Life after the River: Long-term Impacts of Girls' Participation in an Adventure Program


  • Anja Whittington University of Maine at Presque Isle


Girls, long-term impacts, adventure programs


This study examined the long-term impacts of girls' (now young women's) participation in an extensive adventure program. Interviews conducted 6 months, 18 months and five years after participation investigated: a) what skills the girls gained through their participation; b) how they use these skills in their everyday lives; c) the impact the experience had on the girls' lives; and d) what course components provided the most impact on the girls' lives. Findings suggest long-term impacts include: technical-skill development; communication and teamwork; leadership; perseverance; environmental stewardship and improved family dynamics. Program practices that significantly influenced the girls' experience included solos, the assignment and completion of daily roles, opportunities for leadership, and the act of recreating in and examining the natural environment.



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