YMCA of Greater Seattle

Senior Program Director, Climbing & Challenge

Job Locations US-WA-Seattle
Posted Date 4 months ago(8/10/2023 4:46 PM)
Regular Full-Time
# of Openings
YMCA at Cascade People's Center
309 Pontius Ave N
Minimum compensation
USD $68,640.00/Yr.


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Building a community where all people, especially the young, are encouraged to develop their fullest potential in spirit, mind, and body.



The Y actively promotes a culture free from bias and injustice. We are dedicated to removing institutional and systemic barriers that result in oppression and racism. We will be accountable to marginalized communities for creating equitable and sustainable environments where social justice is woven into every facet of our programs, and by caring for our communities in a culturally versatile and respectful manner.


Climbing & Challenge is seeking a motivated, organized, and safety conscious Senior Program Director who shares our commitment to experiential education, youth development, community building, and cultural humility. The primary responsibilities of this role are organizational leadership of climbing and challenge course programs across all YMCA of Greater Seattle locations: including indoor rock climbing, artificial outdoor rock climbing, bouldering/traversing, low challenge courses, high challenge courses, zip lines, and ground-based teambuilding.

Climbing and Challenge is dedicated to connecting individuals and communities to themselves and others through shared recreational experiences at our various program locations at YMCA properties throughout King County and beyond. As a program of the Camping & Outdoor Leadership branch of the YMCA of Greater Seattle, Climbing & Challenge offers year-round programming. The Challenge Program engages with schools, non-profits, corporations, and community-based organizations to design and implement transformative single day challenge course experiences throughout the year. Activities within the Challenge Program include icebreakers, teambuilding activities, low challenge course elements, high challenge course elements, portable challenge programs, and debriefing/reflection. The Climbing Program runs year-round for YMCA members and non-YMCA community members at our artificial climbing walls. Activities within the Climbing Program include free climbing hours for YMCA members, climbing classes, climbing clinics, group rentals, and belay classes.

Find out more at www.seattleymca.org/challenge or www.seattleymca.org/climb.


What you'll get from working at The Y

  • Membership to the YMCA of Greater Seattle for you and your household
  • Medical, Dental, Vision, and Life insurance
  • Retirement with generous employer contributions
  • Free access to mental health resources
  • Rapidly-accruing paid time off (PTO) available immediately upon hire
  • Discounts on qualifying YMCA of Greater Seattle childcare and day camp programs


Hiring Range: $68,640.00 - $75,504.00 / year



  1. Oversee development and implementation of all Climbing and Challenge Course programming across the YMCA of Greater Seattle, specifically within King County.
  2. In accordance with ACCT and CWA, serve as the industry standard expert within the YMCA of Greater Seattle for all Climbing and Challenge elements.
  3. Organize and maintain consistent Climbing and Challenge Course documentation for all locations, including technical writing, developing manuals, and training curriculum.
  4. Meet or exceed industry standards for conducting and delivering technical staff training, facility inspections, facility maintenance, and safety equipment inventory.
  5. Serve as the primary staff trainer for all Climbing and Challenge locations within the YMCA of Greater Seattle.
  6. Ensure high quality programs through innovative program development evaluations and ongoing training of staff.
  7. Assist with delivery of programming across King County as needed.
  8. Compile program statistics and provide data and reports as required. Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of and participation in program(s).
  9. Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with YMCA Branches, ACCT Professional Vendor Members, community-based organizations, King County Parks, non-profits, and other partners.
  10. Ensure that risk management procedures are followed and that programs follow YMCA, contract, ACCT accreditation, and all relevant regulations and other applicable standards.
  11. Engage with YMCA of Greater Seattle locations and leaders to collaborate on site development, building projects, permitting, and construction.
  12. Collaborate with Outdoor Leadership Executive Director on writing and managing yearly budget.
  13. Provide leadership and support for branch management team, annual fundraising campaign, and volunteer committees/boards as assigned.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


This individual will have office space in the Outdoor Leadership offices at the Cascade People’s Center in the South Lake Union area of Seattle to fulfill job duties. This job operates in both a professional office setting and at our various Climbing and Challenge locations across King County. This role routinely uses standard office equipment. This role also works outside in all weather conditions and routinely uses Climbing and Challenge equipment, power tools, inspection tools, and implements proper safety techniques.



The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

Employees must be able to lift and carry items weighing up to 50lbs, safely climb and access high challenge course elements up to 40ft in height, be comfortable spending multiple hours at height in a full-body harness and helmet, communicate both verbally and non-verbally with other staff, volunteers, and participants. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


This is a full-time exempt position, and shifts vary based on program needs. This position is part of the Outdoor Leadership risk management support system and will require on-call shifts as duties demand.


Travel is an essential function of this position. Travel is primarily local during the business day across King County, although some out-of-the-area travel may be expected. Mileage reimbursement is available for eligible trips.


Code of Conduct for Applicants



  1. Current ACCT Level II Certification.
  2. Bachelor’s degree in relevant program or equivalent education or experience.
  3. Four years or more of related experience in climbing and challenge course programming with experience facilitating, performing inspections, and conducting trainings.
  4. One or more years of experience with staff and volunteer supervision, program development, and budget management.
  5. Ability to demonstrate strong organizational and management skills.
  6. Experience and knowledge with youth behavior management and child abuse prevention.
  7. Commitment to extraordinary customer service with the ability to effectively resolve conflicts.
  8. Strong technical skills in one or more of the following areas: Artificial Rock Climbing, High Challenge Courses, Low Challenge Courses, Ground-Based Teambuilding.
  9. Intermediate computer skills and experience with Microsoft Office suit (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Outlook).
  10. This position requires driving:
    1. 21 years of age or older.
    2. Current Driver’s License with a minimum of 3 years safe driving experience and a driving record which meets or exceeds YMCA standards.
    3. Other applicable education, training, and experience, which provide the knowledge, abilities, and skills necessary to perform effectively in the position will be considered.
    4. Maximum one minor violation.
    5. No speeding violation of more than 20mph over the limit.


  • Current ACCT Challenge Course Manager Certification (or willingness to obtain).
  • Current certifications with the CWA or AMGA.
  • Regional knowledge of local climbing and challenge course industry professionals and programs.
  • Knowledge of legal and risk management issues related to climbing and challenge programs.
  • Experience with anti-racism practices and coalition building.
  • Knowledge of, and previous experience with, diverse populations (language, culture, race, physical activity, sexual orientation, etc.). Ability to speak any language in addition to English may be helpful.

At the Seattle Y, we are an inclusive organization of people with a shared commitment to nurture the potential of youth, promote healthy living, and foster social responsibility. We also believe in supporting the wellbeing of our employees and offer a free Y membership as a benefit of employment.
Become a leader on our team at the YMCA of Greater Seattle where we promote a continuous learning environment and career opportunities.

YGS is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to creating a diverse and equitable work environment. Qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by local, state, or federal law.

We are a drug & alcohol-free workplace; all job offers are contingent on the results of a background check and (on applicable jobs) drug screening, including screening for marijuana. We participate in the Federal E-Verify system.

Building a community where all people, especially the young, are encouraged to develop their fullest potential in spirit, mind, and body.


  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Honesty
  • Caring
  • Passion for Excellence



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