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what we are about

The High Desert Center specializes in transformative learning that inspires powerful and playful living.

WE OFFER

Residential programs chock full of adventure and community that build meaningful skills and explore the West.

OUR EMPHASIS

We practice and teach homesteading, natural building, global thinking, outdoor skills, communication, travel, and a mindset of choice and play.

OUR NICHE

Affordable programs for those who value freedom, personal responsibility, and out-of-the-box living.

WHO WE SERVE

We attract adventurous spirits who seek the skills and inspiration to enjoy life and effectively create change.

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GAP YEAR 2018/19

One year, two dynamic semesters.

July 2018-May 2019

Combine the local lens of the Simply Living Semester with the regional lens of either the Expeditionary Semester or the Watershed Semester and the result is an educated and inspired understanding of one’s impact in the world.

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SIMPLY LIVING SEMESTER

A semester of local living.

July-October 2018

Dream about living the simple life?  Join us for the full homesteading experience sprinkled with a rich mix of community, play, and outdoor adventure.

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EXPEDITIONARY SEMESTER

Thru hiking: Mexico to Utah.

March -May 2019

Thru-hike the Arizona trail–800+ miles of rugged, challenging terrain stretching from the boarder of Mexico to the boarder of Utah. Along the way, we will learn songs and harmonies, pursue cool skills, and examine boarder issues and immigration policy.

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WATERSHED SEMESTER

A semester exploring the South West.

February-May 2019

15 weeks of high-powered learning and adventure focused on the landscapes, stories and connections surrounding the Colorado River.  Travel from high in the snow-covered high mountains of Colorado to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico and back again.

WHAT OUR FANS SAY

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Meet Dev Carey, director of the High Desert Center.

Dev thrives on adventure and connection with others.  He’s had “normal” jobs like working for Sterling College, with inner city youth as a VISTA Volunteer, as a counselor at Not Back to School Camp, and as a river guide, but mostly he’s created off-the-beaten path adventures with teenagers. He has a Ph.D. in ecology and still now and then writes plant and animal guides with local youth. While working on his disertation, he found himself being an advocate for students and families learning outside of the classroom. That advocacy turned into The Vision Program, which utilizes public funds to support over 600 students in learning however and wherever they want while still earning a diploma. Currently, he lives in funky old houses he built and shares land and meals with various folks and his family–Seraya, Huckleberry, Marian, and “adopted” teenagers.