We believe that the challenge of leadership development is best taught in a setting where the participant can first, have fun. Second, we want to give them a chance to apply, in a hands-on setting, the skills of outdoor living. We use an outdoors setting that gives candidate participants an adventure, which stimulates the body and mind. We challenge youth to grow physically, emotionally, and in their minds.
South Dakota State University, Kenneth S. Rasmussen, Chair of College of Education & Counseling, wrote, "Programs should emphasize experiential learning and provide opportunities for genuine leadership." (Read their full report.) White Stag participants get repeated hands-on opportunities to practice teamwork. Candidate participants are given unexpected tasks that demand effective organization of the team to find a solution to the problem presented.
During summer camp, candidate participants may be asked to do things they think are hard. For example, to go on an overnight hike with a backpack. They have to prepare meals as a team. Some candidate participants have never done this before, and it's a big challenge for them. In overcoming their fears and limitations, they grow.