CAPs on stage at the Campfire


_9th-12th grades______

CAP (Counselor Assistant)

  • For campers entering grades 9th through 12th

The CAPs are the leaders of Discovery Camp and a final step in the camp progression along with our Adventures program. In addition to all the magic of camp, CAPs also work on their leadership skills, develop friendships, create healthy relationships, gain experience in outdoor skills, science, and teaching, and increase their self-confidence. Each CAP will be paired with a staff mentor who they can learn from throughout their session. CAPs will have special leadership trainings, activities, and exclusive time just for the CAPs.

New Admissions Process

In 2024, we want to improve the quality of each CAP’s experience. To do this, we will be implementing a more comprehensive admission process to ensure that each participant is placed in a program that is the best fit for that individual. Below are the steps for this process. 

See full admissions process
  1. Families will enroll in their preferred programs
  2. Families will receive an automatic confirmation email to show that they have been placed in their intended session.
  3. Families will receive a form that is required to be completed by the participant via email.
    1. This form must be completed to ensure enrollment in the program
    2. Failure to complete the form within the designated deadline will result in unenrollment from the program. 
Session 1June 10-15$1,399Spots Open
Session 2June 17-22$1,499Female Spots Open
Session 3June 24-29$1,499Male Spots Open
Session 5July 8-13$1,599Waitlist Only
Session 6July 15-20$1,599Waitlist Only
Session 7July 22-27$1,599Waitlist Only
Session 8 & 9July 29 – Aug. 9$3,199Male Spots Open
View Weekly Themes and Activity Options

ThemeAdventure Day Activity Options
Session 1Forest EcologyRafting – Horseback Riding – Rock Climbing
Session 2GeologyRafting – Horseback Riding – Rock Climbing
Session 3Water EcologyRafting – Horseback Riding – Rock Climbing
Session 5GeologyRafting – Ropes Course – Rock Climbing
Session 6Water EcologyRafting – Ropes Course – Rock Climbing
Session 7AdventureRafting – Ropes Course – Rock Climbing
Session 8 & 9DeluxeRafting – Ropes Course – Rock Climbing

Same camp fun, more responsibility

You’ll still get to participate in all of the awesome camp activities as our Discovery campers, like climbing, rafting, and mountain hiking.

Counselor Assistants have their own room in the dorms or tents, and the opportunity to debrief with other CAPs as well as a separate Candle Chat each night. Each day will feature a designated time for CAP leadership development training, which CAP applicants will have a chance to customize in order to receive the growth at camp that they are most excited about.

Mentorship & Leadership Experience

CAPs experience camp alongside our other campers, and more! CAPs are assigned a counselor mentor that they will shadow and assist during the week at camp. Before arriving at camp, CAPs will have a chance to choose what they would like to learn the most about during their time at camp. At the start of the week, their mentor will check in with them about their goals, and help come up with an action plan for learning and growth.

The CAPs will go on the week’s adventures with their counselor mentor and their group of campers. CAPs will have the opportunity to lead games, help campers with wilderness skills, and support counselors with tasks. Each CAP’s experience will be one of a kind, and their learning and growth is based on what they express interest in.

Two CAPs form a heart on top of a mountain at sunrise

Skills Learned

Teambuilding Skills
Risk Management
Time Management
Customer Service
Group Management

The CAPs helping counselors prepare food for campers

Activities & Schedule

No prior experience is necessary. If you have never climbed, rafted, or spent a night out backpacking, it’s okay!

CAPs on stage at the Campfire


Welcome to Camp!

We’ll get settled in our dorms/tents, and pack for the next day’s Wilderness trip. We finish the day with our Campfire tradition, where campers can sing, laugh and make new friends. Read More

Three CAPs pose outside of an old mountain cabin


Wilderness Backpacking

Campers depart campus for a Wilderness Overnight Trip, where they will backpack and experience a night in nature.

CAP high on the ropes course


Camper Choice

Campers spend the day on campus or around Summit County, where they can choose from activities like Disc Golf, games at Rainbow Park, an on-campus Earth Trek, fishing, Archery and tye-dye. We end each day with a Candle Chat. Read More

A CAP ascends up Buffalo Mountain through the boulder field


Challenge Hike

We leave KSS before sunrise for a Challenge Hike – where campers push themselves outside of their comfort zones on a difficult hike in a beautiful location, sometimes as far as summiting a mountain at 14,000 feet! Read More

A group of CAPs getting ready for whitewater rafting


Adventure Day

Depending on the week they sign up for, choices can include Rafting, Horseback Riding, a Ropes Course or Rock Climbing. We end the day with a fun and laughter filled Talent Show, followed by our closing camper ceremony and the week’s Camper Awards.

Discovery Camp counselors light the torches during the Celebration Ceremony


Camp Celebration

On the last day of camp – we’ll pack up and have a celebration with arriving families, where we’ll will sing camp songs, meet the counselors and watch a video celebrating the memories from the week.

In the words of parents

“My daughter’s second year attending, and she wants to go back again next year! Some activities pushed her limits, but the great friends and counselors helped her push through and gain confidence and pride in her accomplishments.”

“He had more fun than either of us imagined, and he loved feeling like a leader among his peers.”

“From my camper’s perspective, the counselors are fun and engaging; and as a parent I know that my children are going to be challenged and well-taken care of. My kids can’t wait to go again next year!”

A silhouette of a group of campers on a mountain at sunrise.

Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Keystone Science School has the power to effect change in outdoor education. We know the trail won’t be easy, yet we remain resolute in our responsibility to press forward and help make the outdoors more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive. With each step we take, we learn from existing footprints and create new ones where there are none. If you’re looking for Keystone Science School, you’ll know where to find us–on the trail.

Our Staff

All Discovery Camp staff go through comprehensive training, have been background checked, hold a Wilderness First Aid/CPR/AED certification at minimum, and have gone through extensive risk management training.

A group of CAPs putting on harnesses for the ropes course
The week's CAP group posing for a photo on the sodfield

Get Ready for Camp!

Family Resources

Check out these other KSS Adventures!

Adventures is the next step in progression at KSS, focused on the development of outdoor skills and leadership while exploring Colorado by foot, on rope, or watercraft, for grades 5th-12th.

Adventures Backpacking trip

Utah Multisport

June 10-21 | Grades 10th-12th

Hiking in the Sand Dunes

Rocky Mtn National Park 10-Day

June 24 -July 3 | Grades 10th-12th

Thank you to our Summer Camp Sponsors

Climax Molybdenum logo
Summit Cove logo
Breckenridge Associates Real Estate Logo
iFurnish logo
Axis Sports Medicine logo

We are so thankful for our Summer Camp sponsors! If you are interested in supporting this program please contact our Development Director, Owen Dodd at or call (970)513-5833.

Keystone Science School is American Camp Association Accredited
American Camp Association Accredited logo