Transformative learning and the 4-H camp counselor experience

Date
2015-01-01
Authors
Retallick, Michael
Leff, Donna
Retallick, Michael
Franz, Nancy
Franz, Nancy
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Abstract

While many studies about the 4-H camping experience focus on youth who are campers, few studies examine the outcomes of the experience for counselors. This study examines the extent to which 4-H camp results in transformative learning for 4-H members who serve as camp counselors, examines the perceived changes that occur within counselors, and describes the factors and characteristics of camp that result in personal transformation. The population for this study was 2012 Minnesota 4-H camp counselors. Using the Transformative Learning and the Camp Experience Staff Member Survey, the results indicated that camp counselors experienced transformative learning. Major personal changes involved developing skills for working with children and exposure to new people, activities, and experiences. Factors leading to personal transformation included the opportunity to be role models and positively impact children, opportunities for leadership and challenge, and camp traditions. This study provides support for strong and intentional camp counseling experiences that can positively impact the individual, 4-H campers, and later, the communities in which these camp counselors reside.

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<p>This article is from <em><em>Journal of Human Sciences and Extension</em></em> 3 (2015): 1. Posted with permission.</p>
Keywords
4-H, camp, camp counselors, positive youth development, transformative learning
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