Examining the Role of Summer Camps in Developing Academic and Workplace Readiness


  • Cait Wilson University of Utah
  • Jim Sibthorp University of Utah




21st century skills, experiential learning, learning transfer, workplace readiness


Summer camps are an effective setting for youth to develop skills essential for academics and the workplace yet are often not recognized as such. Therefore, the primary aim of this study was to investigate learning outcomes from camp most applicable to academics and workplace readiness. As a secondary aim, the researchers sought to identify the mechanisms at camp that support this learning. Youths’ primary learning outcomes include relationship skills, teamwork, how to live with peers, self-confidence, organization, responsibility, independence, perseverance, career orientation, and emotion regulation. In general, mechanisms that supported participants’ learning of outcomes included experiential learning, camp as separate time and space, camp schedules, the role of counselors, communal living, safe and supportive environments, and diversity of people. The implications for camp staff include furthering their programming efforts by placing an emphasis on the mechanisms that elicit academic and workplace readiness. With intentional effort, summer camp can be an important setting for youth to learn valuable skills that are beneficial for them to succeed in academics and work.

Author Biography

Cait Wilson, University of Utah

Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation

Doctoral Candidate


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