Standing Together to Create Change

Courage. Defined in the dictionary as the ability to do something that frightens one; strength in the face of pain or grief. In the context of typical Science School programming, we frame this for students and campers as ‘stepping outside of our comfort zones’. Courage gives us the ability to learn, expand our thinking, build skills, and engage in new experiences. It’s something we hope to inspire in our participants at KSS, through safe yet challenging opportunities.

It’s only fitting that this summer’s theme is the Summer of Courage. We’re seeing courage show up in many ways – parents trusting us to care for their children in the midst of a pandemic; staff developing new systems and processes to make programming possible; and children putting facial coverings on each day to experience camp.

We’re also considering how courage shows up in the face of disturbing headlines of racial injustice and protests. As an organization whose founder, Bob Craig, firmly believed in science as the guide for discourse and who believed a non-biased approach was critical for educators to embrace and make room for independent and critical thinking– we’ve shied away from taking a stance on issues. It isn’t in our DNA, so to speak. But in the context of recent headlines, we recognize the need to reaffirm our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion so that the impact of our work is truly accessible to people from all communities.

We know that Keystone Science School and the outdoor and experiential education industry can do better to welcome equity. Recognizing that the journey will take focused time, resources, and work, the KSS team developed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force in November, 2019. The DEI Task Force is charged with researching the work of DEI in our industry, gathering resources and tools to educate ourselves on this important work, and creating a plan to effectively weave DEI into all facets of our organization.

We believe that the outdoors is an educational and healing space that everyone should have access to and the ability to enjoy. We believe that it is our responsibility to be an engaged, educated, open-minded, and active organization working to break down the systems and practices that limit access. We believe in educating ourselves, challenging and shifting our thinking, and in creating new and engaging opportunities at KSS for diverse staff, youth, and board members to be a part of our mission.

Acknowledging our need to do better and restarting the work of the DEI Task Force is just the beginning. We will not back away. We will listen. We will learn. We will lean into the spaces that might be tough or that stretch our comfort zones so we can continue to have courageous conversations that lead to the change we need. We hope that you’ll join us in our efforts in a way that is meaningful to you.

In courage,

Ellen Reid
Executive Director

Farewell from "Seth, The Director"

Dear KSS Summer Camp Families,

I walked onto Keystone Science School (KSS) Campus for the first time in 2008 not knowing how impactful this place and the people I met would be on my life. The campers, parents, and counselors helped me become the person I am today and will help me become the person I am meant to be for the future. This place has truly been a home away from home because of each and every one of you. I will miss you all dearly and I may not be your camp director for the Summer of Courage, but I have been working closely with an amazing group of people and trust they will keep the magic alive.

I want to thank you for putting your trust in me and KSS for so many years. I have truly loved my time being the Camp Director for you and your children. I am so grateful for the friends and all the amazing memories I have made at KSS, and I will cherish this for years to come. With that, it comes with great emotion to announce that this chapter of my life will be ending, and I will begin the next chapter of my life by moving back to Ohio to be closer to my family.

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Remember campers that the magic of KSS doesn’t come from me, the staff, or even our campus. The magic that lives at KSS comes from each and every one of you. You are the magic of KSS, and I am so amazed at who you all have become over the years and I can’t wait to see you all become the leaders of tomorrow. This is not goodbye but see you later and when I think of you, I will remember those stars in the sky. I will challenge you one more time to step out of your comfort zone, try something new, and make a new friend. I will miss you all dearly!

KSS parents, thank you for trusting in me and the Science School to keep your children safe and the opportunity to be a part of their lives. I have cherished each and every moment I have had with you all. You have been such a big part of my development and the reasons this place has felt like a second home.

In the words of Fred Rogers:

“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet and how important you can be to those you may never dream of.”

You have been such important people in my life, and I will keep you all close to my heart.

I would love for you all to stay in touch, please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Have a wonderful and healthy summer!

All the best,

Seth Oglesby

Work-Based Learning at Keystone Science School: Building Skills for the Future Workforce

We create future leaders who can problem solve and work together in an ever-evolving world and workplace environment. -Keystone Science School’s Mission

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While Keystone Science School is best known for inquiry-based learning programs that teach science, outdoor skills, and community building to children, we also develop the next generation of leaders through work-based learning programs for young professionals.

Work-based learning integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with hands-on experience and skill development in a workplace setting. KSS internships, apprenticeships, and seasonal jobs provide an excellent opportunity to explore and prepare for a career in outdoor education, the outdoor industry, teaching, marketing, or non-profit work while developing skills essential for the future workforce.

Critical Skills for the Future Workforce

As automation and global connectivity continue to transform the modern workplace, “uniquely human” skills, such as adaptive thinking and social intelligence, are at a premium. Unfortunately, a 2019 report by the Society for Human Resources Management finds that employers are challenged with recruiting qualified talent. The top 3 missing soft skills are:

  • Problem-solving, critical thinking, innovation and creativity;
  • Ability to deal with complexity and ambiguity;
  • Communication.

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A Day in the Life of an Education Program

Cookie mining is a game where students learn about the mining history of Colorado and the effect mining has on the natural landscape. That’s right we use cookies to teach about mining because were the Keystone Science School and we do things a little bit differently. We take the classroom outside and students learn in ways they never have before. Come and see what we’re all about!

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The Keystone Science School works with students from all over the nation to provide exceptional student experiences in the outdoors. The majority of our students come from Colorado and we see students of all ages from a multitude of backgrounds. One of the best aspects of Keystone Science School’s education programs is the work we put in with both teachers and administrators to create a unique customized program. Teachers choose programming that will be best for their students based on state standards, their school’s curriculum, and their students' needs. This work before the program allows teachers to prepare both students and parents for what to expect on their trip to the Keystone Science School.

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11 Things You’ll Love About Working at KSS

Keystone Science School is currently accepting applications for 2020 seasonal positions. Whether you’re an experienced outdoor educator, or you want to develop your skills in a work-based learning program, we’re searching for candidates eager to combine hands-on science with outdoor adventure to create engaging experiences for our students. For more information, visit KeystoneScienceSchool.org/Employment or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Keystone Science School is proud to be Summit County’s #1 Best Not-Profit and #2 Best Place to Work! Here are 11 things you’ll love about working KSS:

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