTRS, S. E., & Lipton, CTRS, K. (2018). The preliminary effects of a recreation-based military family camp on family functioning. American Journal of Recreation Therapy, 17(3), 15–24.




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