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Faculty and Staff Profile

Barry A Garst

Associate Professor, Youth Development Leadership

Office: 277 Lehotsky Hall
Phone: 864-656-1891
Personal Website:

 Educational Background

Ph.D. Forestry (Human Dimensions)
Virginia Tech 2005

M.S. Recreation Administration
Arizona State University 1996

B.S. Psychology
Virginia Tech 1993

 Courses Taught

--Youth Development in Society

--Creative and Ethical Leadership in a Changing Society
--Assessment and Evaluation of Youth Programs
--Management of Staff and Volunteers
--Youth Development and Nature (Special Topics)
--The Profession of Youth Development Leadership


Dr. Garst’s research and professional interests focus on the developmental outcomes of youth programs and factors that influence program outcomes, with a particular emphasis on out-of-school time youth settings. A nationally recognized researcher in the area of summer camp experiences, his scholarship has also examined the meanings that youth and families attribute to nature-based experiences and the impact of these experiences on family functioning. Dr. Garst is currently examining overparenting and parental perceptions of anxiety associated with out-of-school time experiences. He serves on the National Evaluation Advisory Board for After-School All-Stars, the National Advisory Board for the Center for Adolescent Research and Education, the Healthy Camps Research Committee for the American Camp Association, and is Chair of the Research Committee for the Association of Camp Nursing.

 Research Interests

Youth development outcomes of camp and other out-of-school time experiences
Impacts of nature-based programs on youth and families
Injury and illness prevention in camps
Evaluation capacity-building within youth-serving organizations
Pathways to professionalism for youth leaders

 Research Publications

Gagnon, R. J., Garst, B. A., & Townsend, J. A. (2019). Tough decisions in medical specialty camps: Relationships between camp dosage, outcomes, and camper attendance. Social Science and Medicine, 1-35.

Garst, B., Weston, K., Bowers, E., & Quinn, W. (2018). Fostering youth leader credibility: Professional, organizational, and community impacts associated with completion of an online master's degree in youth development leadership. Children and Youth Services Review, 96, 1-9.

Garst, B., Gagnon, R., & Brawley, A. (2018). Efficacy of online training for improving camp staff competency. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, 19(1), 12-27

Allen, L., Garst, B., Bowers, E., & Onyiko, K. (2018). Using core competency frameworks to explore the needs of Kenyan youth workers. Child & Youth Services, 39(2-3), 158-179

Gagnon, R.J. & Garst, B. (2018). Exploring overparenting in summer camp: Adapting, developing, and implementing a measure. Annals of Leisure Research, DOI: 10.1080/11745398.2018.1452619

Whittington, A. & Garst, B. (2018). The role of camp in shaping college readiness and building a pathway to the future for camp alumni. Journal of Youth Development, 13(1-2), 105-125.

Garst, B. (2018). Nature and youth development. In P. Witt & L. Caldwell (Eds.), Youth development principles and practices in out-of-school time settings (pp. 241-268). State College, Pennsylvania: Sagamore/Venture Publishing.

Olsen, L., Powell, G., Garst, B., & Bixler, R. (2018). Camp and college parallels: Crucibles for transition-linked turning points. Journal of Youth Development, 13(1-2), 126-143.

Gagnon, R., Stone, G., & Garst, B. (2017). Beyond composite scores and Cronbach’s alpha: Advancing methodological rigor in recreation research. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership.

Whittington, A., Garst, B., Baughman, S., & Gagnon, R. (2017). Living without boys: A retrospective analysis of the benefits and skills gained at all-female camps. Journal of Experiential Education.

Sanabria, A. & Garst, B. (2017). Research brief: Injury prevention in camps. Association of Camp Nurses.

Allen, L., Garst, B., Bowers, E., & Onyiko, K. (2016). Building a youth development system in Kenya: Comparing Kenyan perceptions of local and national youth issues. Journal of Youth Development, 11(3), 72-88.

Garst, B., Stone, G., & Gagnon, R. (2016). Indoor competition climbing as a context for positive youth development. Journal of Youth Development, 11(2).

Garst, B. & Gagnon, R. (2016). A structural model of camp director practices and outcomes: Does intention toward program outcomes matter? Journal of Park and Recreation Administration: Special Issue on Positive Youth Development, 34(4), 51-65.

Garst, B., Gagnon, R., & Whittington, A. (2016). A closer look at the camp experience: Examining relationships between life skills, elements of positive youth development, and antecedents of change among camp alumni. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership, 8(2), 180-199.

Stone, G.A., Gagnon, R.J., Witesman, E., Garst, B.A. (2016). Values and decision-making: Introducing the public servant values questionnaire to recreation administrators. Journal of Unconventional Parks, Tourism, and Recreation Research, 6(1), 13-20.

Gagnon, R., Stone, G., Garst, B., & Arthur-Banning, S. (2016). Competitive climbing: From leisure pursuit to lifestyle sport. Journal of Unconventional Parks, Tourism, and Recreation Research, 6(1), 2-12.

Garst, B., Gagnon, R., & Bennett, T. (2016). Parent anxiety causes and consequences- Perspectives from camp program providers. LARNet: The Cyber Journal of Applied Leisure and Recreation Research, 18(1), 21-39.

Hawkins, B., Townsend, J., & Garst, B. A. (2016). Nature-based recreational therapy for military service members: A strengths approach. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 50(1), 55-74.

Gagnon, R. & Garst, B. (2015, March). Shifting our focus from what to how: Program quality through the lens of program implementation. CompassPoint, 25(1), 3-5.

Garst, B.A., Baughman, S., Whittington, A., & Gagnon, R.J. (2015). Influences of resident camp experiences on career choice: A case study of female alumnae. Research in Outdoor Education, 13(1), 59-82.

