Summer Staff Training: Preparing Instructors to Change Lives


We believe that the key to exceptional camper and student experiences is having a professional, caring, and happy staff. While we have ongoing mentorship and meetings throughout the summer, the bulk of our training starts before any campers or students arrive.

Building the best staff starts long before the sunny days of summer. We begin building our staff in the heart of winter when snow still buries our mountains. Applicants go through a thorough interview process so that we can find those who best fit at the Keystone Science School. In order to be hired applicants must obtain at a minimum a Wilderness First Aid and CPR certifications. Many of our staff members go above and beyond and obtain their Wilderness First Responder. They then must pass a comprehensive background check before being welcomed into the KSS family.

Training starts in early May with our camp leadership team coming together to bond, prepare, and put the finishing touches on summer plans. After our leadership team, the next to arrive are our overnight camp staff. This includes the staff for our Discovery Camp, Discovery Adventures, and Discovery Expedition programs. All of our overnight staff goes through 2 weeks of intensive training including:

  • Risk management and decision making
  • Covid protocol training 
  • Colorado State Licensure training
  • Curriculum and teaching training 
  • Wilderness training
  • Mental health training
  • Camp activity training
  • Social-Emotional Learning training 
  • And much more!

Our day camp instructors are the last to arrive for training. Day camp staff joins the team and quickly becomes part of the KSS family. As soon as they arrive, the day camp staff gets to work on becoming the best counselors they can be. The day camp staff receives all of the above training with a special focus on elementary school-aged children.

Each offseason we carefully evaluate all of our trainings and continue to adapt them to meet the growing needs of our camp community. We continue to enhance our training through staff knowledge and experience, guidance from the American Camp Association, Colorado Child Care licensure, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

We strive to develop our staff into exceptional educators and caretakers who truly love what they do. We believe that staff who are happy and knowledgeable provide remarkable experiences for all of our participants and we do everything in our power to create the staff that will change lives.