Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies


The outdoors is an important medium for learning lessons about oneself and the surrounding world. Many of these lessons revolve around the concept of leadership, whether leadership of the self during a solo trip, a collection of friends during a weekend camping trip, or a group of teen-agers during an outdoor education trip. Much literature has been written on the subject of outdoor leadership. However, to date there exists no in-depth analysis of outdoor leadership in light of the academic discipline of leadership studies. Therefore, the goal of this research project is to make connections between leadership studies and outdoor education, with the notion that ideas from leadership studies might lead to a better understanding of outdoor education and ideas from outdoor education might lead to a better understanding of leadership studies.

While this exploration of outdoor education and leadership studies has the potential to add significantly to the Jepson School in some very tangible ways, it also contributes to the overall field of leadership studies by exemplifying the field's interdisciplinary nature. If outdoor education, a topic that has received little attention to date in the field of leadership studies, relates so well to the field, there are undoubtedly countless other topics that could benefit from a leadership studies analysis. Leadership studies is truly an interdisciplinary field and Jepson's leadership studies major is truly an interdisciplinary major. The more fields that leadership studies scholars and students are able to explore in light of leadership studies, the stronger the discipline of leadership studies will become. In addition, leadership studies insights will contribute positively to other fields, as exemplified in this project, thus furthering those fields as well.