DISCOVER Gap Program at YMCA of the Rockies

Apply For Discover

Discover your passion and see what’s possible!

Rolling application – apply for fall or spring semester. Next session starts February 6, 2023.

Program Dates:

August – February (fall/winter session)

February – July (spring/summer session)

Participants who successfully complete our program will be eligible to stay on as YMCA employees for up to 2 additional months or apply for available full-time positions.

Program Cost: Free.

The DISCOVER Program at YMCA of the Rockies provides gap-year young adults (ages 18 - 21) with a variety of experiences designed to learn the non-profit hospitality industry while gaining essential life skills. The key components of this apprenticeship are work experience in hospitality (rotating through departments at YMCA of the Rockies), team building with other participants and staff from around the world, and life lessons not necessarily taught in higher education. DISCOVER participants ideally are recently graduated from high school and seeking job experience in their gap years while working in a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and supportive work environment.

Our 5,100 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.

How much does the DISCOVER program cost?
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?
  • Fall/Winter Session: August – February
  • Spring/Summer Session: February – July
Do I get paid as a participant of DISCOVER?
This is a seasonal, hourly (based on 40 hours/week) apprenticeship, paying $13.06 per hour with a deduction of $200.00 per week for the Rocky Mountain Living Package which includes all activities, trainings, housing, and meals. Transportation assistance to Snow Mountain Ranch may be available.

  • Discover work week is 32-36 hours, remaining paid hours are for activities, trainings, and other education opportunities. Participants will be paid for 40 hours per week if they work their schedule and participate in all DISCOVER activities.
  • Room (shared room in our staff dormitory with free Wi-Fi, laundry, and utilities)
  • 3 buffet-style meals per day, 7 days a week with meals provided during outings
  • Access to the YMCA of the Rockies facilities, which include an indoor pool, gymnasium, chapel, fitness classes, tennis and pickle ball courts, Nordic Center, trails, archery, roller rink, library, and a craft shop.
  • Free ski passes, recreation center passes, and golf passes
  • Free gear rentals for sports and outdoor recreation.
  • Employee programming including staff trips.
  • Discounted nights at YMCA of the Rockies lodges.
  • Free in-town transportation
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 only allow alcohol in rooms of staff who are over the age of 21. 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?
Apply using the application link at the top of this page or visit the jobs section on our Career Site.
Who do I contact if I have questions?
Please contact the Human Resources Department at or call 970-887-2152 ext. 4219.

Join Us

We invite you to join us in this amazing work—to develop your skills, to realize your leadership potential and to discover a career that is so much more than a job.