High Desert Center

Gap year programs in Colorado for young adults seeking adventure, leadership skills, community, and a sense of purpose.

How It Started

IMG_0247Our programs have been evolving since 1994, when it began with a summer outdoor education camp founded by Dev called Camp Rock. Local kids came year after year, often paying their tuition with peaches or carrots. As campers grew more experienced they accepted more and more responsibility and often ended up and as full fledged camp counselors.

Later Dev and Jack moved the Camp from its original Crawford location to Paonia and began offering sustainability programs for young adults while trying to answer the question:

How does one help young people find the skills and inspiration to create meaningful lives for themselves within the context of community?  

The current High Desert Center Gap Year Programs represent our best efforts to take the most successful strategies and components and link them together into the kind of long programs that support participants in discovering who they are and what they want and then learning the skills to start living it.

Our campus has gotten closer to home to the point where it is now deeply integrated with the local community and Dev’s home.

Listen to students share about the 2014-15 Gap Year: