ELEVATE Gap Program at Estes Park Center

A Gap Program With Purpose

Our ELEVATE program will provide young people (ages 18-24) with a variety of experiences designed to build confidence and to provide life skills training. The two cornerstones are employment experiences in the hospitality industry (rotating through departments in our resort) and meaningful community service within the Estes Valley region.

With the ELEVATE program, you’re not just working; you’re part of a cause. With a shared commitment to improving health and well-being in the community and supporting our neighbors, your contributions through ELEVATE provide you the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. We are a community with an everyday mission to helping you achieve a balance of spirit, mind and body. We do that through both structured and free-time opportunities to enjoy the multitude of recreational activities available in our stunning Rocky Mountain locale. Learn more about what ELEVATE can offer you, our location, and how to apply. Start your journey towards a meaningful and enriching experience with the Y.

Meet some of our team members.

  • Customer Testimonails

    ELEVATE has given me more life and work experience, to try things out and see what I like. The people and mentors are the best part in helping me explore what I want to do.

    Claire, ELEVATE New Jersey
  • Customer Testimonails

    Being forced out of my comfort zone has helped me learn about myself and others. I have loved every minute of it.

    Will, ELEVATE Illinois
  • Customer Testimonails

    By the end of the first week, we all felt like family. I have been able to adapt and thrive in a new environment. It’s hard to find one word that encompasses it all.

    Gustavo, ELEVATE Florida

Ready to start the ELEVATE application process?

That’s great! Applications are now open for the 2018 spring and fall programs.

Where is the ELEVATE program located?
Our property is bordered on three sides by Rocky Mountain National Park – an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. Planned excursions will allow participants to hike, climb, snowshoe and enjoy other outdoor pursuits. We will provide a variety of training and certification opportunities (which may include CPR, WFA, etc.).
Estes Park Center (EPC), at an elevation of 8,000 feet, is over 860 acres surrounded by the natural splendor of Rocky Mountain National Park. With over 217 family cabins and 9 lodge buildings the Estes Park Center is a premier family getaway located in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado. EPC is located in a deep valley surrounded by soaring mountains, including Long’s Peak. Downtown Estes Park is about 10 minutes away via car, and Boulder is an hour away. If you prefer a slightly shorter, milder winter and want to be on the border of Rocky Mountain National Park—home of endless wilderness, outstanding fly fishing, and some of the best hiking/rock-climbing in the world—but closer to a bigger town, this is the place for you.
How does the ELEVATE Gap Year program work?
ELEVATE is group-focused and will develop a close-knit community among participants and leaders. Participants will meet regularly in consistent small groups and will develop bonds of friendship and fellowship.
What are the program dates & fees?
ELEVATE is offered in two four-month semesters. Each is separate and independent. A participant may not repeat the program.
  • Fall Semester: August 20th, 2018 – December 14th, 2018
  • Spring Semester: January – May, 2019 (Official Dates TBD)
Participants that successfully complete our program will be eligible to stay on as YMCA employees for up to 4 additional months.
The program fee is $500. Fifty dollars of this fee is payable at the time of application. The program fee helps to defray the costs of training sessions, transportation, and other expenses.
What else is included as part of this program?
Enrollment in ELEVATE provides housing (in staff dormitory, with two people per room) and three meals a day in our staff dining hall. Additional employee perks include access to our facilities, including a pool and gymnasium (without weight equip.), as well as access to amazing hiking/snowshoeing/mountain biking trails.
What can you expect to gain?
As a graduate of the ELEVATE program, you will emerge with greater self-confidence, self-awareness and a sense of purpose. You will learn time management skills and the responsibility that comes from having a job. Through meaningful service, you’ll give back to others and develop a connection with the mountain community of Estes Park. 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. A greater appreciation of the out-of-doors and the Rocky Mountains will be gained.
Our goal is to better prepare you to face upcoming challenges such as starting/finishing college, applying for/engaging in employment opportunities and living independently. You’ll live and learn as part of an intentional community within our YMCA center.
How do I apply for a job?
Search our current opportunities and submit your resume online. If you need special accommodation in order to apply, please contact our office.
Once you apply online, you’ll need to three references to complete our reference form. Check out our reference section for more information.
Do I get paid as a participant of ELEVATE?
Yes! While there are program fees to participate in ELEVATE, you will be eligible for our seasonal compensation package. This is a seasonal, hourly (based on 40 hours/week) position, paying $220/week, with employee perks including room, board, and more! Check out some of our perks below.
  • 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 Human Resources Office
  • Discounted nights at YMCA of the Rockies lodges (with some date restrictions based on season/occupancy)
Who do I contact if I have more questions?
Please contact Spider Fish at 970-586-3341 x1071, or email sfish@ymcarockies.org

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.