Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Committee Chair(s)

Daniella Hirschfeld


Daniella Hirschfeld


Carlos Licon


Karin DeJonge-Kannan


Supporting private landowners as they manage their land is essential to sustainability because sixty-one percent of land in the United States is privately owned and managed; therefore, it is crucial that we better understand the management practices implemented by private landowners and continue to development best management strategies. A significant portion of these land holders are summer camps. There are over 14,000 summer camps in America. Many summer camps already have cultures where they value their land and the ecosystems on their property; many have also sought to improve their land management practices as well. However, there is a lack of guidance developed for best land management within a summer camp context.

To help meet this need for increased guidance, I propose a study demonstrating practices currently used within summer camps where a value of the natural world is an important part of their culture. This study will also consider the process camps have gone through to implement these practices. Discovering best practices at both administrative and land management levels of camp operations led to an increase in organizational sustainability which could be implemented by other camps. Organizational change theory was utilized to understand how these practices were applied by the camps and how they led to change so others can accomplish similar change.

This study adds practical guidance on the management of summer camp properties. This guidance for property management can be used to raise awareness within the camping industry around the need for land management and provide direction to implement more effective management practices. Helping summer camps improve their land management practices supports the ongoing efforts of improving private land management across the country. This study also supports efforts for developing similar management practices and support strategies for other types of private land.