Research in Outdoor Education


Camping professionals have long claimed that summer camp employment provides camp staff with a number of benefits. The summer camp staff experience has been shown to have a positive effect on the staff members' personal, social and emotional growth (Bialeschki, Henderson, & Dahowski, 1998; DeGraff & Glover, 2002). Yet, some influentia. others such as parents and human resources professionals have questioned the wisdom of a college student spending a summer of "fun in the sun", working at a summer camp for low pay.

The concept of emotional intelligence has been recently gaining favor in the human resource management arena, and it may be a:fruitful concept to apply to the potential benefit of summer camp employment. Emotional intelligence refers to a 'type of·social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one's own and others' emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use the information to guide one's thinking and actions" (Mayer & Salovey, 1993, p. 433).

The purpose of this study was to identify how the summer camp experience impacts staff members and to better understand if emotional intelligence is developed through summer camp employment.