John Dockendorf shares valuable insights into conducting an effective youth development program. 

There are a lot of things to think about when planning a youth development program. But with the right tips and advice, it can be a lot easier than you think. John Dockendorf, a consultant in hospitality and outdoor recreation, knows a thing or two about running successful youth development programs. In this post, John shares his top tips on how to make your program a success.

What is a youth development program?

A youth development program provides young people with opportunities to grow and develop into their best selves. Through a variety of enrichment activities, young people can learn new things, build relationships, and develop a sense of identity and purpose. John Dockendorf says that youth development programs can take place in a variety of settings, such as schools, community centers, or parks.


The challenges of running a youth development program are not easy to overcome. This is because different factors can affect the success of the program.

The first challenge is finding a good location for the program. It needs to be in an area where there is access to resources and also safe from danger. John Dockendorf adds that the second challenge is funding for the program, as well as generating interest from other people to have a successful youth development program.

The third challenge would be getting people to participate in the youth development program and stay involved with it for longer periods, which is difficult because it takes time and effort on their part.

How can you overcome these challenges?

One of the biggest challenges program directors face is getting kids to participate. To overcome this, you need to be creative and have a variety of activities available. Games, challenges, and hikes are always popular but don’t forget about less active pursuits like arts and crafts.

In addition, be sure to have regular updates for parents so they know what their kids are learning and participating in. According to John Dockendorf, communication is key! Finally, always remember that it’s important to be flexible. Things don’t always go according to plan, so be prepared to adapt as needed. 

Tips on running a successful youth development

A successful youth development program has a clear mission, specific goals and objectives, and a well-defined target audience.

#1: Mission: The mission of the youth development program should be clear from the start to create an environment of empowerment.

#2: Goals and objectives: Goals should be set for both the short and long term with specific objectives for each goal.

#3: Target audience: The target audience should be defined to make sure that the program reaches out to all those who need its service.

With these tips, you’ll be able to overcome any challenge you face in running a youth development program!

In Closing

A youth development program can offer a wide range of benefits to organizations and young people alike. John Dockendorf says running a youth development program is not always easy, and can present several challenges. To overcome these challenges and ensure the success of your youth development program, it is important to have a clear plan and to be prepared for the inevitable bumps in the road.

John Dockendorf is a consultant in hospitality and outdoor recreation. He has over 30 years of experience in the industry and has worked with organizations all over the world to help them create successful health and wellness outdoor programs for young people.

Author Image
Wilton Pritchard