Wherever I go #IamKSS
Henry at the summit of Handies Peak in August 2016.
Keystone Science School is a place I call my second home. It is where they teach me survival skills I can use in the real world. I love the mythical creatures that wander around campus and all the good friends that I make. See you next summer! Thank you!
Henry is 10 years old and has been a KSS camper since 2013. He is from Chicago, Illinois.
If I had to pick one word that describes Keystone Science School, I would say “foundational.” I say that because it is a true foundation for many people that have no experience in our natural setting. It can possibly create this situation where a next environmental leader, whether they live in Denver, out of state, or in an inner city area, can really understand the importance that the environment brings to everyone in the world. I believe it really creates that foundational base for future environmental leaders around the world.
Dan Gibbs is a Summit County Commissioner.
My one word that I would use to describe KSS is home because for, I would say, half of my life, I’ve lived on this campus. Whether that’s in the dorms or in the lofts or in one of the little rustic cabins, this has become my home. Every summer I tell my staff, ‘This is going to be the greatest summer of your life!” And every summer this is the greatest summer of my life. And then I do it again, and realize THIS is the greatest summer of my life.
Cat Scanlan is the Assistant Director of Camp Programs and has been a part of KSS since the age of nine as a camper.
As a teacher I always felt like when people learn things with pleasure, they retain them for a lifetime. So as a teacher I wanted to provide, hands-on, fun, meaningful learning experiences and along the way I discovered that Keystone Science School has those same values. So for over 15 years I would bring my kids to Keystone Science School. At that time I was teaching 5th grade and it was just a wonderful experience having my students be outside learning about the environment and developing themselves and understanding that their personal choices really matter in this world.
Debra Mitchell is a retired Summit School District teacher and a KSS volunteer.
KSS lives on within me!
Here's my story and my official science, adventure, fun update:
Currently I am working towards a master's degree in Agroecology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. One of the reasons I became interested in studying agriculture and food systems is that agricultural systems all around the world are responsible for an incredible amount of land degradation and environmental problems! Many agricultural systems deplete soil quality, water quality, biodiversity - many of the things we learn about at Keystone Science School. The current food system is also responsible for emitting massive amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. It needs to change, and it can change for the better! That's why I'm studying it, and trying to find my place in the 21st century food and farming revolution.
Norway has stolen my heart. I chose to study here for my master's degree as a way to push into my growth zone and extend my comfort zone. It's been an irreplaceable experience to journey through the Norwegian countryside, a beautiful landscape carved by glaciers. I've gone up above the Arctic Circle (and experienced a week-long arctic storm!) and back, meeting lots of new friends along the way. The whole time, I have taken the words of adventurer and educator Willi Unsoeld with me: "Risk is at the heart of all education."
Sometimes students get very serious about their life and work. In one way, this is a positive thing, of course! However, it's so important to integrate fun into our lives. Right before I worked at KSS in the summer of 2013, one of my college friends told me that celebration was an essential part of sustainability. It was a revolutionary idea for me at the time. Working at KSS, I saw the celebratory aspect of sustainability come alive. I have come to honor joy and celebration as essential parts of life, and I appreciate that KSS keeps that celebration going, summer after summer, year after year. Rock on, KSS!
KSS lives on within me!