Leadership development in summer camps: How do campers improve?




Baskin, Liam

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The summer camp community thinks they know how camp influences youth development, but there is a knowledge gap when it comes to leadership. Currently, camp research has claimed that there are improvements in leadership but has failed to define what leadership means for campers. The purpose of this thesis is to establish factors for leadership development in the context of summer camps and show there are positive changes for campers. The research was completed through the use of self-reporting surveys administered to campers at Camp Champions. The main goal was to understand which factors of leadership were being developed if any at all. Another central question was if the way people wrote about their leadership experiences correlated with their leadership gains. The results predict leadership changes among campers across the dimensions of self-efficacy and considerate leadership, which increases our knowledge of how camp improves adolescent leadership experiences and contributes to the targeted skills developments camps aspire to provide. These contributions are discussed in the context of the studies' limitations.



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