Why work at the Ranch in 2021

Why work at the Ranch


Colorado Mountain Ranch is a special place where people connect for outdoor active fun. Our staff develops into a close-knit residential community of people who enjoy staying active

outdoors in the mountains and working with children. Staff 

members and those on staff with paid internships all gain documentable experience in the following areas which will support success in any field: communication, critical thinking, creativity, patience, flexibility, collaboration, empathy, respect, integrity, work ethic, problem-solving, persistence, self-discipline, leadership, and initiative.



On weekdays, we serve a general population of rising 2nd graders through high school seniors in our Day Camp programs. Evenings and weekends, our staff meets, plans, shares, and attends to every detail for Camp, themed events, and weddings.



Summer dates May 26-August 15, 2021, include a week of orientation, followed by eleven weeks of children's programs, and ending with two days of close-down.

  • Arrivals: All new staff members must arrive by 3:00pm on Wednesday, May 26. New wranglers arrive by 3:00pm on Sunday, May 24, for the beginning of wrangler training. Bus driver trainees arrive by 3:00pm Monday May 18, for the start of bus driver training. These arrival dates are non-negotiable. 

  • Departures: The summer season concludes August 15, 2020 (although in special circumstances this date may be negotiable for an earlier departure, if necessary). Some staff members may be asked to stay on after Camp time to help with the fall season of events and projects.


Qualities we look for in our staff include positive attitude, enthusiasm, good judgment andreliability. Flexibility and adaptability to changing priorities are necessary, as well as heart-felt interest in children. Children benefit from adults with warm, caring personalities and good listening skills. Staff members must be personable, highly energetic, safety-minded, honest, sincere, and willing to work hard for rewards beyond financial gain. Staff must stay physically and mentally active and alert. We embrace the Native American philosophy of respect for self, others, nature, and stewardship of the Earth.



We are looking for a few high-spirited, multi-talented, and skilled people to join our team and help with all aspects of the overall operations of the Ranch. Everyone helps with daily support crews, set-up and clean-up, general maintenance, construction, and other work projects. Our


staff is instrumental in creating and implementing every aspect of Ranch programs, activities, food service, hospitality, facility use, and maintenance.  


Grow in confidence and experience. Our clientele expects confident personal presentation and a neat and clean appearance. Be ready to commit to making the Ranch successful in providing a rewarding experience for yourself and others.



Design your internship with a professor or the head of your department of study. Camp work experience lends itself especially well to programs in general and equine education, psychology, sociology, parks and recreation, hotel and resort management, culinary, and sustainability. We are happy to talk about your internship intention and we offer to satisfy requirements for supervision, assessments, and reports.



We work 6 days and 4-5 evenings each week. Our work includes team building, planning, and personal and community development. Starting salary for most new staff members is $320 per week before taxes, plus room and board. New wranglers earn $325 per week, plus room and board. The starting salary for the Head Cook/Kitchen Manager may be negotiable. 

  • Benefits include 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 service, 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!

  • Organized fun outings for staff occur throughout the summer. Wifi is at least intermittent. Working with us is an opportunity to make life-long friends and to create, contribute, and serve in a cooperative, active, supportive, outdoor mountain community with children and peers with similar interests.


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. Some staff members bring their own vehicles, and are often generous with rideshare.




PLEASE NOTE: Staff members need to be ready to contribute in many ways throughout the summer. We are looking for people who are multi-talented with a variety of skills to share, love kids, and are very flexible!


Children's Group Counselors - Lead and guide children's groups of all ages and assist with programs. 

Children's Activity Instructors - Teach instructional progressions in relation to each child's ability and development in the following areas: 

Wranglers - Western Horseback Riding 

Teach Western riding, natural relationship with horses, bridling, saddling, horse and animal care, breeds and colors, Roping, and Western Art (drawing horses), teach Animal Care of horses and small farm animals (goats and kids), feed and care for all animals, and keep corrals,

barn and tack clean and serviceable (mucking).

Mountainboarding (like snowboarding on wheels) and Disc Golf (with Frisbees ®)

Arts and Crafts Leatherwork, Native American Indian Crafts & Lore


Gymnastics and Trampoline

Dramatics & Improvisation 

Children’s Yoga

Nature and Outdoor woods crafts & Skills – Fire-building, Campfire & Camp Stove Outdoor Cooking, Reading the Woods for Wilderness Survival, Hiking, Exploring, Tracking, Ecology, Foraging, Basketry, Leave-no-trace



Kitchen Manager/ Head Cook - Plans and serves regular well-balanced meals to thirty (30) staff: three (3) meals and snacks every day, bus snacks daily for 100 children, and & "fine dining" meals for occasional adult events. Also: plans menus, orders supplies, schedules and manages the kitchen and dining room staff, overseas serving, manages the buffet and putting up food, regular clean-up and maintenance of the kitchen, dining room, and food prep and storage areas. Helps with dish and pan washing, floor mopping, and end of day kitchen shut-down.

