Counselor motivations for choosing summer resident camp employment

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Annual Meeting of the American Camp Association Reserach Symposium


American Camp Association

Publication Date



Camp administrators face many issues limiting their recruitment of quality camp staff every year. Previous research indicated the need for more information regarding the motivations of camp staff. Hoff Ellis, and Crossley (1988) concluded that there is a need to understand how to attract, motivate, and retain seasonal recreation employees. They suggested that leisure agencies might use Herzberg’s Motivation Hygiene Theory as a basis for designing strategies for recruitment, job design, and development of seasonal personnel. The purpose of this study was to examine the degree to which motivation and hygiene elements influence personal decisions to become summer resident camp counselors. Participants were counselors (N = 190) of Illinois resident camps.

The instrument used was a survey questionnaire. The coefficient alphas for the motivation items, a = .80, and the hygiene items, a = .84, were calculated. The data of this study were quantitatively analyzed. Descriptive statistics were used to determine the mean responses for the motivation and hygiene items which were rank ordered indicating counselors’ level of importance. Using an alpha level of .05, ANOVA statistical procedures were used to compare mean differences. If statistical significance was reported, post hoc analyses were performed to identify the significance between attributes o f the independent variables. Rank ordered means revealed that personal satisfaction, personal growth and the opportunities to be a role model for youth, work with youth, meet people, and make new friends were important hems to consider when recruiting camp counselors.

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