Exploring the meaning of sport camp instructors' experiences using photo elicitation


Adults involved in sport contexts are main contributors in the promotion of skill development and positive development for children and youth (Baker et al., 2003; Gould et al., 2002). In particular, instructors in sport camp contexts have been found to be very influential in the experiences of children and youth participants (Strachan & Davies, 2014). To this end, the purpose of the current study was to explore the experiences of the instructors and gain some insight into program delivery and outcomes. Seventeen summer sport camp instructors were recruited and a visual method (i.e., photo elicitation) was used in the data collection. Following the data collection, interviews were conducted with each participant to learn about the meaning behind the pictures they took. Interviews were inductively analyzed to create themes and then deductively analyzed to place into categories based on the three key elements in positive developmental sport settings (Strachan et al., 2011). Themes related to appropriate structure, development, and supportive interactions resulted from the study. Instructors struggled slightly with lesson delivery and some logistics. In the theme of development, instructors commented about their role in promoting physical, personal, and social development for the children and youth but also discussed the importance of their own physical, personal, and social development within their role as an instructor. Further, the concept of job citizenship was indicated as an important piece to personal development. Finally, the growth of positive relationships and interactions as well as a realization of their role in promoting life skills and being a role model was discussed. Implications for positive youth development will be explored.

Acknowledgments: Dean's Research Funding (Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, University of Manitoba)