Volume 49 - Number 2 - 2008 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2008.02050



The purpose of this study was to investigate the developmental experiences of high-school-aged 4-H youth volunteering as counselors at Louisiana 4-H summer camps. A total of 288 counselors from 10 different camping sessions participated in the study. The Youth Experiences Survey 2.0 and the Developmental Experience Survey measured the personal characteristics and developmental experiences of 4-H camp counselors. The results showed that Louisiana 4-H summer camp counselors are active 4-H club participants. Counselors indicated that the highest level of experiences occurred in the areas of Teamwork and Social Skills, Positive Relationships, and Initiative Experiences. Black counselors had higher-level experiences in all aspects of the camping experience. Participation in perceived 4-H leadership and life skill activities had a positive association with Positive Relationships. Multiple regression analyses showed that gender explained a small amount of the variance; females had higher-level experiences in Positive Relationship and Teamwork and Social Skills and males had higher-level experiences in Negative Experiences. The results of this study show that serving as a 4-H camp counselor leads to significant positive experiences. These experiences may enhance counselors' ability to develop positive leadership and life skills that should be valuable tools in their future.

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