Proven Effectiveness of Missouri 4-H Camps in Developing Life Skills in Youth

Michelle D. Klem, Donald J. Nicholson

Abstract


Camping is generally believed to be a context for positive youth development. The 4-H Camp environments presumably focus on the development of life skills including managing and thinking; relating and caring; giving and working and; living and being. However, the effectiveness of the Missouri 4-H Camp environments in developing life skills among campers had never been evaluated in a consistent manner across the multiple camping programs. In order to evaluate the efficacy of these camp programs, resident campers within the 10-13 year age range were surveyed about their camping experience during the summer of 2005 and a similar group was surveyed in 2006. Parents of campers were also surveyed both years to gather their perceptions of 4-H Camp’s impact on their children in developing the life skill areas identified above. Parents and youth agreed strongly that the 4-H Camp experience was substantially valuable in developing the life skills identified in the Targeting Life Skills Model (Hendricks, 1998).

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2008.340

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