Where Are They Now?

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What’s life like after working at Manitou? It’s hard to imagine people moving on, but they do.

Today, we launch a new feature to highlight accomplishments of two former Manitou leaders and also get their advice and insight on success working at Manitou.

Derek Worley, who worked at Manitou for 14 years, lives in Denver with his wife, Jacky Marino (our former Theater Director).  Derek came to Manitou as a cabin counselor/golf instructor. He then became a Unit Leader and worked full-time for nine years as our Assistant Director.

What does he do now?

I lead talent acquisition for Welltok a healthcare technology company in Denver, CO. We’ve pioneered a preventative/population health ecosystem called CaféWell that incentives and rewards people for taking more accountability for their health.

My most significant takeaways from working at Manitou are:

  • The ability to connect with people and build lasting friendships
  • Learning to collaborate and communicate effectively to solve problems
  • The exposure to different cultures/traditions and embracing those differences
  • The sense of community!


  • Come prepared; take advantage of the content that camp provides you to get a heads start on developing your knowledge and techniques to be an effective counselor, mentor, and instructor.
  • Get to know as many people as you can, don’t get stuck in the same routine with the same people.
  • Manage your health and wellness; Your physical and mental health is important so rest up, eat right and exercise. *Trust me, I learned the hard way.
  • Challenge yourself; get out of your comfort zone and try something new – swim to the island, sing or play an instrument in front of camp or try an activity you’ve never tried before.
  • Take advantage of your days off and enjoy all that Maine has to offer!
  • Most importantly, get to know your campers, their habits and personalize your approach to each camper’s needs to provide them with the best summer ever.
  • Camp goes by quickly so appreciate every moment!


Chris Thurston came to Manitou as a camper in the early 2000s, then returned as a counselor in 2009.  In 2012 he was the dean of the Murray State Racers, and in 2013 he was the Maroon Color War Chief.

What does he do now?
I’m currently working as the Program Director/Camp Director at the Boys and Girls Club of Wakefield, Massachusetts. I manage a staff of program coordinators who work with the children in the fields of athletics, performing arts, creative arts, and more.

Manitou was important to me because it connected me to amazing people from all over the world and it helped develop me into the person I am today.


New staff should take advantage of every day and enjoy those around you. There isn’t any other place like it.

Important Dates

April 21st – Upload a current photo of yourself to your MyManitou account

April 28th – Smoke-Free Campus and Disclosure Policy Due