Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Agriculture - Recreation, Parks and Tourism Management


Dr. Jeffrey A. Jacobs


This thesis evaluates expenditures made by Camp Henry patrons during the 2005 summer camp season while traveling to and from the residential camp located in Newaygo County, Michigan. A purposive random cluster sample was collected via self-administered questionnaire on the arrival days of weeks 3, 7, and 8 of the 8 week summer camp season. The data revealed expenditures in each of the categories on the instrument; lodging expenses, food and beverages, private auto expenses, retail shopping, recreation activities, and “other”. Expenditures for the 55 participants and the individuals traveling with them totaled $4,558. The category with the greatest reported expenditures was food and beverage, totaling $1,645 and the category with the least reported expenditures was lodging, totaling $170.

First summer camper group expenditures and returning camper group expenditures were evaluated to determine if a relationship exists between inexperienced and experienced campers, a one-factor ANOVA was run with the logarithm of total expenditures and, with a P value of 0.077, no statistically significant relationship is found. A one-factor ANOVA was utilized to evaluate the relationship between participants residing within 35 miles of the residential camp facility and those living further away. With a P value of 0.101, it is determined that hometown does not have an effect on patron expenditures. A regression analysis of the logarithm of total expenditures and income ranges was performed to determine if an individual’s annual income has an effect on expenditures; with a P value of 0.626 no relationship was found. Lastly, a regression analysis of the logarithm of total expenditures and participant age was run to determine if a relationship between a participant’s age and the amount spent exists. With a P value of 0.574, no statistically significant relationship exists.

Limitations of the study include a small sample size, the inability of participants to accurately predict return trip expenditures, and the close proximity of participant residences to the camp facility.

Although no statistically significant relationships were found, the expenditure information can be used to develop partnerships between local businesses and the residential summer camp. The possibility of exploring the camp going population and their monetary value to host communities is a worthwhile subject for further scrutiny. The information presented here can be used as a starting point for future studies on expenditures of residential camp patrons.