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6/3/2012 8:52:00 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I am doing a research project for my book, Camping and Beyond: Behavioral Understanding of Life Changing Experiences. This project is long time in coming. I have almost completed seven out of ten chapters. What I need now, is some volunteers to tell me about an influential experience that happened in their lives and guided their journey from then on. For this, I am having people fill out a survey and it is either one of two forms depending on the experience you would like to talk about.
Because the book is mainly about organized child and youth/young adult camping programs, this is the focus for one form. I would like go beyond that, however, and include other types of influential experiences in life and then compare the two groups. The second form allows me to study people who have no or little camping experience when they were young and choose to discuss another type of influence in life. The experience could be anything you want it to be: some event, a special relationship, a career, an idea you had, where you went to school, or some other aspect of life you can point to and say "I am the person I am today because ________" (fill in the blank). It also could be a positive or negative. The type of experience outside of camping does not matter with the other form.
I am a mental health clinician at a habilitation center in Amesbury, MA for people who have developmental disabilities. I have my Masters plus in mental health counseling and have quadriplegic cerebral palsy myself. This research is independent of any university or other research institution. I am doing this as an author trying to understand what people go through because of certain influential experiences in their lives.
I invite you to become participants in this project and may be have your story published in Camping and Beyond. It also could turn into some type of research journal article. What I am trying to do is give people an idea of how we change through life's experiences and the hope is if we know that, people could live more happier and productive lives. Psychology and a number of other behavioral sciences have been studying that issue for a long time, but what science lacks in my mind, are the principles by which human beings change over time due to one influential experience. Your confidentiality will be safeguarded, unless you give permission to have your story and name published. I unfortunately, have no reward for people to participate. If people do participate, it will be done out of the goodness of their hearts and with the knowledge that they will be helping other people, society and science understand life's experience.
Lastly, I ask whoever to pass this message on because I really would like a national sample and it would be great if people could pass this from person to person all the way across the nation. Perhaps, that will not happen for whatever reason, but I ask kindly if people would please help me reach that goal. Family members, friends, co-workers, and whoever else you know is invited to participate. This could turn out to be an important project for many reasons I do not know right now. So, it would be appreciated if this message could be passed on and I hope those who receive this will participate and have fun doing it. The flyer is attached, which will tell you about this project. If you do not get it, please let me know and I will gladly send it by mail. Thank you all and let us make a difference in the lives of others.
Kevin Wreghitt, M.Ed., C.A.G.S.