There is currently a lack of theoretically based research regarding positive youth development (PYD) and youth in recreational sport settings, including residential summer sport camps. This qualitative research study explored the ways in which positive developmental experiences are facilitated at a residential summer sport camp. Using a case study approach over an entire summer, interviews were conducted with summer camp leaders and camp management, focus groups were completed with campers and counselors in training, and observations were recorded as field notes. Data were first inductively and then deductively analyzed and results are situated within the 8 Settings Features of PYD programming. This camp context was deliberately structured to facilitate leaders’ provision of growth opportunities for campers. Leaders provided opportunities for growth through the development of supportive relationships with a variety of leaders, the presence of positive social norms, and opportunities for skill building. Findings from this study may have implications for sport administrators as well as day and residential summer camp directors regarding creating programs and environments rich with developmental opportunities for youth.
Journal of Adolescent Research – SAGE
Published: Jul 1, 2018
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