DISCOVER Gap Program at YMCA of the Rockies

Apply For Discover

Discover your passion and see what’s possible!

Our DISCOVER program will provide a variety of experiences designed to build your personal and professional skills through training sessions and outdoor adventures, while working in a genuine Rocky Mountain location. As a DISCOVER participant, you will have both structured and free-time opportunities to discover the Rocky Mountains and spark your enthusiasm for the outdoors.

Our 5000 acre property is surrounded by over one million acres of National Forest and Wilderness Areas, making it an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. Our training sessions will incorporate outdoor activities to assist in facilitating the session in a fun experiential ways. In addition to the structured sessions, there are additional opportunities to receive CPR and Serve Safe certifications.

There are currently two Discover programs offered in the fall and spring. The fall program is called, “Discover” and has an emphasis on building personal and professional skills through outdoor adventure and working a full-time seasonal job at Snow Mountain Ranch. The spring program is called “Discover: Mission”. This program has an emphasis on community service and includes a 10-day service trip to the Dominican Republic towards the end of the program..

Application Deadline

DISCOVER – Early July
DISCOVER: Mission – Early February

Session Start Date

DISCOVER – August 19, 2019
DISCOVER: Mission – March 3, 2020

Session End Date

DISCOVER – December 6, 2019
DISCOVER: Mission – May 23, 2020

Ready to start the DISCOVER application process?

That’s great! Here’s what you need to know tom make the most of your DISCOVER experience.

How does the DISCOVER program work?
The DISCOVER (fall) Program provides a variety of experiences designed to build your personal and professional skills through training sessions and outdoor adventures, while working a full-time seasonal job in a genuine Rocky Mountain location.

The DISCOVER: Mission (spring) Program is a twelve-week program with an emphasis on community service, outdoor adventure, and job experience in the hospitality industry. The first 10 weeks will be spent at Snow Mountain Ranch and the last 10 days will be spent in the Dominican Republic for a service trip. The months of March and April will be spent working a full-time seasonal job in the hospitality industry while regularly meeting with your Discover: Mission participants developing bonds of friendship and fellowship. You will also be learning life skills to better prepare you for the service trip This program is perfect for those looking to use their servant hands for something bigger than themselves.
How much does the DISCOVER program cost?
The DISCOVER (fall) program fee is $600. The application fee is $50. The program fee helps to defray the costs of training sessions, transportation, and other expenses. After 3 checks, however, you’ve already earned back the program fee!

The DISCOVER: Mission (spring) program fee is $1500. Once admitted into the program, $150 is due. 50% of the program fee ($750) is due by March 1st, 2020. The remaining fee can be paid for through deduction or will be due by April 1st, 2020. The program fee includes: Airfare for international trip, food and lodging while in the Dominican Republic, and activity costs for exploring Colorado.
Where is the DISCOVER program located?
The DISCOVER program takes place at YMCA of the Rockies, Snow Mountain Ranch. Located near Winter Park, Rocky Mountain National Park & Grand Lake, Snow Mountain Ranch offers a wholesome environment where friends, families & groups enjoy a tranquil setting, more activities than anywhere else & quality time together. Every season brings fun and excitement, whether you are looking for adventure or a relaxing stroll. Our 5000-acre property is surrounded by over one million acres of National Forest and Wilderness Areas, making it an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. Our training sessions will incorporate outdoor activities to assist in facilitating the session in a fun experiential ways.
What are the program dates?
DISCOVER is offered in two independent fall and spring programs.

DISCOVER (fall) program is between August 19, 2020 – December 6, 2019.

DISCOVER: Mission (spring) program is between March 3, 2020 – May 23, 2020.
Do I get paid as a participant of DISCOVER?
Yes! As a DISCOVER participant, you receive our seasonal compensation package. You will be working in a seasonal, hourly position, paying $230/week (based on 40 hours/week), with employee perks including:
  • Room (housing includes internet access/heat/water--no bills!--in a dormitory building)
  • Board (3 buffet style meals, 7 days per week)
  • Access to the YMCA of the Rockies facilities, which include: an indoor pool, basketball gymnasium, fitness classes, hiking/biking/skiing trails, climbing wall, library, and craft shop
  • Free passes for skiing, rock climbing, mountain biking, and golf, as well as free gear rentals (dependent on season and resort – limited number available, first come first served basis)
  • Employee programming, including free or discounted staff trips, provided by the Residence Office
  • Discounted nights at YMCA of the Rockies lodges (with some date restrictions based on season/occupancy)
What can I expect to gain from DISCOVER?
As a DISCOVER graduate, you will emerge with greater self-confidence, self-awareness and a sense of purpose, along with memories of great places throughout Colorado. You will learn practical job skills, such as: communication techniques, team building, leadership, conflict resolution and setting goals for where you want to go from here.

Through an employment experience in a mission-based, not-for-profit organization you will gain an understanding as to how your work positively impacts our guests, and greater enthusiasm for the Rocky Mountains.

You will complete the program better prepared to face upcoming challenges such as starting/finishing college, applying for/engaging in employment opportunities, living independently and exploring the world. They will live and learn as part of an intentional community within our YMCA center. Additional training opportunities or certifications may be available.
What else do I need to know?
Drug & Alcohol Policy—In accordance with our healthy spirit/mind/body mission, and federal law, we have a zero tolerance policy for alcohol or drugs on property. In addition, no drug use is tolerated (including marijuana) during your employment with us, whether on- or off-duty. If you want to use marijuana, don’t apply for the DISCOVER program.

Vehicle Policy—Personal cars are highly encouraged to bring. It provides a greater sense of independence and most seasonal staff adjusts better to our rural mountain setting when they have their own car.

Pet Policy—Though we would love to welcome your pets, unfortunately we cannot allow animals of any kind, with the exception of certified service animals.
How do I apply for DISCOVER?
At the top of this page, click on the button labeled “Apply for Discover". You will be asked to include the contact information for 3 references (2 professional, 1 family reference). If you need assistance with your application, please contact the Human Resources Department.
Who do I contact if I have questions?
Please contact the Human Resources Department via phone at 970-887-2152 x4219 or by email hrofficesmr@ymcarockies.org.

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