EXPLORE Gap Program at YMCA of the Rockies

Discover your passion and see what’s possible!

Our EXPLORE 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 an EXPLORE participant, you will have both structured and free-time opportunities to explore 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.

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 EXPLORE application process?

That’s great! Applications are now open for fall 2018! Here’s what you need to know in order to make the most of your EXPLORE experience.

How does the EXPLORE program work?
The EXPLORE program provides 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.
The components of the program are:
  • Full-time employment experiences in the hospitality industry – upon interview, you will be placed in either a Food Service or Housekeeping position
  • Structured and free-time opportunities to explore the Rocky Mountains and spark your enthusiasm for the outdoors
  • Cultural and social opportunities to explore northern Colorado
  • Recreational opportunities (both scheduled and informal) to explore our beautiful natural setting and nearby Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Retreats to allow for deeper reflection and relationship-building
  • Regularly-scheduled small-group workshops and training sessions on topics of interest
  • Opportunities for spiritual awakening in a Christian environment (although individuals of all faiths are welcomed)
  • Opportunities to continue working at YMCA of the Rockies for up to 4 additional months as seasonal, or pursue a full-time opening with us

EXPLORE 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.
How much does the EXPLORE program cost?
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.
Where is the EXPLORE program located?
The EXPLORE 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 & fees?
EXPLORE is offered in two indpendent, four-month semesters, in the fall and spring. Dates are approximate
  • Spring Semester: February-June
  • Fall Semester: August-December
A participant is not encouraged to repeat the program; however, upon successful completion of the program, there are opportunities to extend an additional 4 months in an alternative seasonal position or pursue a permanent opening with us.
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.
Do I get paid as a participant of EXPLORE?
Yes! As an EXPLORE participant, you receive our seasonal compensation package. You will be working in a seasonal, hourly position, paying $220/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 EXPLORE?
As an EXPLORE 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 Elevate 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 EXPLORE?
Click “Apply Now” below, or search our current opportunities for “EXPLORE” and complete the online application. Please include the contact information for 3 references (2 professional and 1 family reference). Upon receipt of your application, we will request your $50 application fee. If you need assistance with your application, please contact Amy Williams, Gap Program Supervisor via phone at 970-887-2152 x4119 or email awilliams@ymcarockies.org.
Who do I contact if I have questions?
Please contact Amy Williams, Gap Program Supervisor via phone at 970-887-2152 x4119 or by email awilliams@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.