Hiking/Backpacking Counselor
Cheley Colorado Camps

Come work in the Rocky Mountains of Estes Park, CO at an internationally renowned summer camp!

Estes Park is the basecamp for Rocky Mountain National Park, and amazing views abound from camp.


Hiking/Backpacking Counselor

Cheley Colorado Camps
Estes Park, Colorado
$3,500.00 / season
Some experience required
Start Date:
Starts soon! (May 31, 2022)

Cheley Colorado Camps is seeking Hiking and Backpacking Counselors (Male) from May 31st to August 13th (or August 7th).

Hiking Counselors and Backpacking Counselors run the Hiking/Backpacking program in a specific camp unit. 

The HIKING COUNSELOR leads hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, Indian Peak National Wilderness, and other wilderness areas five days a week. They drive campers in 15-passenger vans to and from the trailheads. They also teach Leave No Trace ethics, orienteering, basic geology (flora, fauna), and basic backcountry skills. All hikes will have at least two staff members and around twelve campers. HIKING COUNSELORS must obtain CPR and Wilderness First Aid (WFA) either before their arrival to camp or during the course that we provide. 

The BACKPACKING COUNSELOR plans and leads two to five-day backpacking trips in Rocky Mountain National Park and/or Indian Peaks Wilderness, based on permits that we have secured for the summer. They are responsible for planning menus and food prep for each trip. They teach cooking on backpacking stoves, Leave No Trace ethics, orienteering, basic geology (flora, fauna), and basic backcountry skills. They drive campers in 15-passenger vans to and from the trailheads. All backpacks will have at least two staff members and around nine campers. BACKPACKING COUNSELORS must obtain CPR and Wilderness First Aid (WFA) either before their arrival to camp or during the course that we provide. 

Working at Cheley Colorado Camps

More than 200 people from all over the United States and abroad comprise our staff. We attract people who want to make a difference in the lives of youth and who share a common goal with the Cheley family: to make the summer a fun, empowering, and enriching experience for all our campers.

From September to May, we work diligently to create a strong summer team. We interview people from around the country and hire international staff through staff placement agencies. Cheley provides a special environment in which to meet remarkable people. Staff members work together closely and form great and lasting friendships.

Our application process includes an online application, interview, three references, and a background check. Once hired, each staff member is required to complete online abuse prevention training as well as program-specific certifications, like Wilderness First Aid and CPR.

This job isn’t for everybody. We have high expectations for our team. Focusing on the development of others requires personal sacrifices. Sacrifices like living in rustic, historic buildings; limited personal time, and a structured schedule. The demands are high, the rewards are life-changing. There is nothing more satisfying than developing future leaders.

The Staff Experience

All staff at Cheley are part of the camp community. At different times throughout the summer, you may be asked to help the community in some way outside of your job description.

Support staff live together in designated cabins on camp property and are typically at least 18 years old. They play an integral part in role modeling. All support staff need to have the ability to communicate and work effectively with peers, have the visual and auditory ability to identify and respond to environmental and other hazards at camp, and have the physical strength and endurance necessary to complete assigned tasks. A positive attitude and a sense of humor are essential.

All staff members have one day off and one night off each week with daily shuttles provided to town each morning and afternoon. We are about 10 minutes from downtown Estes Park which has laundry facilities, shops and restaurants, grocery stores, a movie theater, and a bowling alley. We are about an hour from Boulder (home to the University of Colorado) and Fort Collins (home to Colorado State University) and 1.5 hours from Denver.

Our Salary and Benefits

Housing and meals are provided, and staff members are expected to live at camp. The paycheck schedule varies, typically with paydays being after staff training, multiple times throughout each term, and then weekly for post-camp. You can expect to be paid roughly every 2-3 weeks. The starting salary for Hiking and Backpacking Counselors begins at $350/week.

We also provide a travel allowance and bonuses for relevant certifications, including WEMT/EMT, WFR, Teaching, CDL, ACCT, CWI, High Ropes Levels 1 & 2. While working, staff members have access to “pro-deal” discounts and discounts throughout Estes Park.

How to Apply

Thank you again for your interest in the Cheley Experience! If you haven't already, we highly recommend reading the Staff Applicant Packet (2022) for more information about who we are, working at Cheley, the application process, and more.

To begin the process, please create an account here and select your application type. If at any point you want to save and/or exit your application to complete it at a later time, click 'Save my progress.' Once you have completed each section and are ready to send it to Cheley, click 'Sign the Application."

After submitting your application, please upload your resume / CV. This will automatically parse your work experience, education, skills, and relevant certifications from your resume / CV into your candidate profile. If we decide to move forward with your application, we will contact you regarding next steps.

Contact Info