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Wages, Details & Perks


We come together for kids, projects, and meals 6 days and 4-5 evenings each week. Our work includes guiding and playing with children, team building, planning, and personal and community development. Starting salary for most new staff members is $390 per week before taxes, plus room and board. New wranglers earn $405 per week, plus room and board. The starting salary for the Head Cook/Kitchen Manager may be negotiable.


All staff members regularly have one-two nights off during the week, plus Saturday night through Sunday night off on the weekend. Being a Day Camp for kids and a Resident Camp for staff, the Colorado Mountain Ranch can usually offer all staff members the same time-off schedule together! New this year, learn about the optional "Week Away" below. 

Meals & Housing Benefits

Enjoy rent-free living in bunkhouse-style dormitory cabins and good hearty home-made meals served all-you-can-eat buffet style! Snacks are always available. In addition to salary and room and board, staff members receive laundry allowance, leadership training, on-the-job worker's compensation insurance, valuable professional work experience, influential future personnel references, membership in an exciting community of peers, and the experience of a lifetime!

Getting Here & Getting Around

On arrival and departure days, we provide transportation to and from the Denver Airport, bus, and train stations. Public transportation systems in Boulder and Denver are good. You may bring your own vehicle, but know that others may expect you to be generous with ride-share.​ 

Fun Outings

We organize fun outings for staff throughout the summer. Wifi is at least intermittent. Working with us is an opportunity to make life-long friends. You’ll contribute and serve in a cooperative, active, supportive outdoor mountain community. Growing authentic connections with children and peers with similar interests are just some of the highlights!

Paid Internships

Design your own internship with a professor or head of the department where you study. Work experience in Camp lends itself well to most programs of study, especially pursuits in the equine, education, recreation, and outdoors fields. Students looking to have a career in psychology, sociology, parks and recreation, hotel and resort management, culinary, art & media, and sustainability also gain beneficial skills while working at the Ranch. We are happy to talk about your internship intentions. You can count on us to satisfy requirements for your supervision, assessments, and reports.

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Take advantage of the "Week Away" from Camp option!

Who? Working at Camp demands long hours of physical work and emotional investment. With this in mind, we’re adding an extra perk this summer. For those who choose, any staff member may schedule an unpaid week off and away from the Ranch. A maximum of two staff members may request the same week off. Some of you may choose to take advantage of this offer and some may continue to stay with us and work all 11 Camp Weeks.  


Why? You may plan your week away for any reason, such as to attend a friend or family member’s wedding, to visit a sick family member or friend, to just go home for a week, to take a road trip around the west, to go backpacking or on a river trip, or to just have a break and refresh!   


When? Subject to the availability of your requested week based on the Camp’s "Week Away" schedule, you must request and have your specific week approved before the end of Staff Orientation and the start of Camp. The week must be from a Saturday through the following Friday and cannot be during Staff Orientation or the last Camp week of the season. Departure needs to be after the work day on Friday, and we need you back ready to rejoin the team a week later on Saturday morning for Breakfast at 7:30am. Being present on Saturday allows you to be involved in the Weekly Staff Meeting and preparation for the upcoming Camp week. 


Where? In order to allow the working Camp staff team to focus, you need to leave the Ranch premises during your "Week Away". The week off needs to be completely away. Camping on the nearby National Forest is not far enough.  It will not be okay to drop into Camp for meals, to visit, or to sleep under a roof. 


Compensation? This extra week of time-off is an unpaid week that will not affect your allowance of 5 paid sick days for the summer. Taking your "Week Away" does not disqualify you for the full-summer bonus for those who work all summer from beginning to end. However, there will be an additional $150 bonus for those who work the full summer season and do not take a "Week Away".  


Remember, this offer of a "Week Away" is to support staff members to stay strong, enthusiastic, and fulfilled throughout the summer. Let’s try together to make it successful for staff members and for the overall Camp organization!

Why work at the Ranch?

This is why you need to be working at CMR this summer!

Real Human Connection

Social Media can be great and serves a purpose, but CANNOT be a substitute for real human connection. The essence of Camp is in the human relationships we forge and the glimpse into the future through the eyes of children. 


Reacquaint Yourself with Nature

After spending so much time indoors throughout the years of Covid, the fact is that most of the world is OUTDOORS. It is both amazing and beautiful. Nature calms and restores. Scientific studies affirm the health benefits of spending time in Nature.


Leadership Bootcamp

The kind of leadership that’s not taught in books, classrooms or TedTalks. Experience real, HANDS-ON leadership that you can only learn by being responsible for a group of children. Camp provides leadership experiences that will elevate your game for the rest of your life at home, in school, and throughout your career. 


Impact on the Future

Immediately become an integral part in the development of the next generation. Positively influence the emotional lives of kids who have been spending so much time on screens. Throughout the summer you will morph into a hero who mentors and guides young people. Help children become contributing members of society. 


As a legit youth development professional, you can make the world a better place, one camper at a time, MANY times each day!

- Adapted from Project Real Job, American Camp Association

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