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Junior Rangers Youth Jobs

Junior Rangers in the field

What has been your favorite part of being a Junior Ranger?

“(The JR Program) is about friendship, adventure, learning, laughing, leadership, teamwork, and C.U.S.S. (carrying and using tools safely). I am excited to come to work every day and love working with people who are enthusiastic, cooperative, and fun like I am. I like being out in nature and having work to do with the community. It is by far the best job anyone could have.” – Audrey, 1st Year Junior Ranger

Job Summary

Junior Rangers are passionate and motivated teens who want to work together to make a difference on OSMP lands. Junior Rangers serve for one of two sessions during the summer. The job requires commitment, motivation, teamwork, and enthusiasm for new challenges. Becoming a Junior Ranger is a commitment to a real job. A written application and personal interview are required for consideration. If you are hired, you will be required to keep regular work hours, adhere to uniform requirements, and receive a paycheck by direct deposit (including federal identification and tax requirements). No previous work experience is necessary, but a positive attitude is essential.

*You must be at least 14 and not more than 17 years of age by June 1, 2021.

*You must have a personal (not school or parent) email address to login and apply for this job. Please create one if you do not yet have one. 

Disclaimer: These positions are very competitive. Every year we turn away half of the applicants who apply. In 2021, there will be 12 small Conservation/Trail Crews and 1 small Youth Ranger Crew. If you've applied before, please apply again as we keep track of motivated individuals who apply multiple years in a row.

Junior Ranger Crews

The Junior Ranger Program is the overarching name for two tracks. Applicants can choose between the Youth Ranger Crew or the Conservation/Trail Crews.  

Conservation/Trail Crews

The Conservation/Trail Crews work on trail maintenance and construction, forestry, vegetation, agriculture, and ecological restoration projects. Crews are led by team leaders who have backgrounds in outdoor education, leadership, and conservation. Team leaders create opportunities for Junior Rangers to learn about the natural world and gain valuable work and life skills. The Conservation/Trail Crews work closely with many OSMP workgroups. This provides Junior Rangers the opportunity to explore careers in natural resources and become confident stewards of public lands and leaders in their community. 

Youth Ranger Crew

The Youth Ranger Crew is an opportunity for Junior Rangers to work closely with law enforcement Ranger Naturalists from OSMP. Junior Rangers participate in skills-based training in natural resource management and customer service while exploring career paths in conservation. Junior Rangers are exposed to various aspects of what it means to be park rangers, and by engaging in experiential trainings, participants develop skills that can be applied to their academic and professional pursuits. The Youth Ranger Crew provides Junior Rangers the opportunity to interact with law enforcement officers on a daily basis to help youth build positive connections with law enforcement and professionals in natural resource protection.

2021 Program Dates

Conservation/Trail Crews

Session I: June 1-25, 2021 (4 weeks) or

Session II: July 6 – 30, 2021 (4 weeks) or August 6, 2021 (5 weeks)

Work Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 8 am - 3:30 pm, with 30 min. unpaid lunch (28 hours paid time per week)

Youth Ranger Crew

Session I: June 7 - July 1, 2021 (4 weeks) only

Work Hours: Monday - Thursday, 8 am - 4 pm, with 30 min. unpaid lunch (30 hours paid time per week)

Job Qualifications

  • Must be at least 14 and not more than 17 years of age by the job start date.
  • No previous work experience is necessary, but a positive attitude (flexible, humble, adaptable, coachable) is essential!
  • Strong interest in being a team player; willing to help with less-fun tasks.
  • Demonstrates excitement, commitment, and determination to learn, work, and behave to the best of their ability if chosen for the program.
  • Able to learn safe practices and make good judgments related to safety.
  • Able to follow through on commitments.
  • Successfully complete the application and interview process.
  • Have a genuine desire to participate as a Junior Ranger.
  • Be able to commit to the full work schedule, without missing more than 2 days.

Example Responsibilities and Activities 

Working on Natural Resource Projects (50%) 

  • Completes trail maintenance and other resource management projects including corridor clearing, erosion control, trail structure repair, integrated pest management, restoration and more (primarily Conservation/Trail crews). 
  • Organizes and delivers multiple environmental education programs to the public (Youth Ranger crew only). 
  • Learns and applies skills such as: trail maintenance, naturalist training, wildland fire ecology, leadership and public service, natural resource/visitor protection, wildlife ecology, habitat restoration, and customer service.  

Safety & Professionalism (30%) 

  • Follows rules, regulations and policies; helps to maintain safety, order, and discipline of self and other participants. 
  • Reports and takes responsibility for mistakes and/or accidents. 
  • Demonstrates knowledge or willingness to learn about racial equity and inclusion. 

Actively Learning and Supporting Peers as a Team Player (20%) 

  • Works as part of a team; and participates in learning opportunities. 
  • Openly shares successes and challenges; and seeks to understand all aspects of a project or skill. 

Employment Requirements

  • Personal Email Address: All communication regarding your application, employment, pay and tax information will be sent to you via email. Please make sure to use a personal (not school or parent) email address (that you will check regularly) to log in and apply for this job. Please create one if you do not yet have one.
  • Social Security Number: All City of Boulder employees must have a social security number before they begin work. Please file for a number if you do not already have one. Cards may be obtained from the Social Security administration office (1-800-772-1213 FREE).
  • Valid Bank Account: Paychecks are issued by direct deposit. Participants must have a valid account at a financial institution to receive their paychecks. For the smoothest payroll experience, we strongly encourage youth to set up their own bank accounts for direct deposit rather than depositing into a parent/guardian’s account. 

