Mindful Learning Experiences Through Structured Reflections During a Youth Travel-Abroad Program

Gary D. Ellis, Andrew Lacanienta, William F. Zanolini, Darlene Locke, Jingxian Jiang


Mindfulness is an actively engaged state of mind when an individual is attuned to their surrounding multi-sensory elements. Mindful learning experiences during youth programs may enhance learning and the overall quality of experiences. We developed, executed, and evaluated an end-of-day structured mindfulness experience during a 4-H travel camp. In this paper we summarize the program and its outcomes and share details we believe will assist other youth professionals who may want to build structured mindfulness experiences into their own programs. Through the 4-H Global Travelers program, 20 youth participated in a 7-day travel camp in Argentina. At the end of each day campers gathered to engage in a 20-minute guided reflection of that day’s activities. We projected photographs taken throughout the day to facilitate recall of and reflection on their experiences that day. Campers’ responses to questions about the quality of their experience immediately following each of the mindful reflection sessions showed that sessions were highly absorbing, mindful learning experiences.


absorption; experience design; mindfulness; structured experiences

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2019.797

Copyright (c) 2019 Gary D. Ellis, Andrew Lacanienta, William F. Zanolini, Darlene Locke, Jingxian Jiang

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