We believe in utilizing data to ensure we are delivering the program quality and life-long impact for which we are known. We utilize several methods to measure our programs’ impact: statistically-validated camper evaluation surveys, qualitative Value Catchers, and parent surveys.
The results of these evaluations are reviewed by the Executive Director and Senior Program Team and play an instrumental role in effecting the logic model and program implementation strategies for the coming year. We believe that it is through on-going program evaluation and improvement that we ensure that our children and teens step into the world more prepared for its challenges.
Trail Blazers works with Algorhythm, who specializes in capturing data to evaluate and improve social impact. Their program evaluation instrument is based on statistically validated constructs of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Positive Youth Development (PYD), and considers the implementation of program strategies proven to help develop competencies that contribute to long term success. Trail Blazers’ program elements proven to foster positive youth outcomes:
Algorhythm’s camper surveys measure the development of six competencies that have been proven to help youth grow in the short-term and be successful in the long-term. The surveys demonstrated that, as a result of their two-week participation in Trail Blazers’ summer program, 87% of our campers step into the world more prepared for its challenges, having demonstrated statistically significant growth in at least one of the following competencies:
At the end of the summer, we send surveys to our parents to learn whether they have observed any growth in Trail Blazers’ Six Pillars. Summer 2016 are below:
“Just wanted you all to know the amazing time that Kendual had this year with you all! He was so excited about being a Leader in Training! He had a ton of stories to tell us and all about his rewarding experiences. He was just so proud of himself and all of his many accomplishments. Truly he has a love for the great outdoors and loves meeting new people and helping out others. We can see through the years all of the strides that Kendual has made and the challenges he has overcome. I almost can’t believe it myself that this is the same child, who is developing into this amazing young man. This experience with Trail Blazers has not only changed Kendual, but has changed me as well and has allowed me to be more opened minded to Kendual and the world that awaits him, which I know can sometimes be cruel, but believe with everything that Kendual has learned not only for his parents, but from all of you and the counselors that he will be able to accomplish anything. Truly I am interested in Kendual furthering is short term goals and possible long terms goals as a Trail Blazers. He is also ready and willing to take on more new and exciting adventures. This just goes to prove how much of a positive impact you have made not only on his life but mines too. We are so proud of Kendual and so glad that you Riel took the time with your staff to visit his grammar school years ago when he was just a little boy full of energy and ready to go and explore when I on the other hand was so afraid and nervous and didn’t know what to expect. You have really proved to me that facing your fears head on is hard but very much needed so you can excel to the next level. I just want to say thank you so much for giving my son Kendual the opportunity to grow and glow. Again I thank you so much from the bottom of my heart to the debts of my soul. Thank you!”
In 2011, we sent a survey to alumni who attended camp between the years of 1940 and 1982 to learn what impact the Trail Blazers experience had on their lives:
• 64% reported Trail Blazers influenced their ability to work in a team/with others on their job
• 53% reported Trail Blazers influenced their curiosity and interest in learning
• 51% reported Trail Blazers influenced the role of environmental stewardship in their lives
• 62% reported Trail Blazers influenced their ability to relate to and get along with others
• 66% reported Trail Blazers influenced their current relationships with family and friends