How to Apply & Interview

STEP 1: Apply! (available until Mar 31) as thoroughly as you can – make sure you log in using a personal (not school or parent) email address. We know that this is the first time many of our Junior Ranger Team Member applicants are applying for a job, and we take that into consideration (including the fact that you may not have a Driver’s License!). Make sure that you continue clicking next until you see a confirmation page that your application has been submitted!

STEP 2: Respond to the Junior Ranger Essay Questions! Once we receive your complete application, we will email you a set of essay questions within 3 weeks from the date you apply (see a preview in the dropdown below) that you will need to answer and email back to us. Answering these questions will 1) help you prepare for your video interview (Step 4) and give us better insight into your skills and abilities to work in a team as a Junior Ranger.

STEP 3: Schedule Interview! After submitting your complete application, look for an email with a link to schedule your interview on (also called within 3 weeks from the date you apply. Please schedule your interview as soon as possible to limit follow up emails and reminders. Virtual interviews will be held between March 29 and April 9, 2021. If you have questions about setting up your interview, or do not see an invitation by April 6, please email [email protected] or text/call 303-345-8508 for assistance.

STEP 4: Interview! Make sure you write down your interview time when you schedule it. Be on time or 5 minutes early! ***If you want the opportunity to do a practice interview before the actual thing, check back on for some “Mock Interview” practice sessions.

STEP 5: Accept or Decline! By May 4, 2021, you will receive an email that either a) offers you a summer job with us, or b) notifies you that you are on our waitlist. If you are offered a summer job, please let us know AS SOON AS POSSIBLE (within 1 week) if you would like to accept, have questions, or would like to decline.

That’s the application process!

Application Essay Questions

ESSAY QUESTIONS – These will be scored, be thoughtful with your responses! For Step 2 of the application process (above), you will need to email your responses to these questions to [email protected].

  1. Please write a short paragraph  on why you want to be a Junior Ranger. What excites you about a job working and learning outside with a team?
  2. What is one team experience that is important to you? In 3-5 sentences, please describe how you helped your team succeed. (Think sports, school, family, religious groups, friends, any team situation)
  3. Please share an example that demonstrates your respect for people and their differences. How did you work to understand the perspectives of others?
  4. In what ways will you benefit from working as a Junior Ranger? What do you want out of this job?
  5. Have you ever experienced difficult physical conditions? If yes, please tell us a story about a time you experienced this.
  6. Would current or past teachers/friends/peers describe you as being flexible, humble, adaptable or coachable? Yes/No/I’m not sure
  7. (OPTIONAL) From who or where did you hear about this job opportunity? Please be as specific as possible (i.e. teacher names, program names, websites, etc).
  8. (OPTIONAL) We are trying to improve our application process for youth of all backgrounds. If you have any suggestions or feedback on the application process, please feel free to comment below. For example, how long did it take you to complete this application? Did you have trouble answering any of the questions? This will not affect your application rating – all feedback is welcome. Thank you!


Junior Rangers are paid an hourly wage. The 2021 wage scale is:

First Year $12.32

Second Year $12.57

Third Year $12.82

Fourth Year $13.07

Work Schedule and Absences

Junior Rangers are expected to arrive on time for work prepared for the day. Conservation/Trail crews work Tuesday through Friday 8 am – 3:30 pm and Youth Ranger crews work Monday through Thursday 8 am – 4 pm. There is a half hour unpaid lunch break during the day.

Junior Rangers make a commitment to work all days of their assigned session. Junior Rangers must get any absences preapproved by the Youth Service Learning Coordinator two weeks in advance (and are allowed no more than two excused absences outside of emergencies). Please plan your vacations and commitments accordingly. Report emergency absences by 7 am via email to [email protected].

Getting to Work

Junior Rangers must have a reliable way of getting to work each day. There is ample parking for bikes in our locked garage. The RTD bus system has a bus stop right in front of the Wonderland Lake Trailhead on Broadway, our meeting place. Seasonal youth bus passes are available through RTD The program will reimburse Junior Rangers for passes purchased for the period of employment (monthly pass or ticket books) with receipt. Reimbursement information will be provided at point of hire and on the resources page.

Junior Ranger Expectations

Junior Ranger positions are very competitive and very publicly visible. Our crews have lots of fun, but they also work hard. By accepting a position as a Junior Ranger, you agree to follow the Junior Ranger Code of Conduct and demonstrate respect and a positive attitude towards the public, your crew, and yourself.

How to Apply

Recruitment is closed for 2021. Please check back in Feb. 2022.

I've accepted a job as a Junior Ranger

Learn more about resources for Junior Rangers

“Junior Rangers is a job where you can develop important life skills like time management and discipline. Other things you learn as a Junior Ranger are how to do hard work, while working with a large group. The JR Program also helped me build stronger communication skills. Finally, during my time as a JR I got a greater sense of how many people and hours are needed to create something like a trail. I hope this sense will translate to a greater sense of community with my coworkers at my next job.” – Severin, 2nd Year Junior Ranger