Weaving Evaluation into the Fabric of Youth Development

Ben Silliman, Gene Shutt

Abstract


An Empowerment Evaluation process served to engage staff and campers and foster integration of authentic assessment methods into youth camp programming over a three-year period. Key elements to the process included program planning, staff training, timing and balance of action and reflection activities, data collection and management. Camp staff involved for 2-3 years reported improved focus and staff who served in the third year achieved mastery in communication, leadership, teaching, and management skills. A purposive sample of three different camp venues evaluated in Year 3 indicated that campers improved significantly in outdoor and life skills. Over 70% felt safe, supported, and enabled to build skills. Implications for practice, research, and policy are discussed.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2010.207

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