The THRIVE program will provide young women (ages 18-22) with a variety of experiences designed to encourage self-discovery and to provide opportunities to be a positive impact on the world around them. Participants will gain employment experiences in the hospitality industry while cultivating self-awareness through an intentional focus of the YMCA of the Rockies Core Values of Responsibility, Honesty, Respect, Faith, and Caring.

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Where is the THRIVE program located?
The THRIVE program takes place at YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park Center (EPC), which sits at an elevation of 8,000 feet, is located on over 860 acres and 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 and conference center. We are 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 THRIVE Gap program work?
The THRIVE program provides a variety of experiences designed to help participants discover more about themselves, other cultures, and the world around them. The components of the program are:
  • Seasonal employment experiences in the hospitality industry (rotating through Food Service and Housekeeping)
  • Weekly classroom and experiential learning opportunities
  • Opportunities (both scheduled and informal) to explore our beautiful natural setting and nearby Rocky Mountain National Park
  • 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
What are the program dates and fees?
THRIVE is offered in two independent four-month semesters, in the fall and spring.
  • Fall 2018 Semester: September 3 – December 20
  • Spring 2019 Semester: February 25 – June 14
A participant may not repeat the program; however, upon successful completion, there are opportunities to extend an additional four months in an alternative seasonal position or pursue a permanent opening with us. The program fee is $600. Fifty dollars of this fee is payable at the time of application. The program fee helps to defray the costs of training sessions, activity fees, and other expenses.
What else is included as part of this program?
Enrollment in THRIVE 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 equipment.), as well as access to amazing hiking/snowshoeing/mountain biking trails.
What can I expect to gain?
As a graduate of the THRIVE program, you will emerge with greater self-awareness, appreciation for other cultures, and understanding of your impact on the world around you. You will learn time management skills and the responsibility that comes from having a job. 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. Through both structured and free-time opportunities to enjoy the multitude of recreational activities available in our stunning location, a greater appreciation of the outdoors 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. There are also a variety of training and certification opportunities (which may include Leave No Trace and Mental Health First Aid). You’ll live and learn as part of an intentional community within our YMCA center.
How do I apply for THRIVE?
Click “Apply Now” below, or search our current opportunities for “THRIVE” 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 Spider Fish at 970-586-3341 x1071, or email
Do I get paid as a participant of THRIVE?
Yes! As an THRIVE participant, you receive our seasonal compensation package. You will be working in a seasonal, hourly position, paying $176/week (based on 32 hours/week), with employee perks including:
  • Room (housing in a dormitory style building includes internet access, heat, water, electric and no bills!)
  • Board (3 buffet style meals, 7 days per week)
  • Access to YMCA of the Rockies facilities, which include: an indoor pool, basketball gymnasium, fitness classes, hiking/biking/skiing trails, climbing wall, library, and Craft and Design Center
  • 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 else do I need to know?
Drug & Alcohol Policy—In accordance with our healthy spirit/mind/body mission, we have a zero tolerance policy for alcohol or drugs on property. If you want to use marijuana, don’t apply for the THRIVE program. 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.
Who do I contact if I have more questions?
Please contact Spider Fish at 970-586-3341 x1071, or email

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