An Exploration of the Impact of Leadership on Summer Camp Staff

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TITLE An Exploration of the Impact of Leadership on Summer Camp Staff
RESEARCHER Rob Ribbe and Rachael Cyrus
InSite (April/May 2017; pp. 42-49)
Christian Camping and Conference Association

This study assessed the impact of serving at a summer camp on college-aged staff members.

Forty-four camps met the established criteria and were invited to participate, and seven agree to participate. All of these were founded between 1951 and 1974 and had summer staff sizes between 30 and 150. The summer staff at each camp completed a 42-question pre-test within a week of arrival at camp and 52-question post-test within their last week of camp. The surveys included the Leadership Practices Inventory, Spiritual Growth (Hancock, Bufford, Lau, and Ninteman, 2005), Emotional Intelligence (Law, Wong and Song, 2004), and Social Intelligence (Silvera, Martinussen and Dahl, 2002). Of the 250 survey participants, 59.4 percent were female, 58.3 percent were between 18 and 20 years old. 82.8 percent identified as white, 4.2 percent identified as black or African American, 4.6 percent as being from multiple races, and the remaining identified themselves as ‘some other race.’ The majority of participants (69.8%) were full-time at a four-year undergraduate college or university.

Statistically significant pre and post-test results were found for leadership, spiritual growth, and emotional intelligence after a summer of serving on staff at a camp. Correlations were also reported between growth in leadership and the number of training days, the frequency of feedback received from supervisors, and the frequency of meetings of small groups within the staff.