Camp Fire Green Country

Program Evaluation Protocol

1.  Participant outcome measurement surveys – completed annually by 6th -12th grade youth participants to assess achievement of outcomes related to the Step-It-Up-2-Thrive program approach:

  • Exploring and identifying sparks
  • Developing a growth mindset
  • Practicing reflection
  • Building & sustaining relationships with caring, supportive adults
  • Employing sound goal management strategies

Over the last three years, Camp Fire’s participant outcome measurement system has been revised and field-tested to align with the objectives of the Thrive Theory of Change, an approach to youth development services that incorporates the most current streams of research in the field, including deliberate emphasis on developing children’s sparks, nurturing a growth mindset and learning and using effective goal setting and achievement systems.

2.  Friendship Skills Checklist – developed by Camp Fire program managers during a year-long outcome consultative process for TAUW youth development providers. Camp Fire Pre-K thru 5th grade club leaders complete a checklist on each child participant at the beginning, middle and end of the program year to assess improvement in 8 attributes identified as “Friendship Skills.” Results are analyzed by the Center for Family Resilience at OSU-Tulsa.

3.  Camp Fire Program Quality Intervention (CFPQI) – a research-validated and field-tested tool designed to evaluate the quality of youth programs and identify staff training needs, developed by the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality. Five years ago, Camp Fire Green Country was an early adopter of this systematic approach to assessing what takes place at the “point of service” that involves trained observers rating 73 program features in seven domains:

  • Safe environment
  • Supportive environment
  • Interaction
  • Engagement
  • Youth-centered policies and practices
  • High expectations for youth and staff
  • Access

Observation results entered into an online data collection tool provide improvement planning recommendations that form the basis for developing targeted training and coaching of those directly working with youth participants and making program environment changes.

3.  Stakeholder Surveys – In even-numbered years, we gather input from principals and Community School Coordinators at program sites and from staff with whom we partner at other agencies.

4.  Real Time Results – stories compiled from program staff reports offer a snapshot of how Camp Fire participants benefit from their involvement. For the most part, they highlight the value of the relationships between youth and their adult leaders and the relationships youth build with their peers. What we derive from these stories is that relationships developed within the small group provide a sense of belonging and supportive community, as well as the benefit of a safe, caring, well-trained adult who – again within the small group – knows her or his group members well enough to identify potential problems and be part of the team of adults looking out for the needs of vulnerable children.

Each of the components of Camp Fire’s Program Evaluation Protocol provides information that contributes to understanding how our services impact participants – and each method has disadvantages that render their individual results inconclusive. However, by simultaneously employing all five methods, we attempt to comprehensively assess how being in Camp Fire makes a difference in the lives of the children and youth we serve and continuously develop improvement plans based on data from multiple perspectives.

(November 2014)