My Echo Story: The Keystone Science School
Ryan Summerlin September 19, 2012
The Keystone Science School campus is a magical place to be. On any given day you’ll find groups of grinning children and energetic instructors in colorful shirts meandering on graveled pathways, playing games, singing songs and investigating the world around them. Our campus is beautiful, with chipmunks darting across pinecone-strewn trails, rolling knolls dotted with wildflowers and strong evergreens waving in the breeze – all framed by incredible mountain views. There’s a lush green meadow to play in and tiny vintage cabins scattered all around the property.
Sounds just about perfect, right? But let us tell you a secret: it takes an awful lot of work to maintain such a beautiful, welcoming environment. That’s why we were so excited and grateful to welcome Vail Resorts employees from Breckenridge and Keystone resorts, along with friends and family, to our campus for Vail Echo Day. On Sept. 8, 170 generous volunteers descended upon KSS and accomplished more than we could have ever hoped for. In just one day, they worked on 1,400 feet of trail (making almost 800 feet of it wheelchair accessible), installed 40 new solar lights, repaired and painted 35 benches, cleaned 60 windows and created a great number of other vital projects. VR and its employees donated not only their time, but a large portion of the materials and heavy equipment needed to complete the many projects.
For a nonprofit organization like KSS, this offer of time, energy and materials is one of the best and most valuable gifts we could receive. The efforts from the Vail Echo Day volunteers resulted in a wonderfully bright, shiny and spruced up campus – and there are powerful invisible benefits as well. Students will now be able to more easily navigate trails, quickly and easily learn historical information from improved signs (including the eight new ones posted), and those students who joined the volunteer crew were able to experience the satisfaction of contributing hard work to a project that improved “their” school. Most importantly, there is no way to put a value on the strong “sense of place” that students and campers experience upon spending time at our campus; it’s what fosters the sense of attachment, belonging and comfort that keeps our students coming back year after year. Volunteer efforts like Vail Echo Day make that possible, and for that we could not be more grateful.
Vail Resorts Echo aims to connect our communities to our efforts – from on-the-ground conservation programs to grants for local schools. Vail Resorts Echo encompasses three core efforts: environmental stewardship, charitable giving and community engagement. Learn more about VR Echo at www.vailresortsecho.com.