Prep Cook/Baker – Assists the Kitchen Manager/ Head Chef. Helps with cooking, baking, food prep, buffet management, table setting, serving, dish and pan washing, overall clean-up and maintenance of the dining room, kitchen and food storage areas.

Drivers - Transport clientele in vans and buses. (Driving combines with another main jobin Camp, too) New bus drivers receive the benefit of tuition-free Commercial Driver Training & Certification.

Nanny – Care for our family’s active five-and-a-half-year-old kindergartner and tutor her lively eleven-year-old sister, and possibly care for their six-and-a-half-year-old stepbrother and occasionally their two-year-old little boy cousin and nine-month-old sister.

Office and Health Care- Public and staff relations, communications, accounting, registration, telephone, computer, and staff and child health care.

Ranch Hand/Maintenance - General upkeep of all systems -- mechanical, electrical, automotive, plumbing, and repairs. Loading, hauling, landscaping, set-up and cleanup. Camp Photographer/Media Manager - Takes photos throughout Camp, manages photos taken by other staff, posts to parents and social media, makes photo albums


  1. Complete the online Application

  2. Click here to create an account with login details

  3. Be SURE to select ‘Staff’ as your user type when registering

  4. Once logged in, Click on your name

  5. Click on Staff Application 2021- start entering your details! 

  6. When you are done submit the application

  7. Expect an email response within 24hrs notifying you that we have received your application; if you do not hear from us please call on 303.442.4557

  8. Initial telephone interviews are conducted in the order applications are received


  • Two completed references must be in your file for you to qualify for your final interview by telephone, Google hangouts, or Facebook.

  • Please indicate contact details for your references on your online application. We need to hear from people who are familiar with your work with children, other work abilities, and character.

  • You may ask your references to email or call us or the Colorado Mountain Ranch may directly contact your references to request a confidential reference.



  • As a licensed Colorado State Child Care program, we need to have papers in your file that are specific to the number of hours that you have worked with children

  • Documentation of Specialty Experience: If you wish to specialize in horses, ropes course, gymnastics, mountainboarding, or hiking and camping, we need documentation of your relevant experience from someone who is familiar with your experience. Acceptable documents: A letter, an emailed statement, or a completed online reference form.


The staff this summer will number about 25-30 and there will be about 100 campers each week. Review Covid Protocols here. [link to our Covid protocol page]


If you are not already, each staff member should immediately get vaccinated when hired. We can document your status as a childcare worker with a licensed agency in order for you to get your shot. In Camp throughout the summer, we will follow the current guidelines of the CDC, the Colorado State and Boulder County Health Departments in regard to:


1.) Masking and Social Distancing

2.) Hand washing

3.) Sanitization and disinfection of surfaces

4.) Food preparation and safety

5.) Bunkhouse sleeping arrangements will be head-to-toe

6.) Before breakfast, there will be temperature and health checks.



1.) If a staff member has symptoms of sickness, they will be isolated and cared for while waiting for the results of Covid testing.

2.) If a staff member tests positive for Covid, they need to leave the Camp within 24 hours by personal car, either your own or by getting picked up. If you have your own car and cannot drive yourself, a family member or friend needs to be on call throughout the summer. They need to be able to fly into Denver, travel to Boulder where we can pick them up. The plan is for them to depart with you in your car within 24 hours of positive diagnosis.


The ranch kept coming up in my meditation this morning. Reflecting on the many experiences I've had this summer I noticed how much they have impacted my personal life. I have truly come to value the ranch and can't think of a better place to spend the time.

-Sean, yoga instructor, 2018

Hello Colorado Mountain Ranch, Thanksgiving has passed, and this year what I found to be most grateful for was you. I was so nervous when I arrived in the summer, and a little bit lost. I needed the Ranch more than I knew. After I left the Ranch, I moved to Texas. I got a job working with foster kids (teenagers) in a residential group home facility. I believe for a fact that without the encouragement and life lessons I learned at the Ranch that I would not be where I am now. From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you. My time at the Ranch changed my life for the better. You have created a beautiful place for growth. Thank you.

♥ Ariel Thomas, Archery Instructor and Lifeguard 2018

Thank you for the hospitality and making me feel like family always. It's a great feeling knowing a have a family away from home! Here's to a good summer!

Ziggy Krug, staff alumni

10063 Gold Hill Road
Boulder CO 80302
phone: 303.442.4557
fax: 303.417.9114
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