Teen Leadership Skill Development through the Junior 4-H Camp Counselor Training Program
Temple, Karrin M.
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The purpose of this paper is to determine if there is a positive relationship between participation in the Junior 4-H Camp Counselor Training Program and development of leadership skills. Additionally, this study seeks to identify which leadership skills are self-reported as being developed, how youth are currently using these skills, and how they perceive that they will use them in the future. Data was collected from 983 training program participants between the ages of 14 and 19 who have been in the program for one year or more. Arnett’s Emerging Adulthood Theory (2000), a human development theory for people in their late teenage years and early twenties, served as the theoretical framework. A positive relationship between participation in the training program and the development of leadership skills was found. Furthermore, data analyses identified a number of specific leadership skills that were developed including self-esteem and confidence, ability to lead groups, speaking in front of groups, problem solving skills, and working as a team among others. This study combines both qualitative and quantitative data to identify how teens are being served within the 4-H program and provides information about positive youth development on camp counselors, a previously lacking area in the literature.