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Help your camper get the most out of the Summer of Connection 2021

get ready for camp

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.

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Best Overlooks & Photo Spots in Summit County

overlook photospots summit co 1

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.

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Six Summer Events in Summit County You Can’t Miss

summit county summer events

There’s always something fun going on in Summit County during the summer months as the different towns compete for your attention and showcase what makes this place so special. We’ve put together a shortlist of family-friendly events you should definitely check out. Consider mixing in some of these summer events with your outdoor adventures. For a full list of summer events and happenings in Breckenridge, Frisco, Dillon, and Silverthorne, see the calendar of events

  • Dillon Amphitheater Concerts - Every week of the summer, the Town of Dillon throws a variety of free and ticketed concerts. Past concerts include String Cheese Incident, the B-52s, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Lake Street Dive, DeVotchKa, and more! If music’s not your thing, they also show free movies all summer long. 
  • Dillon Farmers Market - The Dillon Farmers Market runs every Friday from 9am-2pm all summer long. You can find fresh produce, yummy hot food (empanadas, pierogies, and more!), bakery items, clothing, art pieces, and more! The Farmers Market is located near the Dillon Amphitheater and also features beautiful views of Lake Dillon, Peak 1, and more!
  • Frisco BBQ Challenge - The Annual Frisco BBQ Challenge packs delicious barbeque from all over the country, free concerts, pig races, a 6k with a bacon aid station, chef demos, street performers, a firefighter cook-off, a whiskey tour, and more! It’s located on Frisco Main Street and typically runs sometime around the end of June. 
  • Keystone Festivals - Throughout the summer, the Keystone Neighborhood Company throws a variety of fun food and music festivals. Typically, the festivals include Beer & Bluegrass, Bacon & Bourbon, and Wine & Jazz. The festivals take place in River Run with a host of other great shops and restaurants to explore. 
  • WAVE Festival - Breck Create holds a variety of art festivals and special events throughout the summer. One of their most popular festivals is WAVE (Light + Water + Sound). This multimedia festival features different interactive art installations in and around the Blue River Plaza in Breckenridge and typically takes place around the end of May or early June. Check out the rest of the Breck Create website for more exhibitions and summer events!
  • Silverthorne First Fridays - On the first Friday of every month, the town of Silverthorne puts on a free event for the community. It could be music in Rainbow Park or an Art Stroll by the Blue River, and it’s always a great time. First Fridays have a relaxed local vibe. You’ll always see kids running around, families catching up, and everyone enjoying the awesome place we’re in!

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Our Favorite Summer Gear for Exploring Summit County


Summer in Keystone, Colorado brings long days filled with sunshine and an endless list of backcountry trails ready to explore. Before you set off on your next summer adventure, take a look at this list from the KSS staff of our favorite summer gear and apparel for getting into the mountains or just spending time in the sun at 9,000ft.

  • Sun Hoodie - A sun hoodie with a high UPF helps protect me from the sun for long days on the river or high in the alpine. The lightweight fabric keeps me cool, dry, and protected!
  • Patagonia Houdini Jacket - A great breathable layer for during windy or cool days. I wear it mountain biking and hiking almost every day.
  • REI Day Pack - The mesh hardback keeps the structure upright and together and keeps sweat away from the pack. It has a built-in rainfly to keep my camera gear dry in those surprise rainstorms!
  • Garmin inReach Mini - Always having the ability to communicate in case of an emergency gives me and my loved ones peace of mind. It’s super small and easy to use, so I take this thing everywhere I go now.
  • Sawyer Mini Water Filter - I love the lightweight bags because you can fill them up and then go lay in the soft grass to filter the water instead of being all hunched over the streambed with a pump. I also prefer these over tablets when the water is more questionable.
  • Chacos – Hands down the best sandals on the planet. I’m in my chacos all day every day. Having a sandal that straps down to my foot lets me adventure or relax all in one.
  • Locking Travel Mug – I love coffee any month of the year and I love my travel mug that locks so that I can easily throw a hot cup of coffee in my backpack. There’s really nothing better than a hot coffee on top of a mountain.
  • Hammock - I love being able to carry around a light-weight hammock for relaxation. Sitting in the hammock on a warm summer day, reading a book, or taking a nap is one of the best ways to pass the time.
  • Canon 80D Camera - It gives me a mission when getting out into the backcountry, and lets me stop and appreciate the subtle details of the outdoors.
  • Mountain Bike - I have a new Trek Fuel Ex - my first carbon bike. I will spend most of my free time (when I’m not with my new baby) taking it for a ride!
  • My Bike – It’s the best mode of transportation in the summer. I personally love running routine errands on my bike because I can get the best parking spot and exercise at the same time.

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Day Camp: KSS Campus vs CATCH Locations

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KSS Day Camp registration starts March 17th! Let's explore the similarities and differences between Day Camp on the KSS campus and Day Camp at our CATCH locations.

  • Summit Co. Only vs. Open to Everyone - CATCH locations are offered to Summit County residents only and are offered on a sliding fee scale, while the KSS campus is open to campers from all over. Every program is open for our camp scholarships though, and applications are due by April 15th.
  • Same Curriculum, Same Themes - Our Day Camp curriculum and themed activities are the same, no matter if your camper is at the KSS campus or at one of our Summer CATCH locations! Supplies for each day are set aside for every camp location to ensure that every camper is participating in the same activities each day this summer.
  • Same Staff, Same Training - Our staff is trained to work both KSS campus and CATCH locations and they often switch throughout the summer. This ensures that the programs are as similar as possible and that every camper gets to find their new favorite counselor!
  • Archery or Bicycles? - While our KSS campus day campers are out getting bullseyes on the archery range, our campers at CATCH locations are learning bicycle balance, gears, and safety skills.
  • Lunch Provided Free or for a Small Fee - Due to generous donations, lunches are provided free at our Summer CATCH locations. We can provide lunches at our KSS campus too, for a small fee.
  • Different Trails, So Many Outdoor Spaces - Since our CATCH locations and KSS Campus are scattered throughout Summit County, our campers explore different trails and outdoor spaces while at camp. Good thing there is no shortage of wilderness around us!

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