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Vol. 11 No. 4

Adventure Central: Applying the “Demonstration Plot” Concept to Youth Development

  • Graham Cochran
  • Nate Arnett
  • Theresa M. Ferrari
July 29, 2010


Historically, land-grant university research stations focused on demonstrating successful farming methods. The land-grant mission and the principles at its foundation have broad applicability, and we believe the land-grant principles can be successfully applied in urban settings to a university’s work with youth and families. In this article we describe our work at Adventure Central, which has become a demonstration plot to learn about and share what works for youth and family programming. We describe the program components and lessons learned from being engaged with youth on a daily basis for the past six years. We argue that Adventure Central is an example of how extension remains relevant to the needs of today’s society and serves as a model of outreach and engagement by extending the lessons learned to benefit other youth development efforts.