Programs Specialist Job Description 

Candlelight Ranch is looking for a goal-oriented person with strong risk management and interpersonal skills who is passionate about our mission of serving special needs and at-risk youth in an outdoor recreational setting.  We seek a Program Specialist who places safety at the highest priority and is detail oriented.

The Programs Specialist will serve as a key program position for Candlelight Ranch, working in partnership with the Program Director, Program Coordinator, Volunteers and Interns. The Programs Specialist oversees and implements all duties pertaining to the operations of the ropes course facilities, ranch program facilities and all program equipment. In addition to Supervising and leading groups both at the Ranch and in the community through safe and beneficial outdoor experiences. 

The Programs Specialist will assist with or facilitate the following programs/ activities: 

  • Challenge Course: Includes zip lines, Canyon Crawl, high and low ropes course elements. leads group facilitation, including processing the Challenge Course experience.  
  • Waterfront Activities: facilitate canoeing, kayaking and fishing with Ranch groups and receive a lifeguard certification. 
  • Archery: receive instructor training and facilitate ranch groups through an introductory lesson of the basics of archery. 
  • Equine Education: Hands-on learning opportunities utilizing Equine Assisted Learning.
  • Nature Hikes: On both Ranch and community park/greenspaces’ hiking trails.
  • Arts and Crafts: Customized art projects that incorporate the natural environment.
  • Nature Therapy and Education: Nature exploration and learning about the positive effects a natural environment can have on mental and physical health.
  • Community Outreach: development & facilitation of community based programming through community partners.
  • Outdoor Explorers: Taking place at both the ranch and local community parks this is a program that aims to inspire adolescents with special needs to get outside and explore the mental and physical benefits of outdoor recreation, practice positive social skills, and gain an appreciation of our natural environment through experiential learning activities. 


  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field or experience in the recreation field. 
  • Ability to obtain and maintain Level 1 certification to facilitate a challenge course including high/low elements, zip lines and a two-line bridge.
  • Ability to obtain and maintain Level 2 certification to train and recertify high ropes course personnel. 
  • Ability to obtain and maintain CPR/First Aid & Lifeguard certification.  
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Self-starter, motivated and can work independently.


  • Implements weekly & quarterly maintenance checks of low and high ropes courses 
  • Is responsible for all environmental checks pertaining to the safety and operations of low and high ropes courses as detailed in the facilities Local Operating Procedures
  • Accountable for all safety procedures including equipment maintenance, safety checks and logs.
  • Coordinates and leads all ropes training including zip facilitation, low ropes and high ropes certification and recertification 
  • Organize, supervise and implement safe, engaging, high and low ropes challenge course experiences. 
  • Carry out check-in and check-out procedures for ropes program areas as outlined in Candlelight Ranch’s Local Operating Procedures.
  • Responsible for overall safety checks, cleanliness and upkeep and care of ropes equipment and shed.
  • Responsible for security of ropes courses.
  • Inform Program Director of any malfunctioning/broken equipment and order replacements as directed.
  • Maintain high levels of safety standards and enforce all rules for campers and ropes personnel. 
  • Ability to work autonomously and collaboratively. 
  • Ability to lead groups of 12 to 15 participants through outdoor activities.  
  • Maintains a safe environment for self and all participants throughout all activities.   
  • Conducts morning program preparations with priority to ropes courses before the start of ranch groups and clean-up of programming space at the conclusion of the day.  
  • Collects, distributes and inputs (summer only) surveys into data collection system with guidance of Program Coordinator. 
  • Works collaboratively with the Program Coordinator & Program Director to develop clear, consistent, and impactful programs that increase Candlelight Ranch’s Impact  
  • Assists Program Director & Program Coordinator with the coordination and implementation of all on and off-site programming. 

Working Conditions 

  • Works from the Ranch on Lake Travis and at a home office
  • Must provide own transportation to and from the facilities and any meeting locations.
  • Reliable internet access is required.
  • Position is physically demanding, with ability to lift 50 pounds, hike the ranch on a regular basis.

Full time, salaried position, minimum 30 hours per week. Benefits including flexible paid time off during off season. Start date May 1, 2021. 

To Apply: Send Resume and Cover Letter to [email protected] by April 15, 2021