Adventure, not just for the kids!

ptarmigan

Drop your children off at summer camp and have your own fun adventure!

Keystone Science School has a summer camp program located in Summit County, Colorado, a hotbed of adventure, outdoor activities, and amazing food. Most people know Keystone and Summit County because of skiing and snowboarding but it is quickly becoming a summer destination. A common saying among locals is, “I came here for the winter, but stay here for the summer.”

So you just dropped your precious cargo in the hands of super qualified and awesome Keystone Science School counselors and… now what? Well, it’s time to start enjoying that well-earned time for yourselves and you better hurry up because there is way too much to do in this neck of the woods and you don’t want your kids to have more fun than you.

From the top of Loveland Pass to the edge of Green Mountain Reservoir, from the back of Keystone Mountain to the south of Breckenridge, and the towns of Frisco, Dillon, and Silverthorne all connected by the Dillon Reservoir (Lake Dillon), you are set up for a mountain adventure even if you never leave your car.

If your legs are up for it, a bicycle is an awesome mode of transportation to explore Summit County. The bike trails, paved and dirt are endless. If you are driving here to Keystone, bring those bikes. You will have more options to explore from wherever you land. Your feet can also access these same trails too.

Read More

2021 is the Year of Connection for KSS

2021 kss year of connection 2 2020 day campers learning the web of life

By Ellen Reid, Executive Director

In the quiet moments that I carved out for myself in 2020 (while few and far between), I took time to reflect, hoping to learn from the chaos and upheaval surrounding me. Most of the time, my mind wandered to thoughts of which way to go on the trail or how happy my puppy seemed.

Recently, though, I had the realization that I really missed people. Being around people, laughing with them, listening to their stories, learning from them. It’s probably a realization most of you had months ago and my introverted self was slow to come around. Sure, I’ve participated in my share of Zoom calls attempting to remain connected to work peers, family, and friends. But nothing can replace in-person time together.

We are inherently social beings and being connected is good for us. In 2014, Dr. Emma Seppala, the Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, noted that “strong social connection leads to a 50% increased chance of longevity, strengthens your immune system, helps you recover from disease faster, reduces anxiety and depression…Social connectedness generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional, and physical well-being.”

Read More

What are the best kid-friendly activities in Summit County?

summit co kid friendly acitivities

Summit County has so many activities for families and kids that it can be hard to keep track. We are lucky to live in an abundant outdoor playground with mountains, rivers, lakes, and world-class ski resorts in our backyard. Whether you are on vacation with your family, a recent transplant with young kiddos, or have been a local for life, you can always find something new and fun to do! We asked our staff to help make a list of the best kid-friendly activities in Summit County, Colorado.

Winter Kid-Friendly Activities in Summit County

(Early Spring, Winter, Late Fall)
  • Kidtopia, Keystone
  • Sledding at Rainbow Park, Silverthorne
  • Sledding at Carter Park, Breckenridge
  • Tubing hill, Frisco
  • Silverthorne First Fridays
  • Dillon Ice Castles
  • See Isak Heartstone, Breckenridge
  • Dog Sledding at Good Times Adventures
  • Pond Hockey and Ice Skating at Keystone Pond
  • Skiing and Snowboarding
  • Keystone Science School Weekend Programs

Non-Winter Kid-Friendly Activities in Summit County

(Late Spring, Summer, Early Fall)
  • Horsebackriding, Keystone Stables
  • Music at Dillon Amphitheatre
  • Fishing at North Pond
  • Playground at Rainbow Park
  • Shooting Bows at the Archery Range
  • KSS Summer Day & Overnight Camp!
  • Silverthorne First Fridays
  • Hiking Trails
  • Alpine Slide, Breckenridge
  • National Repertory Orchestra Concerts for Kids
  • See Isak Heartstone, Breckenridge
  • Alpine Coaster, Copper
  • Alpine Slide, Breckenridge
  • Canoeing, Kayaking, and Stand Up Paddleboarding on Lake Dillon
  • Rock Climbing
  • Beach, Frisco

Read More

5 Tried and True Kid-Friendly Trail Activities

trail activities

Keystone Science School works with campers and students of all ages. Whether it’s with our summer camp or school-based outdoor education programs, we are always hiking with children. Hiking outside is an amazing opportunity to explore the outdoors and push physical boundaries. We have found that sometimes our campers and students need their minds diverted from hiking and the physical challenge. That’s when we may facilitate a small game or activity to help distract from the physical challenge. Here’s a short list of some of our favorite trail games. These games all require little to no materials and can help young hikers make it to whatever destination is on the adventure agenda of the day.

