The Junior Ranger Program is an opportunity for teens ages 14 to 17 years old to be employed by the City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) department to work on a variety of natural resource projects.

News Feed

Junior Rangers are currently working in the field. Contact juniorrangers@bouldercolorado.gov with any questions. Thank you for your interest in working with the Junior Ranger Program!

About the Junior Ranger Program

Mission

“The Junior Ranger Program creates an enriching work experience dedicated to preserving land through trail maintenance, stewardship and resource management service. Through our work, we foster awareness, knowledge and respect for natural and human communities while cultivating personal growth.”

Overview

Junior Rangers (ages 14-17) serve for one of two sessions during the summer and are led by a well-trained crew of team leaders and program staff, or Rangers for the Youth Rangers crew. The Junior Ranger Program is based on service learning, which is an experiential education approach that combines learning objectives with community service to provide a pragmatic, progressive learning experience while meeting societal needs. As Junior Rangers, youth gain practical work skills while learning how maintenance and restoration projects impact larger environmental systems.

Youth Programs

The Junior Ranger Program consists of two crew types: the Youth Ranger Crew and 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.

History

Junior Rangers join a long legacy of service to OSMP. Established in 1965 to create jobs for young people and help them develop work skills while maintaining Boulder’s public lands, the Junior Ranger Program has now employed over 4,000 youth. Since then, the program has built a legacy of community stewards who have a personal investment in the future of OSMP and all public lands. Graduates of the program carry their experience into the future by seeking future jobs in conservation, motivating siblings and friends to serve in the program, returning to OSMP as full-time staff, or continuing their experience as Junior Ranger Program staff.

The Junior Ranger program develops lifelong stewards of the natural world. Through daily conservation work, Junior Rangers gain a sense of awareness for the natural world and accomplishment for a job well done. They build the confidence to give back to their communities through collaboration, decision making, responsibility, reflection, and service.

Newsletters & Program Reports

Log Steps 2019 Sessions 1 & 2

Log Steps 2018 Sessions 1 & 2

**Please note that the program was not able to run in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2019 Program Report (Includes Conservation/Trail and Youth Ranger Crews)

2018 Program Report

Youth Presentations to the OSMP Board

2019: Thank you Max and Lily for so eloquently sharing what this program is about! Start watching at 4:15 minutes to see the whole segment on Junior Rangers, or at 15:30 to hear Lily and Max speak.

2018: Thank you Brooke, Ty, Carina, Fiona, Hannah, Chris, and Connor for presenting to the Open Space Board of Trustees about your experiences working for the program. Start watching at 15:30 minutes into the meeting to see them speak.

Youth Jobs

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.

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.

Youth Jobs - How to Apply & Interview

Apply!

Applications were available until Mar 31 – 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.

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.

Schedule Interview!

After submitting your complete application, look for an email with a link to schedule your interview on GovernmentJobs.com (also called NeoGov.com) 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 juniorrangers@bouldercolorado.gov or text/call 303-345-8508 for assistance.

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 OSMPJuniorRangers.org for some “Mock Interview” practice sessions.

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.

Youth Jobs - Other Details

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 JuniorRangers@bouldercolorado.gov.

  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!

Pay

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 juniorrangers@bouldercolorado.gov.

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 www.rtd-denver.com. 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 under Junior Ranger Resources.

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.

FAQs

No, a personal email is required so that we can communicate directly with the applicant during the hiring process. Please create a new one if you do not have one.

No, we do not have a residency requirement. Anyone and everyone is welcome to apply.

The application for Junior Ranger Youth Positions will open in late February and close March 31, 2021. Links will be available in the Youth Jobs section on this website.

Applications for adult Team Leader and Program Assistant positions will open in late Jan. or early Feb. Links available in the Staff Jobs section.

Before emailing us to see if we received your application, please check your Junk and Spam folders for a confirmation email. Additionally, you can add “juniorrangers@bouldercolorado.gov”, “info@governmentjobs.com” and “donotreply@neogov.com” to your Safe Senders List to ensure you get future communication from us about your application. Different steps in the application process create auto emails from the above different email addresses.

We will be sending out the essay questions closer to the interview dates (towards the end of March). Expect to wait 2-3 weeks after submitting your application before they arrive in your inbox from juniorrangers@bouldercolorado.gov.

Email JuniorRangers@bouldercolorado.gov or call 303-441-3440

Or during the season at:

Wonderland Lake Trailhead

4201 Broadway, Boulder CO 80304

All staff are paid on a bi-weekly basis with a one-week delay from their start date. All City of Boulder employees must have a social security number before they begin work. All paychecks will be processed via direct deposit.

Eligibility for benefits is determined on a case by case basis and will be established when a job offer is made. Questions about benefits should be directed to Human Resources (303-441-3388).

Crews are expected to work in all-weather if it is safe for the crew and non-detrimental to the trail. If weather is severe and persistent, the program also elects the option to cancel work for the day and notify staff accordingly; however, this is a highly rare occurrence.

If staff arrive late to work due to weather conditions, without pre-approval, the late arrival is treated in the same fashion as a late arrival on any other workday. There may be an option to make up the time by flexing hours at the discretion of the Youth Service Learning Coordinator—either by staying late or coming in early another day. Otherwise, the missed hours will come out of reported hours.

When you submit your application, you will be redirected to a page that confirms that your application has been successfully submitted. All applications are reviewed and processed after the application period has closed (March 31, 2021). All applicants who submit a complete application will be invited via email to an interview in early April. Please allow up to 10 days for processing before you inquire about your status.

