Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Laura Spielvogel

Second Advisor

Dr. Sarah Hill

Third Advisor

Dr. Kristina Wirtz


ethnographic fiction, children, nature, gender

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This thesis explores the experiences of counselors and campers at environmentally-themed summer camps through the medium of ethnographic fiction. Research was conducted by examining the experiences and influences of two separate summer camps, the Midwest Nature Center Camp and Midwest Zoo Camp. Drawing on traditional ethnographic research methods, I explore the environmental messages emphasized during camp, the myriad of relationships individuals have with nature, and the impact of gender on the summer camp experience. Yet, while this thesis is based on ethnographic research, an emphasis is placed on the presentation of the information. By examining the way anthropology has been traditionally written and examining new avenues of anthropological writing, I argue that there is a need for social sciences to embrace ethnographic fiction as a way to engage broader audiences and humanize the subjects of research.