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The Experience

Thank you for expressing interest in serving in the College Program at Ghost Ranch Education & Retreat Center. Ghost Ranch is a national Conference Center of the Presbyterian Church (USA), located in a beautiful and spiritual environment rich with the history and culture of the Southwest. Participants in the Ghost Ranch college program will have the opportunity to serve in a variety of different functions at the Ranch while living in a community of intention with peers from around the country.

Location and Transportation
Ghost Ranch is located near Abiquiu, NM. It is in an isolated area and is about 45 minutes from the nearest city (Española). You may bring personal vehicles for trips during your free time, but are encouraged to walk or bike around the Ranch, as driving is a hazard for pedestrians and detracts from the peace of the community. Transportation between the Albuquerque airport and Ghost Ranch is provided for those flying at the beginning and end of the summer.

Living Space
We live in a rustic yet charming living area. Eight casitas serve as our bedrooms. They are small, duplex units of two rooms each, with two to three people sharing a room. They are summer-camp style accommodations with cement floors and bunk beds. One of the casitas is a community room with a fridge, microwave, television, DVD player, and a game table. The outdoor area in front of the casitas is another shared space where we enjoy gathering for Wednesday night check-in, campfires, sleeping under the stars, befriending wild rabbits, and taking in the view of Kitchen Mesa. Communal, gender-specific bathrooms and showers are nearby, and a laundry facility is also proximate to the casitas.

The dates of the program last from arrival on June 10th, 2020 through departure August 10th, 2020. The first and last days (June 10 and August 10) will be travel days to and from the Ranch. The first week of the summer is reserved for an extensive orientation. During this time, members of the college program start forming their community, become familiar with Ghost Ranch and its mission and policies, and receive training for individual positions.

Age Requirements
Candidates must have completed at least their sophomore year of college to apply. Occasionally, mature first year students will also be considered. Individuals are typically considered for one summer. At the invitation of the Program Department Staff, certain individuals may return for additional summer(s) of service in specific leadership roles.

Substance Free Covenant
Members of the college program commit to being substance free (alcohol, drugs, and tobacco) during the summer. We invite members of this college community to enter into this commitment for several reasons. Many members serve in direct youth mentorship roles and all members of this community represent the Ranch. The covenant is meant in part to enable individuals to best serve as role models and representatives to the wider Ranch community. Furthermore, a summer at the Ranch provides a unique opportunity to use the resources of the Southwest to heal and feed the soul, and we find that remaining substance-free more fully enables people to engage in these opportunities. You will be surprised by the ways that you grow and change over the summer when you take advantage of all that the Ranch and the surrounding areas have to offer. Many individuals also find that the covenant provides an opportunity to bond with peers in a substance-free environment that is not always available at their college. We invite you to think of other ways in which you can challenge yourself and/or grow through the covenant this summer. The covenant works best if each community member takes a personal investment in it. We take this commitment very seriously and consider it an essential part of building a healthy community for the summer. Please reflect carefully on this requirement when applying for a position.

Free Time
In their free time, participants in the college program may take advantage of the Ranch’s swimming pool, hiking trails, and water sports. The Ranch also provides space to simply relax in the peaceful, rural environment. Daily contemplative and intergenerational worship services are held, including worship with communion on Sunday mornings. In addition, there is time for sightseeing and experiencing the diverse cultures of New Mexico. We hope to have all members of the program off on Friday evenings and Saturdays. While these trips are optional, they are great opportunities to see local sites and spend time with the community. In previous years, these outings have included visits to Chaco Canyon, Pagosa Springs Mineral Hot Springs, Bandelier National Monument, and the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Other Saturday activities have included bowling, going to baseball games, and visiting the Santa Fe Opera. These trips are mostly or entirely funded through funds from the college program, so participants will typically only need to bring additional spending money if they so wish.

Lodging, meals and a stipend of $5/hour are subject to change prior to the start of summer 2019.

David Michael Kennedy Photography

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