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The recreation field has a rich history in providing programs, services, and activities for youth. However; recent attention in both the popular press and the research literature has highlighted many of the consequences of a lack of active, meaningful leisure participation in the lives of youth, particularly when school is not in session. While recreation programs and experiences can be useful prevention tools, they also have value as asset-building activities. This issue of New Directions for Youth Development ...
The recreation field has a rich history in providing programs, services, and activities for youth. However; recent attention in both the popular press and the research literature has highlighted many of the consequences of a lack of active, meaningful leisure participation in the lives of youth, particularly when school is not in session. While recreation programs and experiences can be useful prevention tools, they also have value as asset-building activities. This issue of New Directions for Youth Development lays the foundation for understanding the importance of meaningful recreation and-leisure experiences in the lives of young people and the value of recreation from a developmental perspective. It focuses on the developmental potential of specific recreation contexts and settings and provides research and evidence-based strategies outlining the features that best promote positive youth development. Finally, it demonstrates how recreation is being used to strengthen individual and community assets and explores its role as a contributor in addressing pressing social issues.
Issue Editors' Notes 1
Lawrence R. Allen, Robert J. Barcelona
Executive Summary 5
1. Leisure, recreation, and play from a developmental context 13
Linda L. Caldwell, Peter A. Witt
This article provides a platform for this special issue on recreation and youth development by examining how and under what conditions play, recreation, and leisure contribute to adolescent development.
2. Positive youth development within a family leisure context: Youth perspectives of family outcomes 29
Peter J. Ward, Ramon B. Zabriskie
This article presents an extensive review of the literature on family leisure and its impact on youth development, and addresses implications for families and youth programs.
3. Back to the future: The potential relationship between leisure and education 43
David S. Fleming, Lawrence R. Allen, Robert J. Barcelona
The authors propose a series of four developmental stages for a more purposeful integration of leisure and educational outcomes.
4. Recreation as a component of the community youth development system 59
Corliss Outley, Jason N. Bocarro, Chris T. Boleman
This article provides an overview of how recreation fits in a community youth development framework and focuses on three case examples.
5. Youth development and the camp experience 73
Barry A. Garst, Laurie P. Browne, M. Deborah Bialeschki
A comprehensive overview of the evidence linking camp participation and a range of positive youth development outcomes is presented, including a discussion of ongoing American Camp Association research efforts across a range of camp settings and contexts.
6. Outdoor–based play and reconnection to nature: A neglected pathway to positive youth development 89
Fran P. Mainella, Joel R. Agate, Brianna S. Clark
This article outlines the arguments for a new outdoor-based play movement and discusses some programs and initiatives engaged in the effort.
7. Adventure-based programming: Exemplary youth development practice 105
Jim Sibthorp, Cass Morgan
This article outlines the evidence for adventure-based programs as prototypes of ideal positive youth development settings, and discusses the features of adventure programs that make them developmental.
8. A competency-based approach to preparing staff as recreation and youth development leaders 121
Robert J. Barcelona, Amy R. Hurd, Jennifer A. Bruggeman
This article outlines the competencies of recreation and youth development professionals, and discusses methods and examples for integrating competency models through academic preparation, continuing education, and staff training.
9. Reframing recreation as a public policy priority 141
The author, an advocate for education policy, discusses the potential role of recreation in addressing a wide range of academic and social issues, and provides suggestions for reframing the recreation field to gain traction with key funders and policymakers.