Date of Award
University or Center
Atlanta University (AU)
The purpose of this study was to discover the structure of the friendships exhibited by the two units, Pine Grove and White Valley, at the Camp Fire-Girl Scouts Day Camp, Atlanta, Georgia. Specifically, the study was to show the sociometric patterns of the two units, and the patterns of acceptance and rejection: To discover personality traits that were characteristic of girls being chosen and rejected more than others; To discover whether factors such as religion, belonging to another group, socio-economic accidents influenced the choices of friends.
The study was limited to two units, Pine Grove and White Valley, and the spontaneous choices of friends as of one day, June 24, 1948.
Data concerning the choices of friends in the two units, Pine Grove and White Valley was obtained by administering sociometric tests. The schedule and measurement of individual behavior in groups was instrumental in determining why girls were chosen or isolated as friends. Interviews with the camp directress and the adult unit leader gave additional information on the behavior and background of the girls. A sociogram was drawn and the choices of friends tabulated.
In Pine Grove Unit, every girl received at least one choice and on mutual choice. The four most popular girls received at least eighteen of the thirty-three possible choices. Two girls received three mutual choices.
Girls selected as their friends those persons who possessed personality traits that appealed to them. It was noted that the most popular girls were physically attractive, neat in appearance and possessed positive personality traits. They came from families of high economic and social status and tended to mutually choose each other as friends.
The unpopular girls who did not rate high as choices for friends were less orderly, dressed dirtily and came from families of low economic and social standing. Most of the time, these girls behaved in an antagonistic and uncooperative manner.
There was a tendency for the girls to select as friends those girls who were known to them before coming to camp. The place of contact was the school in most instances.
In White Valley Unit, there were five girls who were not chosen by any of the girls. The four most popular girls received thirty-two of the forty-two possible choices. Seven girls did not have any mutual choices.
The girls who were most popular were those girls who were friendly, kind, and possessed a sense of humor. These girls come from families of high economic and social standing.
The unpopular girls were characterized as being "dirty," "smelly," "saucy," and "greedy." These girls came from homes of low economic and social standing. Most of the time these girls did not participate or cooperate in the plans made by the other girls.
The girls tended to choose friends among the girls that they had known before coming to camp. The girls who belonged to the Catholic church and attended the same parochial school had a strong tendency to select only girls who were Catholics.
Sociometric placement of girls into cabins into cabins and units can be beneficial in the camp program. Girls who are placed where they will not be isolated and they feel that they are among friends will make a better adjustment in camp living and happier campers.
Smith, Annie Day, "A study of friendship patterns exhibited in the Camp Fire-Girl Scout day camp, Atlanta, Georgia June 14 to July 2, 1948" (1948). ETD Collection for AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library. 2071.