Former Employees and Volunteers apply here.

Gap Year Programs

TREK Program: August 14, 2017-May 4, 2018

What is TREK?

TREK is a working Christian gap year program designed for 18 to 24 year olds seeking personal and spiritual growth while working in a seasonal job at Snow Mountain Ranch. The 2017-2018 TREK program at Snow Mountain Ranch will start August 14, 2017, and runs through May 4, 2018. During this 8 eight-month period participants will work full time at Snow Mountain Ranch—and earn pay, all meals, and lodging, while attending workshops, leading active lives, making friends from around the globe, and participating in group activities. Participants will experience faith development, character development, and greater self-awareness and understanding.

How Does It Work?

Participants will come together in small group meetings that encourage accountably, safe relationships, thoughtful reflection, honest conversation, and prayer, generally once per week. In addition, participants will meet weekly as a large group, guided by the chaplains. Participants are expected to study and reflect on the content of the material, and the Bible. Spiritual disciplines will also be learned and practiced. Retreats and special activities will also be part of their eight-month experience.

What Distinguishes the YMCA of the Rockies TREK program From Other Christian Gap Year Programs?

1) The Cost. Not only is the application fee ($50) lower than most, you actually have the opportunity to earn the fees back, and put money away in savings, because during your eight-month program you will be working 40 hours per week at Snow Mountain Ranch in a variety of secular jobs. As a result of your work you will receive room, board, and an hourly wage plus employee perks—like free skiing/snowboarding at many Colorado resorts. The program cost  for the 2017-2018 program is $1200 (+$50 application fee).

Applications Open 10/15/2016
Essay question
$50 app fee due (nonrefundable)

Interviews Begin 01/15/2017
Skype Interview
$200 deposit due if accepted into program
Refundable by these Date
100% 05/01/2017
75% 06/01/2017
50% 07/01/2017
25% 08/01/2017
Contact Ben Black to cancel and refund

Final Day to Apply 06/30/2017

Start Date 08/14/2017
Orientation Week
$1000 program Tuition due
or $250 due, with $750 payroll deduct

2) The location. TREK @SMR program applicants will work at Snow Mountain Ranch, live with 1-3 roommates in dormitories, with access on property to a pool, gymnasium, horseback riding, and over 100km of amazing hiking/snowshoeing/mountain biking. Please be aware, even if you’re working in another department, most of our staff may work up to a few days each week in food service or housekeeping during September/October. Staff that work in those departments do receive incentive bonuses during that time.

Snow Mountain Ranch (SMR) is located at 9,000 feet above sea level on 5,000 acres, 20 minutes away from Winter Park Resort, and about 30 minutes from Grand Lake and the western entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. In general, if you are a downhill/alpine/nordic/cross country/back-country skier, snowboarder, or fat biker, you’ll be happy at Snow Mountain Ranch, where we have over 100km of nordic skiing, mountain biking, and hiking trails on property. It’s also the home of our Sled Dog team—which our TREK staff help manage and mush! It’s usually sunny, as we’re located on a high, wide plain of rolling hills looking at the Continental Divide. You’ll walk a bit to go from building to building (bring warm layers), and are about a 10 minute drive from the nearest town, but that’s why our staff loves it! (Once Winter Park Resort opens, we run a daily shuttle to the mountain for our staff.)

What Can Participants Expect to Gain?

The development of a Biblical foundation for life and leadership, the development of a personal foundation for life, the development of a relational foundation for life, and the development of a practical foundation for life. You’ll develop a roadmap for your future, based on the values that guide you and skills you’ll enhance during your program. Participants will also have gainful employment for eight months, lifelong friendships with people from around the world, and mountain recreation.

Please note our 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 to work or volunteer for us.


Please contact Snow Mountain Ranch HR: 970-887-2152 x 4013 or email Emily Nestel at

Apply here, Deadline: June 30, 2017