Keystone Science School to offer day camp during winter break
December 4, 2018
Working parents in Summit County have another child care option available during winter school breaks. Keystone Science School has announced it will open day and overnight camps to coordinate with the Summit School District calendar, offering a science and technology-based educational experience to keep kids between the ages of 5 and 17 busy when school's out for the year.
KSS offers an interactive education program to help kids develop better scientific and critical thinking skills. The program also brings in an adventure element, with pupils learning about the world and how it works out in the environment along with the classroom. Dave Miller, marketing and strategic partnerships director for KSS, said the school opened the winter camp after listening to feedback from Summit residents.
"Over the last few years we have heard from parents about their challenges to find child care during school vacations." Miller said in a press release.
Tamara Drangstveit, executive director of the Family & Intercultural Resource Center, endorsed the new winter program as a much-needed addition to Summit's child care options.
"We are so lucky in this community that KSS is available to help parents meet the needs of our working families when our kids are out of school," Drangstveit said.
Child care and options for day camp activities outside of school have become an increasingly scarce service in Summit County. High cost of business coincides with a growing family population in the county, producing few options with insufficient available spots to keep children stimulated and safe during the two-week winter break.
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"Availability is particularly bad at the height of ski season, because it's our busiest time of the year in the county," Drangstveit said. "The timing of the winter break is really difficult, both for employers and employees, especially the long weekends."
Frisco and Breckenridge offer day camps for kids during breaks, but it's very hard to get a spot and not as convenient for parents who live in the northern part of the county.
"Parents around here joke that you have to be at your computer at 7 a.m. when registration opens, or there's no way you get a slot," Drangstveit said.
Opening up a new camp offers a fresh opportunity for parents to get their kids stimulated and learning. KSS will offer campers the same model from their summer camp, but with winter-based activities. Each session has a unique theme melding adventure activities with science lessons. Older campers between 11 and 17 serve as counselor assistants, providing them with leadership and teaching opportunities for their younger peers.
As an example of the kind of activities campers will experience, the winter camp will teach about "snow science" with interactive lessons while hiking on trails around the county.
"They will dig snow pits, learn about the basic snow grains — facets, hoars, and rounds — identify snow layers, snow water equivalency and how snow levels impact water management decisions, and how these variables impact snow stability," Miller said, noting it is not a class for avalanche safety or survival training.
Campers will also get to choose various other activities, such as cross-country skiing, sledding, listening to and writing campfire stories, creating snow forts, archery as well as general arts and crafts. An overnight camp experience will also take place on Jan. 3, which will include meals and a large group game activity after dinner.
KSS' winter camp will take place Dec. 27–28 and from Jan. 2–4. The cost is $65 per day for day camp and $85 per day for overnight camp. For more details, visit KeystoneScienceSchool.org.