  • Wanda - Next time you’re hiking, grab a clothespin/binder clip/carabiner to play Wandering Wanda! We’ll call that clothespin, “Wanda.” One person stealthily passes Wanda off to someone else without them noticing. Wanda must be clipped to an article of clothing. Once Wanda is found, repeat & see who can be the sneakiest when passing Wanda around!
  • Camouflage - One person, “the caller” stands still, and closes their eyes for 30 seconds while everyone else hides where they can still see “the caller.” At the end of 30 seconds, “the caller” names people they find without moving. Repeat for 20 seconds and 10 seconds making individual rounds. Within each round, the hiding people are to get closer and closer to “the caller,” without being found. The goal is to tag or get as close as possible to “the caller” by the last round.
  • Nature Art - Creating art outside with kids helps them connect with their natural surroundings in a unique way. Next time you go outside, bring paper & drawing utensils. Find a spot to sit comfortably, & draw anything you hear or see. If you forget paper & pencils, make a sculpture with things you find on the ground.
  • Look for Bugs in a Stream - Ever wondered what bugs live in local streams? Take a trip & see what you find! Many aquatic insects live attached to rocks on stream beds. Grab some rocks from the stream, flip them over, and use a magnifying glass to observe the insects you find. Can you identify the insects you find?
  • Meet a Tree - Start by blocking someone’s vision with a blindfold or ask them to close their eyes. Safely guide them to a tree. Using observation skills, examine the tree with no sense of vision. Does the tree smell, how does it feel, can you feel branches, leaves, or needles? Safely guide them away from the tree and have them open their eyes. Try & find the same tree with restored vision.

Read More

Best Cross Country Ski Trails in Summit County

kss summit county cross county ski

This Winter we're on the hunt for cross country ski trails that are quiet, snowy, tree-lined, narrow, and away from the crowds, where a pup can explore and where we can only hear the sound of our breathing and the swish of the skis. That’s a perfect cross country ski trail. We asked our staff about their favorite cross country ski trails in Summit County, Colorado. Here are their answers.

  • Frisco - Early Season - Keep Your Boots On! I will be the first to say that skiing is the bee's knees, yet this time of year, the chance of rocks with shallow snow has me reaching for my hiking boots. Call me protective of my ski bases. A pair of traction devices provide ample purchase to scale the Mt Royal trail from Frisco and often you will not need gaiters to keep the snow out of your boots. Taking a headlamp and braving the night time temps will make the glow of Summit worth it.
  • Breckenridge - Boreas Pass - Cheap views! Upon leaving the parking lot you find dramatic views with almost no effort. The trail also has a mellow grade so it’s not too strenuous when you’re looking for good views and a little exercise.
  • Breckenridge - Sally Barber Road - I really love cross country skiing up Sally Barber Road in Breckenridge because the light incline makes for a nice workout, the view at the top is lovely, and the ski back down is hilarious on skinny cross country skis!
  • Breckenridge - Resort - At Breckenridge Ski Resort, you can’t beat some good old Whale’s Tail laps on a clear day with soft snow.
  • Keystone - Keystone Gulch - This is always a fan favorite because Keystone Resort grooms the road every week to help support their access needs to North Peak and the Outback. It’s a mellow uphill grade which makes for an easy return to the car. You could also warm up with hot chocolate if you ski all the way to Keystone Resort's outpost about 2.5 miles from the trailhead.
  • Keystone - Peru Creek Road - Peru Creek Road has many options for different activities and varying skill levels. XC skiing on the road takes you on a fairly flat, wide trail through a forest winter wonderland. Walking with snowshoes or traction devices is also possible. There are also many excellent backcountry ski lines accessed from Peru Creek Road in low-risk avalanche conditions including Cadillac, a Summit County classic winter ski line.

Read More