Elevate Gap Program
YMCA of the Rockies

YMCA Staff Hiking

A semester long program for young adults ages 18 - 24. Outdoor adventure, employment, & networking!

Located in the mountain town of Estes Park, Colorado next to Rocky Mountain National Park.

  • fall
  • winter

Elevate Gap Program

YMCA of the Rockies
Estes Park, Colorado
$13.65 - $13.65 / hour
No experience required
Start Date:
Starts in 4 months. (Jul 31, 2023)

The GAP Program:

Elevate participants spend the semester doing a variety of experiences designed to enjoy the outdoors, while gaining work and life skills. The three components of this program are outdoor adventure, employment in housekeeping and food service, and community building. Staff will spend two days a week cleaning cabins and lodge rooms for guests, two days a week preparing food and helping in the dining room, and one day a week training in the outdoor industry.

Program dates: July 31 - December 8, 2023
*Opportunity to extend to March 31, 2024 in another department. 

Elevate Days: Once a week, participants will spend time learning new skills in the outdoors. Using small cohorts, groups will participate in hiking, rock climbing, skiing, and backpacking adventures, while learning about essential wilderness skills like how to plan ahead and prepare, backcountry safety, flora and fauna, adventure sport techniques, and more. These trainings will prepare participants for outdoor adventure jobs at the YMCA and beyond (National Park Service, Rocky Mountain Conservancy, etc.). They will be paid between 4-8 hours per week for attending these trainings, and will be awarded a certificate at the end to indicate their proficiency in the field.

Hospitality Days: Four days a week, participants will work alongside their cohort in the housekeeping and food service departments, earning $13.65/hour.

Days Off: Participants will have at least 2 days off per week to participate in activities near Estes Park or throughout Colorado. As part of the Rocky Mountain Living Package, they can opt into other outdoor adventure opportunities and excursions with other staff.


  • Documented professional outdoor experience in things like climbing, biking, backpacking, mountaineering, fly fishing, environmental education, camping, horseback riding, cross-country skiing.
  • Networking opportunities through outdoor job panels and visits to likeminded organizations
  • WFA and CPR certification
  • BEETLES certification
  • LNT certification
  • And more!

How to Apply

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Contact Info