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What You Can Learn as a Camp Counselor

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Being a summer camp counselor can be an amazing experience. It might be one of the most challenging jobs you undertake, but it can also be one of the most rewarding. There are long hours, tons of laughter, and so many life-changing moments. The life-changing moments aren’t just for the participating summer campers but also for each KSS staff member and counselor. KSS strives for each counselor to enjoy their own life-changing moments and opportunities for life-long learning. 

Review the KSS Employment page for a list of available positions and other perks and benefits. Here’s a list of skills you can gain from being a summer camp counselor. Build your resume and gain valuable life skills!

Teambuilding Skills

Camp Counselors work with a large group of coworkers and campers, so teambuilding comes naturally. Learn how to work alongside and communicate with others to achieve a common goal. As a counselor, you will lead various activities for campers that inspire collaboration and group problem-solving. Knowing how to effectively work with others is a skill that will follow you through all future endeavors.

Risk Management

As a counselor, you are responsible for the safety and well-being of your campers. You will learn how to identify and minimize risk, as well as critical evaluation and decision-making skills. These essential critical thinking and problem-solving skills are great for your resume and show a dedication to details and safety.

Adaptability

Camp Counselors have to be quick on their feet and able to adapt to changes at the last minute. Counselors come up with engaging activities and games on the spot and resiliency is a key quality for anyone working at summer camp.

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How to Prepare for a KSS Adventure Program?

Preparing for a KSS Adventure Program can sometimes feel like a challenge but it’s our goal to set every camper and family up for success. Each Adventure is designed to inspire the novice adventurer to learn more and a seasoned adventurer to gain more skills. Similar to every new experience, the more one prepares the easier an experience may be, but there is never a need for an expert-level training plan. See some of the outlined steps to help your camper better prepare for their KSS Adventure.

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Physical Preparation

Pre-program Conditioning - Outdoor Adventures can be hard work, so it is important to prepare your body. In the time before your trip, go on long walks and hikes while carrying a backpack. Slowly increase the weight of your backpack and the difficulty of the trails you hike on. If you don’t have access to hiking trails, a treadmill or walks around the neighborhood will do the trick too! Make sure to wear the shoes you plan on hiking in to break them in and avoid blisters. Every bit of practice helps you build muscle and feel confident in your hiking skills.

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Leave No Trace Seven Principles

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics created the Leave No Trace 7 principles to be a framework of responsible recreation for people who spend time outdoors. These principles describe minimal impact practices based on scientific research, and in collaboration with land managers, and outdoor educators. Keystone Science School uses the Leave No Trace 7 Principles to teach participants in outdoor education and all summer camp programs about environmental stewardship and the role we play in minimizing human impacts. Learn how you can practice these principles when spending time outdoors!

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Plan Ahead and Prepare

This principle highlights the importance of preparation when spending time outdoors. Research the weather in the area you are going, and be prepared for weather to change quickly, especially in Mountain terrain. Pack the appropriate gear like warm layers, rain gear, water, food, a first aid kit and a communication device. Make sure to bring a map and let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back.

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Witness Comet Leonard Now Through Christmas!

Comet Leonard Is Back!

By “Astro” Mark Laurin, Keystone Science School Adjunct Instructor & Volunteer

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 Since Comet Leonard was discovered almost a year ago, and during that time, its orbit brought it closer and closer to the Earth and the Sun.  The closer it gets to the Sun, the longer its tail and coma grow in color and size.  Up until now, in order to see the comet, it required being a hearty soul, committed to achieving full consciousness before early dawn, and having the aid of magnifying optics as the comet couldn’t be seen with the unaided eye.   But now, Comet Leonard, a long period comet, having let 70,000 years pass since its last flyby of Earth, is now giving all the world an encore appearance at a more reasonable hour.  That’s right, for us here in the northern hemisphere, the show begins in the early evening in the southwestern sky.  For the next three days, if conditions stay true, you should be able to see Comet Leonard with your naked eye and wave “hello and goodbye” to our interplanetary traveler.

Finders Keepers

Comet C/2021 A1, Comet Leonard, was named after its discoverer, American astronomer Gregory J. Leonard.  Mr. Leonard is a researcher working at the Mount Lemmon Infrared Observatory, and he identified the comet near the planet Jupiter on January 3rd, 2021.  Comet Leonard is a dirty ice ball made up predominantly of methane, ammonia, and water gasses that has a few miles under its belt to make its holiday appearance.  About 35,000 years ago, it was on the opposite side of its elongated elliptical orbit, its farthest point away from the Sun.  This moment in any celestial object's orbit is called the aphelion.  At that point, Comet Leonard was around 325 billion miles away from the Sun.

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HR and Equity Director, Edwin Coleman, Appointed to Outdoor Equity Grant Program

If you moved to Colorado and now call it your home, do you remember why? Or, why you stay in Colorado if you were born here? Families often choose Colorado to enjoy the many outdoor activities available, whether it’s skiing or hiking, or simply enjoying beautiful mountain vistas. But, even with the incredible natural amenities that exist, some Colorado youth and their families face barriers to accessing nature-based recreation.

edwin colemanIn response, the State of Colorado passed House Bill 21-1318 establishing the Colorado Outdoor Equity Grant Program Fund earlier this year. As part of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the program will support outdoor organizations that create opportunities to connect underserved Coloradoans to the natural environment – through both educational and recreational activities. It’s something Keystone Science School has been doing since 1976. Now, though, KSS can seek additional support through this grant program to build accessibility for those facing obstacles.

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