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    YMCA of the Rockies: Elevate Gap Program

    YMCA of the Rockies: Elevate Gap Program


    • Listing Type: Gap Year Programs
    • Program Delivery: Residential
    • Destinations: United States
    • Credit Awarded: None
    • Program Length: Semester, Quarter
    • Start Month: February, July
    • Category: Outdoor Adventure
    • Selective: No
    • Gender: Coed
    • Ages: 18, 19+, 19
    • Housing: Dorm
    • Accreditation: American Camp Association
    • Affiliation: Gap Year Association
    • Financial Aid: Grants/Scholarships
    • Minimum Cost: < $1,000
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    Elevate Gap Program is a semester-long program for young adults ages 18 - 23.

    Elevate participants spend the semester experiencing the outdoors while gaining work and life skills. The components of this program are outdoor adventure, employment in housekeeping and food service, and community building. 

    The Elevate Program at YMCA of the Rockies provides young adults (ages 18 - 23 years old) with a variety of experiences.  Participants strengthen their relationship with nature and deepen their self-understanding while gaining valuable experience in the Hospitality industry in either Food Service or Housekeeping.  This is accomplished through adventures in the outdoors, meaningful community service, and a curriculum centered on introspection.  All of this takes place on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park.  Join our community at YMCA of the Rockies for an experience in a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and supportive work environment where lifelong friendships are made and lives are changed.   

    The Elevate Gap Program offers a backpacking trip, an out-of-state road trip, and a multi-day trip. 

    Outside of these trips, you will experience one Elevate day per week that will include hiking, snowshoeing, rock climbing, outdoor education, community service opportunities, and self-development courses. All Elevate participants will have the opportunity to gain free certifications in Wilderness First-Aid, Red Cross CPR, AED, and First Aid.  

    Program Structure:

    • Paid seasonal employment, rotating through Guest Service focused departments (Food Service and Housekeeping)
    • Recreational opportunities (both scheduled and informal) to explore Rocky Mountain National Park and our stunning localeOpportunities for deeper reflection and relationship-building
    • Service opportunities through impactful organizations
    • A multi-day trip
    • Regularly-scheduled small-group workshops and training sessions on topics of interest
    • Opportunities to continue working at the Estes Park Center for up to 4 additional months as seasonal, or pursue a full-time opening with us
    • One extended camping trips (approximately 1-2 weeks long) in Utah
    • Weekly activities and events to take place with the Elevate group that will encompass adventures to National Parks, white water rafting, horseback riding, museum visits, and much more.

    Program Outcomes:

    ELEVATE participants will emerge with greater self-confidence, self-awareness, and a sense of purpose. Participants will meet people from all over the globe. This is a place where nature inspires and quality time happens naturally. Our serene surroundings of Rocky Mountain National Park will provide moments of tranquility and a greater appreciation for the outdoors. Time management skills and learning to be a team-player will be gained.

    Participants will complete the program better prepared to face upcoming challenges such as starting/finishing college, applying for/engaging in employment opportunities, and living independently. They will live and learn as part of an intentional community within our YMCA center.Our property is bordered on three sides by Rocky Mountain National Park - an outdoor enthusiast's playground. 

    ELEVATE is group-focused and will develop a close-knit community among participants and leaders. Participants will meet regularly in consistent small groups with mentors and will develop bonds of friendship and fellowship.