Youth Ranger crew

What is the Youth Ranger Crew?

The Youth Ranger Crew is an opportunity for youth aged 14 - 17 to work closely with Ranger Naturalists from Open Space & Mountain Parks.

Youth Rangers participate in skills-based training in natural resource management and customer service while exploring career paths in conservation. Youth 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 youth the opportunity to interact with emergency service and law enforcement officers on a daily basis to help youth build positive connections.

2024 Program Dates

July 8 - August 1 (4 weeks)
Monday - Thursday, from 8 am - 4 pm
(including a 30 minute unpaid lunch each day)


Youth Rangers are paid an hourly wage (30 hours per week):

First Year: $15.25

Second Year: $15.50

Third Year: $16.00

Fourth Year: $16.75


Youth Rangers are expected to arrive on time for work prepared for the day. Any absences must be approved in advance by the program manager.

Youth Ranger Crew receives 2021 Blue Grama Award!

The Youth Ranger Crew was the recipient of the Blue Grama Award for 2021 for Outstanding Visitor Engagement Program.

What do Youth Rangers do every day?

Bird Banding

Youth Rangers capture and band birds as part of ongoing avian research spanning more than 65 years

CPR/First Aid

Youth Rangers complete a course to earn their CPR certification.

Wildland Firefighting

Youth Rangers work with Boulder Fire Station 8 and learn about wildland fire fighting in the wildland-urban interface on Boulder Open Spaces and surrounding communities.

Youth Rangers work on fire mitigation projects in areas surrounding Boulder.

Defensive Tactics

City of Boulder Rangers instruct Youth Rangers on self-defense tactics used by law enforcement officers to protect themselves and visitors to the parks.

Search and Rescue

Rocky Mountain Rescue teaches Youth Rangers how to treat and evacuate an injured hikers from the field.

Youth Rangers meet the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office search & rescue dogs and watch the dogs perform a mock search.

Bat Ecology Night

On a night hike, Youth Rangers observe bat behavior and learn about the importance of bats’ roles in the ecosystem.


Youth Rangers work with the Colorado Center for Snake Conservation to examine and handle a wide variety of native and exotic species of snakes, amphibians, and reptiles.

Flight for Life

A Flight for Life helicopter crew landed on OSMP property and talked with the Youth Rangers about the world of emergency air transport and their use in search and rescue.

Interpretive Naturalist Training

Youth Rangers learn how to develop an educational program for the public and deliver their own program for children.

Alpine Ecology

Alpine Ecology with CU Mountain Research Station

Youth Ranger crew

Bat Ecology

Youth Ranger crew
youth ranger crew

Mock Search and Rescue

Youth Ranger crew
Youth Ranger crew

Youth Ranger releasing a bird at Thorne Nature Center

Youth Ranger crew