Yes. All Junior Rangers receive a W2 via email to the email address we have on file from your application. This year, we’ve heard from many people with gmail accounts that the email was sent to their spam folder, and that if you did not rescue it from spam within 30 days, it was automatically deleted. If you have not yet received your W2, please double check your spam folder, and then reach out to us if you still do not see it: juniorrangers@bouldercolorado.gov.

Junior Ranger Resources

Before You Arrive

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Recommended Clothing List

You will need a few specific personal items to be comfortable and safe at work. All Junior Rangers wear long pants, approved work/hiking boots (a stipend will be provided), a uniform t-shirt (provided on your first day), and work gloves. You will need to carry with you in a backpack your lunch, water for the day, rain gear and sunscreen. A safety helmet will also be provided for use during your job.

Refer to the Personal Equipment List and Pant and Boot Recommendations to help you prepare for work.

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 www.rtd-denver.com. 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 or below.

Bad Weather Cancellation Policy

Weather in Colorado can be changeable. Summer conditions are prone to afternoon thunderstorms. If conditions become unsafe for work, crews will secure a safe area in which to wait until the weather clears. If the weather changes such that work will not be able to be continued, crews will be dismissed before 3:30pm. This occurs only rarely. Crews will return to the Foothills Nature Center for dismissal.

Staff can be available to shuttle participants home who rely on a parent or guardian for their transportation. Junior Rangers are paid for hours worked and will not be paid past the dismissal time on bad weather cancellation days.

If weather conditions warrant work being cancelled before the start of the work day, a message will be left on the program field office voicemail by 7 a.m. (303-442-4289) and those who have opted in to text message notification will receive a text message.

During Employment

After Your Summer Ends

Staff Jobs

Team Leaders (and Team Leaders in Training)

Job Description

Each year the program seeks leaders (for 2021 only, all leader applicants will apply as Team Leaders (age 18+)) to build functional teams, complete trail maintenance and other natural resource projects, and support youth stewardship and job skills development. Team Leaders come from a variety of backgrounds in leadership, education, and conservation. They supervise the Conservation/Trail Crews, integrate learning opportunities into their project timelines, facilitate environmental education lessons, support program and department goals, and receive career and leadership development themselves as they work beside project sponsors and attend organized talks and trainings from OSMP department staff.

Details

In 2021, crews will likely consist of 2 Team Leaders and 8 Junior Rangers (subject to change based on COVID-19 protocol). There are 13 full-time seasonal Team Leader (age 18+) positions available.

2021 Position Dates

Position Starts: May 10, 2021

Unpaid holiday break: June 30 - July 2

Position Ends: August 6 or 13, based on candidate availability.

Team Leader (ages 18+)

Recruitment for 2021 Team Leader positions has closed. Please check back in Feb. 2022.

Program Assistant

Program Assistants work as part of a leadership team that oversees field and project management, program operations, leadership, administrative and logistical support.

Details

There are two full-time temporary Program Assistant positions available, each with a different focus. Prior experience with the Junior Ranger program is preferred for these positions. Both positions provide support and leadership in all aspects of running the Junior Ranger program and associated events.

  • Program Assistant: Field Support and Education

    This position will primarily focus on visiting crews in the field, supporting technical work projects, substituting as a Team Leader when someone is absent, and providing education to crews. They will oversee field and project management, skills development, and program operations; as well as provide public communications, administrative and logistical support to Program Coordinator. They will also manage media and photos, schedule work projects with project sponsors, and coordinate formal educational opportunities with the Education and Outreach team.

    2021 Position Dates

    Mid-April - Late August 2021

    Unpaid holiday break: June 30 - July 2

    This is approximately a four month role with an opportunity to return annually/reapply.

    Recruitment for 2021 Program Assistant positions has closed. Please check back in January 2022.

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 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 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.

En Español

Miembro del equipo de los Guardaparques Juveniles

¿Qué es el programa de los Guardaparques Juveniles?

  • Nosotros ofrecemos trabajo pagado para jóvenes de 14 a 17 años
  • Trabajarán con el Departamento de los Espacios Abiertos y Parques de Montaña de la Ciudad de Boulder (OSMP) en proyectos de recursos naturales – como mantenimiento y construcción de senderos, manejo forestal, vegetación y restauración ecológica
  • Únanse al legado de los Guardaparques de la ciudad de Boulder, desde 1965 hasta el día de hoy
  • Los Guardaparques juveniles aprenderán habilidades de trabajo importantes, explorarán OSMP, apoyarán las metas departamentales, recibirán desarrollo profesional y liderazgo, y servirán a la comunidad de Boulder
  • El pago por hora empieza en $12.32/hora el primer año de Guardaparques Juveniles

Descripción del trabajo:

Los Guardaparques juveniles son jóvenes apasionados y motivados que quieren trabajar juntos para hacer una diferencia en las tierras de OSMP. El trabajo requiere compromiso, motivación, trabajo en equipo y entusiasmo por nuevos retos.

Los Guardaparques Juveniles ofrecen dos equipos diferentes:

El equipo de Conservación

martes – sábado, 8am – 3:30pm

Sesión I: 1 de junio – 25 de junio

Sesión II: 6 de julio – 30 de julio

Cada sesión es de 4 semanas.

El equipo Guardaparques de Juveniles

lunes – jueves, 8am – 4pm

Solamente una sesión:

junio 7 – julio 1

El trabajo de Guardaparques juveniles es un compromiso real de trabajo. Se requiere una entrevista y la aplicación escrita. No se necesitan experiencia previa, pero una actitud positiva es esencial.