Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Recreation, Parks and Tourism Resources

Committee Chair

Steven Selin

Committee Member

David Smaldone

Committee Member

John Greene


Since the creation of university sponsored outdoor recreation trips, research studies have been conducted to examine the impact of this programming on participants. These studies have typically assessed impacts through measuring common components used to quantify overall leadership abilities such as emotional intelligence, self-efficacy, and transference. In this study, researchers utilized a quasi-experimental approach to attempt to measure the impact of leading outdoor orientation trips on leader ability to transfer leadership skills to other areas of life. A sample (N = 29) of undergraduate student trip leaders of West Virginia University’s Adventure West Virginia (AWV) program was surveyed and divided into groups based on varying experience levels. These groups were based on experience related to physical time (number of seasons as a leader) and immersion (additional positions held within AWV). Researchers hypothesized that more experienced leaders would demonstrate higher levels of confidence and transference of skills. Fisher’s Exact Tests was used to compare differences across groups. Results show that more experienced leaders believed their leadership skills are above average compared to other students at WVU. Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel Test was used to compare changes in groups’ confidence in using skills during and outside of leading trips (transference). Results indicated that three skills were consistently the least transferred to settings outside of trip leading: managing my emotions, managing other’s emotions, and setting and reviewing long term goals. Finally, Kappa Coefficient as a test of agreement and Bowker’s Test of Symmetry were utilized to analyze transference of individual skills. The results show that in several cases, more experienced leaders were better able to transfer skills than their lesser experienced peers. The results also showed that leaders holding additional positions within the broader AWV program demonstrated significant transference of leadership skills compared to those that only led First Year Trips (FYTs). Limitations of the research study as well as implications for future research and practice are discussed.