FOCUS Summer Projects: YMCA of the Rockies 

Looking for a job this summer where you can grow in your faith and make life-long friendships with other Catholic students? For the fourth consecutive summer, FOCUS is offering students the chance to participate in FOCUS Summer Projects at the YMCA of the Rockies.  Here, we will provide a group of college students with (1) a paid summer job, (2) an incredible Catholic community, and (3) ten weeks of Catholic faith formation.  The beauty of Summer Projects is that it gives students the opportunity to both work a summer job and have an incredible Catholic experience alongside their work! 

FOCUS Summer Project: YMCA of the Rockies

How does this all work?  In short, FOCUS has contracted to provide the YMCA of the Rockies with a certain number of workers for the summer.  In return, the YMCA has agreed to schedule all FOCUS workers in such a way as to allow FOCUS to run a formation program alongside student work hours.  This year FOCUS will host students at two Colorado YMCA locations (listed below).

Work

Job opportunities at the YMCA are varied, and while FOCUS students who are guaranteed a job with the YMCA, they are not guaranteed their first choice of job. The sooner students apply, the more likely they are to receive the job of their choice. Possible jobs include: food service, adventure activities facilitator, horseback riding instructor, and housekeeping, just to name a few. Students will receive a paycheck from the YMCA and will receive room and board in the YMCA staff housing.  Students will work 40 hrs/week with overtime available on occasion.

Those accepted to the program will earn $210/week plus room and board for their work.

Faith Formation

Summer Projects develops spiritual multipliers by immersing students in the doctrinal, sacramental, moral, and spiritual life of the Church.  This immersion takes place within the context of a community of discipleship, which, alongside spiritual multiplication, is the irreplaceable hallmark of FOCUS’ charism.  Accompanied (or discipled) by missionaries and their peers, students will participate in daily mass, regular spiritual direction, and frequent confession.   Finally, students will complete a spiritual and intellectual curriculum which includes three elements: (1) an individual reading plan, (2) a speaker series, and (3) a ten-week bible study. 

  1. Individual Reading: The Summer Projects Curriculum involves an individual reading plan carried out in the context of discipleship.  The reading plan is simple.  Students will read the gospel of John twice, during both the first and last week of the program.  Throughout the interim weeks, students will read assigned portions of the summer projects individual reading plan contained in this book. 

  2. Speaker Series:  Summer students will hear two lectures each week for a total of twenty lectures.  Three factors were considered in deciding on topics for these lectures: (1) centrality to the Church’s kerygma; (2) relevance to contemporary spirituality; and, (3) pertinence to FOCUS’ Mission.  Thus, topics for this year’s lectures range from Trinitarian theology to gender theory to spiritual multiplication.  For a detailed schedule of the Summer Projects Speaker Series see the handout given at orientation.

  3. Bible Study:  Each student will participate in a bible study small group.  Students will take turns leading the small group so as to better lead their own bible studies back on campus.  Students are encouraged to use FOCUS’ Story of Salvation study, discussing one chapter each week.  That said, students may choose to lead another bible study at the discretion of the study leader, so long as the bible study is developed by FOCUS.  It is important that students gain familiarity with FOCUS materials so as to better transfer their summer experience to campus.

Fellowship 

Who wouldn’t want to spend a summer making friends with other young Catholics in the beautiful Rocky Mountains? Students who attend the Summer Project will find that they form deep friendships with the other students as they work, pray, and have adventures together.

The group will take time each week for different fellowship activities, which could include whitewater rafting down the Cache La Poudre, attending an outdoor jazz concert in Rocky Mountain National park, a day of hiking, or going to dinner in scenic Colorado destinations.

Dating Fast

All students who participate in the Summer Projects are asked to participate in a dating fast in order to enter more deeply into this time of faith formation. However, if students are already in a dating relationship, they are not prohibited from participating in Summer Projects. Students are simply asked not to begin new dating relationships. Those students already in a dating relationship are asked to date in such a way that does not distract from the program. This usually involves limiting communication to 3-4 phone calls a week.

Dates and Locations:

Estes Park, CO (120 Students)

  • May 26: Students arrive in at the YMCA of the Rockies for FOCUS orientation
  • May 29: Students undergo YMCA staff orientation
  • August 2: Students’ last day of work at YMCA of the Rockies 
  • August 3: Students depart   

Granby, CO (56 students)    

  • May 29: Students arrive to YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch for FOCUS orientation
  • May 31: Students undergo YMCA staff orientation
  • August 20: Students work last day at YMCA
  • August 21: Students depart

Cost:

Students must fundraise $2,150 to participate in the program. That amount covers the cost of the FOCUS formation program that they will receive throughout the summer. Once they are accepted into the program, they will be contacted by a fundraising coach who will help them to raise the amount they need.

Locations:

  1.  YMCA of the Rockies – Estes Park: 2515 Tunnel Rd, Estes Park, CO 80511

  2. YMCA of the Rockies – Snow Mountain Ranch: 1101 Co Rd 53, Granby, CO 80446

I want to attend! What are my next steps?

Apply online by clicking the link below. Applications are received through the FOCUS Missions’ application system.  Make sure to list “Summer Projects” as your first choice in the trip preference section.  Student applications will be assessed on a rolling basis with student being admitted for the limited slots on a first-come, first-served basis. As soon as you are notified of your acceptance by FOCUS, you will receive a link to fill out the YMCA application, and a missionary fundraising coach will contact you to coach you through the fundraising process. Summer projects is a very competitive program, so we encourage you to apply soon!