Meet the 2021 Summer Staff
We're so excited to welcome our 2021 summer staff! This blog is ever-evolving and we plan to update the list with all instructors soon.
Building the best staff starts long before the sunny days of summer. Applicants go through a thorough interview process so that we can find those who best fit at the Keystone Science School. We believe that the key to exceptional camper and student experiences is having a professional, caring, and happy staff. While we have ongoing mentorship and meetings throughout the summer, the bulk of our training starts before any campers or students arrive. Learn more about our staff training.
- Meet the Day Camp Staff
- Meet the Discovery Camp Staff
- Meet the Discovery Adventures & Expeditions Staff
Julia graduated in May 2019 from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry with a degree in Environmental Education and Interpretation. Since graduating, she’s worked as an outdoor educator in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Catalina Island, Northern Michigan, and as an Interpretive Ranger at Joshua Tree National Park. Julia loves spending time outside and sharing her love for the natural world with children.
Samantha has been with KSS for many years as a camper and counselor assistant (CAP), and always wanted to become a KSS counselor. She loves spending time in the outdoors and is excited to share the outdoors with day campers. Samantha is a student at Western Washington University studying environmental science, hoping to make a difference in the world.
Thomas "TC" B.
TC has been at KSS since he was 8 years old. “This place is my home, and nothing feels better than to give our next generation the camp experiences that I received when I was a camper. People can be themselves here, and that energy reflects in the campers too. I wanted to be part of that positive movement as a counselor.”
All of Erin’s previous jobs have been focused on science and the outdoors. After graduating high school in 2018, Erin worked at the summer camp she had gone to as a kid. There, she taught girls how to be confident in the outdoors and know that there was always a place for them in the field of outdoor recreation. Erin also worked at a children's museum in Reno where she taught all things science; static electricity, the human body, robots, physics, and space! “I love working with kids and teaching them about one of my favorite things--science and the outdoors!
Maya studied environmental science in college and took part in her school’s leadership training course for outdoor adventures. Maya also studied at a field station in Costa Rica, worked as a video editor for an environmental film production company, and her local newspaper, and then a magazine in Denver. “I spend every available second I can outside and want to help as many kids as possible do the same.”
Four Exciting Day Trips from Summit County
So you’ve explored everything Summit County has to offer? Really? Well, luckily we’re surrounded by so many cool places within a short drive. Whether you’re looking for historical towns, a place to relax, or more mountain time, this list will get your wheels turning.
- Leadville - Drive about an hour out of Frisco and reach Leadville, one of the most charming mountain mining towns in the Rockies. Its main street includes some great thrift stores, coffee shops, and the famous Melanzana Clothing Company (get there early - there’s often a line!)
- Glenwood Hot Springs - Glenwood Hot Springs is about 2 hours west of Summit County and has the best hot springs in the state. The town of Glenwood itself also has great shopping, restaurants, and adventures - including an amusement park at the top of a canyon, cave tours, and rafting!
- Browns Canyon Rafting - About 2 hours south from Keystone, you’ll reach Buena Vista - home to Browns Canyon! Here, down the Arkansas River, you’ll find some of the best rafting in the state. It’s also KSS’s favorite rafting destination - so don’t be surprised if you run into the Hot Pink Gorilla along the way!
- Rocky Mountain National Park - If you drive two hours north of Keystone, you can get to Rocky Mountain National Park. There are beautiful scenic views, easy to advanced hiking, lots of Colorado wildlife, and other great outdoor activities. Only a little bit of time? Try some of the park’s scenic drives instead!
Summer Activities for Teens in Summit County
There is so much adventure to be had for teens in Summit County in the Summer months. The Rocky Mountains offer up trails for biking and hiking, cliffs for climbing, and rivers to run. When you've had enough vitamin D and forest bathing, there are lots of fun things to do indoors as well. Use this list to take on the day as a family or give teens their space to explore on their own. There's something for everyone here at 9,000ft!
- Biking - Summit County has some of the most beautiful and challenging biking in the state. There are hundreds of mountain biking trails and recreational paths so both beginners and experts can find the perfect summer bike ride.
- Green Mountain Reservoir - About 20 miles north of Silverthorne, is Green Mountain Reservoir, the best spot for lake swimming, water sports, and beach days in Summit!
- Breckenridge Epic Discovery Park - At the base of Peak 8, there is an adventure park for kids, teens, and adults alike. The park includes a zipline, alpine slide, rock climbing, and more!
- Rock Climbing - There are tons of great spots throughout Summit County to go rock climbing. Check out Haus Rock in Montezuma, Windy Point on Swan Mountain, or Frisco Bouldering. If your teen is a beginner there are also great climbing gyms in Silverthorne and Breckenridge!
