Science Beyond the Classroom for all Summit County Third-Graders
Third-Grade Mountain Ecology is a dynamic outdoor education initiative unique to Summit County
It was not class as usual for all third-grade Summit County School District students as they participated in Keystone Science School’s Third-Grade Mountain Ecology School Program during the last week of March. Instead of learning in the classroom, students bundled up for the outdoors and learned about the mountain ecology of Summit County.
This experiential learning opportunity was made possible by a generous donation from Vail Resorts EpicPromise Foundation, supporting this field-based program since its inception. For more than fifteen years, Third-Grade Mountain Ecology has impacted over 3,000 eager students in our community.
The Hidden Purpose of CLAW
On Monday of our Discovery Camp Deluxe session, the first question we hear from campers is, “Are we having CLAW this year?” Of course, we always answer, “Nope we’ve changed the Deluxe schedule this summer.” They know we’re lying, but they play along anyway. Half the fun of CLAW is the anticipation!
Wait just one second… What is CLAW? Camp Legends and Warriors, CLAW, is Keystone Science School’s color war program. It is a 2-3 day heavy competition where the camp is split into four teams and everything done at camp is for points. The intensity and commitment of the campers and counselors is indescribable.
Let’s take a walk through CLAW. During what would be a normal camp program, perhaps movie night, there is a strange occurrence. The movie suddenly stops. The campers begin to make noise, what’s going on? There’s a moment of static and BAM! The letters CLAW appear on the screen. The room erupts in screams of delight. The games are about to begin. The Discovery Camp Manager reveals the teams, their CAP-tains (counselor assistant program), and their mascots. Once all the logistics have been announced, it is full out warfare.