Findings from Outdoor Youth Programs Research Alliance (OYPRA) have now been released publicly

Download research findings summary

The Outdoor Youth Programs Research Alliance (OYPRA) project was funded through an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant. Outdoors Victoria, alongside other industry partners also contributed to the long-term program of high quality research, which evaluated the benefits of outdoor, camping and nature-based programs on the resilience, learning and wellbeing of young Australians.

OYPRA’s research is integral for improving outdoor learning programs across Australia and internationally.

Read Herald/Sun article: Camping Programs Aid Resilience

Key Findings

Through 9 years of collaboration and research by the Outdoor Youth Programs Research Alliance

  • It has been shown that camps and outdoor learning can lead to improved mental health and wellbeing in young people.
  • Those students suffering from higher levels of anxiety were calmer and more resilient following school camp.
  • Of those who participated in the research program, OYPRA found that 16 per cent of students suffered higher levels of anxiety before the camp, however were significantly less anxious after the 5 day outdoor program.
  • OYPRA’s outdoor program research also found that students benefited from improved confidence after attending camp, particularly their self-efficacy: belief in their ability to achieve goals.
  • OYPRA found that 11 per cent of students surveyed had low levels of self-efficacy; however following a 5 day school camp their confidence levels were significantly boosted.
  • The comprehensive research by OYPRA showed there are different benefits depending on the student’s state of wellbeing and mental health before attending camp, supporting the idea that specialised outdoor learning programs could be delivered to support those suffering mental illness.