Garst, B. & McCrawley, P. (2015). Solving problems, ensuring relevance and facilitating change: the evolution of needs assessment within cooperative extension. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 3(2), 26-47.

Franz, N., Garst, B., & Gagnon, R.J. (2015). The cooperative extension program development model: Adapting to a changing context. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 3(2), 3-12.

Gagnon, R.J., Franz, N., Garst, B., & Bumpus, M.F. (2015). Factors impacting program delivery: The importance of implementation research in Extension. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 3(2), 68-82.

Gagnon, R.J., Garst, B., & Franz, N. (2015). Looking ahead: Envisioning the future of the Extension program model. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 3(2), 170-176.

Garst, B. & Gagnon, R.J. (2015). Exploring overparenting within the context of youth development programs. Journal of Youth Development, 10(1), 6-18.

Garst, B. & Ozier, L. (2015). Enhancing youth outcomes and organizational practices through a camp based reading program. Journal of Experiential Education, 38(4), 324-338.

Garst, B., Baughman, S., & Franz, N. (2014). Benchmarking professional development practices across youth-serving organizations. Journal of Extension, 52(5). Retrieved from:

Ventura, A., Anzman-Frasca, S., & Garst, B. (2014). Mealtimes at residential summer camps: What are camp staff doing to promote campers' healthy eating behaviors? Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 46(60), 491-498.

Duerden, M., Witt, P., Garst, B., Bialeschki, D., Schwarzlose, T. & Norton, K. (2014). The impact of camp employment on the workforce development of emerging adults. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 32(1), 26-44.

Garst, B., Erceg, L., & Walton, E. (2013). Injury and illness benchmarking and prevention for children and staff attending U.S. camps: Promising practices and policy implications. Journal of Applied Research on Children, 4(2), article 5. Retrieved from

Ventura A. & Garst, B. (2013). Residential summer camp: A new venue for nutrition education and physical activity promotion. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10(64). Retrieved from

Garst, B., Baughman, S., Franz, N., & Seidel, R. (2013). Strengthening families: Exploring the impacts of family camp experiences on family functioning and parenting. Journal of Experiential Education, 36(1), 65-77.

Garst, B., Franz, N., Peters, B., Baughman, S., & Smith, C. (2012). Using single-case participatory action research as a methodology to explore Appalachian summer camp communities. PRISM- A Journal of Regional Engagement, 1(1). Retrieved from

Garst, B., Browne, L., & Bialeschki, M.D. (2011). Youth development and the camp experience. In L. Allen and R. Barcelona (Eds.), New Directions for Youth Development (Special Issue on Recreation as a Developmental Experience), 130, 73-87. Jossey-Bass.

Browne, L., Garst, B., & Bialeschki, M.D. (2011). Engaging youth in environmental sustainability: Impact of the Camp2Grow Program. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 29(3), 70-85.

Garst, B., Nichols, A., Martz, J., McNeely, N.N., Bovitz, L., Frebershauser, D., Garton, M., LeMenestrel, S., & Walahoski, J. (2011). Examining youth camping outcomes across multiple states: The National 4-H Camping Research Consortium. Journal of Youth Development, 6(1). Retrieved from

Garst, B. (2010). From what to how: Targeting specific factors that influence outcomes. Journal of Extension, 48(6). Retrieved from

Henderson, K., Garst, B., Bialeschki, D., & Santucci, D. (2010). Children’s perceptions of an environmental leadership program: Camp2Grow. Research on Outdoor Education, 10, 13-25.

Garst, B., Williams, D., & Roggenbuck, J. (2010). Exploring early 21st century developed forest camping experiences and meanings. Leisure Sciences, 32, 90–107.

Goldlust, E., Walton, E., Stanley, R., Yard, E., Garst, B., Comstock, R., Erceg, L., & Cunningham, R. (2009). Injury patterns at U.S. and Canadian overnight summer camps: First year of the Healthy Camp Study. Injury Prevention, 209(15), 413-417.

Erceg, L., Garst, B., Powell, G., & Yard, E. (2009). An injury and illness surveillance program for children and staff: Improving the safety of youth settings. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 27(4), 121-132.

Garst, B., Franz, N. Baughman, S., Smith, C., & Peters, B. (2009). “Growing without limitations”: Transformation among young adult camp staff. Journal of Youth Development, 4(1). Retrieved from

Baughman, S. Garst, B., & Fuhrman, N.E. (2009). Consistency of developmental outcomes of 4-H camp experiences over time and across sites. Journal of Youth Development, 4(2). Retrieved from

Franz, N., Garst, B., Baughman, S., Smith, C., & Peters, B. (2009). Catalyzing transformation: Conditions in extension educational environments that promote change. Journal of Extension, 47(4). Retrieved from

Bialeschki, M., Garst, B., & Scanlin, M. (2008). Quality youth development and the camp experience: Results from a program improvement process. Research in Outdoor Education, 9, 42.

James, P. A., Henderson, K.A., & Garst, B. (2008). An exploration of camp directors’ affective connection to nature and camp programming. Research in Outdoor Education, 9, 26-42.

Garst, B., Bialeschki, M.D., & Comstock, R.D. (2008). Healthy camps: Initial lessons on illnesses and injuries from a longitudinal study. Journal of Experiential Education, 30, 267-270.

 Honors and Awards

Invited to serve on a Consensus Study Committee on Summertime Experiences and Child and Adolescent Education, Health, and Safety---National Academy of Science (2018-2019)
President's Leadership Institute---Clemson University (2017-2018)
Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award---College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, Clemson University (2017-2018)


Garst Out-of-School Time Lab
After-School All-Stars National Evaluation Advisory Board
Publications through Healthy Learning