Theses and Dissertations


Alayna Naro

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Greenhaw, Laura L.

Committee Member

Phillips, Tommy M.

Committee Member

Swortzel, Kirk A.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Youth-serving organizations, such as 4-H, place a large emphasis on positive youth development and experiential learning in order to assist youth in acquiring specific life skills. The literature suggests that residential summer camps are one of the best ways to provide positive youth development, experiential learning, and targeted life skills. This study was a mixed methods design which utilized four residential summer programs throughout the state of Mississippi in order to compare the differences between the residential 4-H summer programs that took place on a university campus to those that took place within the naturalistic environment. The results of this study indicate that on-campus residential summer programs achieved the essential elements of positive youth development more so than those that took place within the naturalistic environment. The on-campus program participants also acquired targeted life skills more so than those that participated in programs that took place within the naturalistic environment.



positive youth development||life skills||4-H||summer programs||experiential learning