Fall 2017


Capstone Project

Degree Name



Susan Manikowski

Content Expert

Paul Spangle


The research question addressed in this project was, how can a summer day camp foster leadership development in kindergarten through third grade girls? It documents the author’s creation of a two­week summer day camp as an innovative and fun way to begin leadership development in young girls. The “Lead like a Pirate” camp includes a variety of activities to expose young girls to skills that most highly resonate with leadership and overall future success, including: self­esteem and confidence, grit and growth mindset, communication, vulnerability, self­reflection and creativity. The girls will be encouraged to take risks and step out of their comfort zones while in a supportive environment. The author asserts that if we are to truly move the dial on women in leadership, with current levels at shockingly low levels as compared to men, the skills that relate to leadership must be intentionally cultivated as soon as a a child enters formal schooling. “Lead like a Pirate” will plant the seeds upon which to base further leadership development throughout the rest of the child’s schooling and into adulthood. Creation of this paper had a strong impact on the author’s parenting, interactions with other female leaders, and partnerships with local elementary schools. The largest impact as a result of creation of the project was how the author sees herself as a role model for her children as well as her peers. The change sought related to women in leadership must first begin with the author, and everyone reading this paper.

Project Type



Curriculum, Gender, Leadership

Included in

Education Commons