The effect of intentionally designed experiences on youth's teamwork skills

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Annual Meeting of the American Camp Association Reserach Symposium


American Camp Association

Publication Date



Given the level of importance placed on teamwork by employers and others concerned about youth transitions into fully engaged adulthood and the dearth of research on teamwork in youth programs, the effects on the outcome of teamwork skills of three different and independent Symbolic Interaction Theory (SIT)-based after-school program experiences. Using SIT and the Situated Activity System as the theoretical framework, the program was intentionally designed using the technique of embedding questionnaire outcome items in facilitator scripts to elicit teamwork skills, defined as effective and productive behaviors for a youth group member. Youths aged 12-13 participated in three independent 90-minute experiences. The Island experience (n = 29) included a variety of team-focused activities, such as rescuing rafts with one another in a make-believe island setting. The Pirates experience (n = 20) engaged participants in responding to the captain's commands as a crew and playing treasure hunt in small groups.

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