Benefits of volunteering as campus tour guides: The rewards of serious leisure revisited

Xinyi Lisa Qian, Careen Yarnal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This study investigated the benefits received by university students who volunteered as campus tour guides in their leisure time. Past leisure research on the benefits of volunteering mainly adopted the serious leisure framework. Although most studies supported the framework, others extended or refined it, indicating the potential for improvement. Volunteering can be a beneficial leisure activity for university students, but few leisure researchers have studied the benefits of volunteering received by university students and fewer still have studied volunteer campus tour guides. Using participant observation and in-depth interviews with 16 volunteer tour guides at a large public university in the Northeast United States, four types of benefits emerged: psychological, social, instrumental and communal. The result refined and extended the serious leisure framework in terms of benefits of volunteering. It also provides insight into the benefits derived by university student volunteers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-144
Number of pages18
JournalLeisure/ Loisir
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2010

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Benefits
  • Campus tour guide
  • Serious leisure
  • University student
  • Volunteering


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