- Movie Theaters (Dillon or Breckenridge) - Rainy day? Skyline Cinema is centrally located in Dillon and is Summit County’s largest movie theater. There is always a collection of the newest movies. If you’re in Breckenridge you can check out the Speakeasy Movie Theater which shows both blockbuster movies and small independent movies.
- Escape Rooms - Breckenridge and Frisco each have Escape Rooms and is a great way to engage any teen. Schedule your time and see if they are up to the challenge!
- Community Events - Summit County is full of community events all summer long whether it’s outdoor concerts, food festivals, and public art. Check out the events calendar in the Summit Daily (local newspaper) and see what’s happening in Summit County during your stay.
Help your camper get the most out of the Summer of Connection 2021
Whether this is your child’s first time coming to camp or their sixth summer, here are a couple of tips when planning for the Summer of Connection. The steps presented here can help your child get ready for an amazing summer without homesickness, and be able to fully immerse themselves in the Keystone Science School summer camp experience.
Before They Go
Include your child in the decision process: When selecting a summer camp program, let your kid(s) get involved so they can find their perfect summer camp experience. When they have questions parents are welcome to call or email the KSS Customer Experience team with your camper.
Paperwork: Completing all the necessary paperwork is cumbersome and time-consuming but the forms really help the KSS Camp staff understand how to best take care of your child. The more detail you can provide in paperwork is appreciated!
Independent Packing: You can review the packing lists on the Getting Ready for Camp webpage for each program. Engage your child in the packing process. Lay out all items and allow your camper to physically pack the items in the bag. If they have questions about items and why they’re important, be available to answer any questions.
Best Overlooks & Photo Spots in Summit County
Summit County is one of the most beautiful destinations in the Country and you don’t have to trek for miles to get the most amazing views. In fact, some of the most picturesque landscapes are just a short walk or drive away! Take your camera, pack a picnic, and pick one or all of these locations to check off your bucket list. These places will take your breath away, and it won’t just be the altitude. 😉
Photo Pro Tip: Golden hour is around an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset. It’s the photographer’s best friend and will give you that #nofilter, professional landscape lighting. Bonus points if you can get a shot right after an afternoon shower has passed. More volatile weather means more drama which gives you a more interesting picture.
- Old Dillon Reservoir - Drive towards Frisco on the Dillon Dam Road until you reach a trailhead to your right. Hike about a mile up to Old Dillon Reservoir. This spot is perfect for views of both the Gore Range over Silverthorne and Lake Dillon. Very fun for a full moon/moonrise hike!
- Ptarmigan Bench - If you make a short drive from Silverthorne to the Ptarmigan Mountain Trailhead and hike up about 2 miles, you’ll get to a bench on the side of the mountain that’s also a beautiful scenic outlook of Silverthorne, Buffalo and Red Mountains, and Lake Dillon.
- Loveland Pass - Drive past Keystone on Highway 9 until you reach Loveland Pass -- also the home of the Continental Divide! There are epic views of Arapahoe Basin ski area along with Grizzly, Cupid, and Lenawee mountains. Feeling adventurous? The hike to the top of Cupid Peak is steep, but short (only about 1.75 miles to the top) and will offer even more incredible views of Grays, Torreys, and Sniktau peaks.
- Windy Point - Swan Mountain Road is one of the most beautiful drives in Summit County. If you head from Keystone to Breckenridge, there is a trailhead about halfway with some beautiful outlook opportunities. If you hike up the hill from the parking lot, you’ll reach windy point - a popular rock climbing destination and one of the best views of the Gore Range - specifically Buffalo and Red Mountain. Local Tip: if fire restrictions allow for fireworks in Dillon/Frisco on the 4th of July, this is an amazing spot to watch them!
- Sapphire Point - If you pass the Windy Point trailhead and keep driving on Swan Mountain Road, you’ll reach Sapphire Point. This point has a gorgeous view of Peak One and there’s a nice short hike that gives you views of Lake Dillon and the Gore Range as well. This is also a good spot for wildlife - it’s been nicknamed Chipmunk Point!
- Keystone Mountain - A popular activity for both locals and tourists alike is taking a summer gondola ride to the top of Keystone Mountain. Up there you’ll get breathtaking 360° views of Summit County, and (depending on the time of summer) beautiful wildflowers. The gondola ride isn’t free, but tickets can be purchased on the Keystone Resort website.
- Dillon Amphitheater - A short drive off of Highway 9 is the Dillon Amphitheater. It’s a picture-perfect view of Lake Dillon and there’s a nice walk you can take on the bike path on the edge of the lake.