A Residential Camp’s Impact on Youths’ Leadership Skills and Natural Resource Knowledge

Shandra Nicole Frey, Vernon Parent

Abstract


Learning transcends the classroom. To better understand the natural world around them, it is critical that youth have opportunities to make connections and apply their learning in real-world settings. Improving youths’ perceived skills and knowledge contributes to increased academic motivation and continued leadership development. Multi-day residential natural resource camps have shown the ability to teach ecological concepts and develop land management skills, critical thinking skills, and decision-making skills. We tested the ability of a remotely located residential camp to improve leadership skills and natural resource knowledge, using a pre- and post-camp self-assessment, combined with a pre- and post-camp knowledge test. The teaching strategies of the camp—independent investigations, discussion groups, interactions with field scientists, recreational activities, and group problem solving—resulted in participants feeling they had increased their leadership skills and knowledge of natural resource topics. The campers’ perceived increase in knowledge was supported by an increase in score on a knowledge-based test. A residential natural resource camp is an effective activity to engage youth to develop leadership skills and academic motivation, while connecting them to their natural environment.


Keywords


youth leadership; natural resources; outdoor education; residential camp; self-assessment

Full Text:

PDF

References


Anderson-Howe, H. (1993). Participation and motives in sport relative to perceived competence. (Unpublished master’s thesis). McGill University, Montreal, Quebec.

Andrejewski, R. (2011). Nature connection, outdoor play, and environmental stewardship in residential environmental education (Doctoral dissertation). Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania. Retrieved from https://etda.libraries.psu.edu/catalog/11673.

Bexell, S. M., Jarrett, O. S., & Ping, X. (2013). The effects of a summer camp program in China on children’s knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors toward animals: a model for conservation education. Visitor Studies, 16(1), 59-81.

Bhattacharyya, S., Nathaniel, R., & Mead, T. P. (2011). The influence of science summer camp on African-American high school students’ career choices. School Science and Mathematics, 111(7), 345-353. doi:10.1111/j.1949-8594.2011.00097.x

Bogner, F. X. (1998). The influence of a short-term outdoor ecology education on long-term variables of environmental education. Journal of Environmental Education, 29(4), 17-29. doi:10.1080/00958969809599124

Bray, J. H., Maxwell, S. E., & Howard, G. S. (1984). Methods of analysis with response-shift bias. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 44(4), 781- 804. doi:10.1177/0013164484444002

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2017). Occupational outlook handbook. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/

Dahlgaard, P. (2008). Introductory statistics with R. New York, NY: Springer,

DeCastellarnau, A. (2018). A classification of response scale characteristics that affect data quality: a literature review. Quality & Quantity, 52(4), 1523–1559. doi:10.1007/s11135-017-0533-4

Dettmann-Easler, D., & Pease, J. L. (1999). Evaluating the effectiveness of residential environmental education programs in fostering positive attitudes toward wildlife. Journal of Environmental Education, 31(1), 33-39. doi:10.1080/00958969909598630

Drennan, J., & Hyde, A. (2008). Controlling response shift bias: the use of the retrospective pre-test design in the evaluation of a master’s programme. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 33(6), 699-709. doi:10.1080/02602930701773026

Dresner, M. & Gill, M. (1994). Environmental education at summer nature camp. Journal of Environmental Education, 25(3), 35-41. doi:10.1080/00958964.1994.9941956

Faye, C. & Sharpe, D. (2008). Academic motivation in university: The role of basic psychological needs and identify formation. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 40(4), 189-199. doi:10.1037/a0012858

Fields, D. A. (2009). What do Students Gain from a Week at Science Camp? Youth perceptions and the design of an immersive, research‐oriented astronomy camp. International Journal of Science Education, 31(2), 151-171. doi:10.1080/09500690701648291

Gibson, H. L. & Chase, C. (2002). Longitudinal impact of an inquiry-based science program on middle school students’ attitudes toward science. Science Education, 86(5), 693-705. doi:10.1002/sce.10039

Griffin, K. R., Glasscock, S. N., Schwertner, T. W., Atchley, W. & Tarpley, R. S. (2016). Wildlife conservation camp: An education and recruitment pathway for high school students? Wildlife Society Bulletin, 40(4), 643-653. doi:10.1002/wsb.710

Hindes, Y. (2011). Examining youth leadership through the development and validation of a self-report measure: the youth leadership questionnaire (YLQ) (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.

Love, B. (2003). Relationship between perceptions of classroom climate and students’ perceptions of competence and motivational orientation (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, Illinois.

National Research Council (NRC). (2012). Education for Life and Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi:10.17226/13398

National Science Board. (2014). Science and engineering indicators. Retrieved from https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind14/content/overview/overview.pdf

Nichols, J. D., & Utesch, W. E. (1998). An alternative learning program: Effects on student motivation and self-esteem. Journal of Educational Research, 91(5), 272-278. doi:10.1080/00220679809597554

Knapp, D. & Poff, R. (2001). A qualitative analysis of the immediate and short-term impact of an environmental interpretive program. Environmental Education Research, 7(1), 55-65. doi:10.1080/13504620124393

Rohs, F. R. (1999). Response shift bias: A problem in evaluating leadership development with self-report pretest-posttest measures. Journal of Agricultural Education, 40(4), 28-37. doi:10.5032/jae.1999.04028

Riedinger, K. (2015). Identity development of youth during participation at an informal science education camp. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 10(3), 453-475. doi:10.12973/ijese.2015.254a

Ryan, M. R., & Campa, H., III. (2000). Application of learner-based teaching innovations to enhance education in wildlife conservation. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 28(1), 168-179.

San Jose, A., & Nelson, K. (2017). Increasing children’s positive connection to, orientation toward, and knowledge of nature through nature camp experiences. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 12(5), 933-944.

Stern, M. J., Powell, R. B., & Hill, D. (2014). Environmental education program evaluation in the new millennium: What do we measure and what have we learned? Environmental Education Research, 20(5), 581-611. doi:10.1080/13504622.2013.838749

Thurber, C. A., Scanlin, M. M., Scheuler, L. & Henderson, K. A. (2007). Youth development outcomes of the camp experience: evidence for multidimensional growth. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 36(3), 241-254. doi:10.1007/s10964-006-9142-6

Wilson, C., & Sibthorp, J. (2018). Examining the role of summer camps in developing academic and work readiness. Journal of Youth Development, 13(1-2), 83-102. doi:10.5195/jyd.2018.563

Yair, G. (2000). Reforming motivation: how the structure of instruction affects students’ learning experiences. British Educational Research Journal, 26(2), 191-210. doi:10.1080/01411920050000944




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2019.792

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2019 Shandra Nicole Frey, Vernon Parent

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.