Becoming Peer Health Leaders: A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of a Youth Leadership Camp Preparing Peer Leaders for Participation in a Health Promotion Initiative.
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Youth are critical partners in health promotion, but the process of training young people to become meaningfully involved is challenging. This mixed-methods evaluation considered the impact of a leadership camp in preparing 42 grade seven students to become peer health leaders in a ‘heart health’ initiative. The experiences of participants and their sense of agency were explored. Data were collected from pre and post camp surveys, focus groups, student journals and researcher observations. Findings indicate that relationships with peers and adults were key to agency development, and participants appeared to broaden their perspectives on the meanings of ‘health’ and ‘leadership.’ Significant changes on two sub-scales of the Harter Perceived Competence Scale for Children were also found. Suggestions for practice and further research are provided.