International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Community Development and Planning (CDP)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Laurie Ross

Second Reader

Dr. Robert Zarges


Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver’s Gates Camp is a residential summer camp in Ward, Colorado. There has been an observed and verified trend of a lack of returning staff, despite staff members’ expressed positive experiences as a camp counselor. Returning staff improve the quality of programming for youth, by building upon their skills gained the previous summer and sharing their knowledge of the camp environment, culture and traditions with new staff. Through the use of a survey, completed by counselors who worked at Gates Camp between the summers of 2011 and 2016, trends as to why individuals choose to not return to camp emerged. Recommendations were made in accordance with such themes, and included: the addition of leadership activities for returning staff members, increasing the number of new hires in the 19 to 20 year old age bracket, and continuing to implement and expand upon staff culture building activities so as to capitalize on the positive, strong community that exists.



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