Keystone Science School’s Hot Pink Gorilla & Adventure Programs
posted by: Guest Blogger
What does Keystone Science School (KSS) and the Hot Pink Gorilla (HPG) have in common? Besides being from Keystone, Colorado there’s not too much in common except both inspire curiosity. It’s almost impossible for a child to see the Hot Pink Gorilla and not ask questions. What is that? Is it real? What does the HPG eat? Does the HPG hibernate? Is it male or female?
Keystone Science School is a camp program based in Keystone, Colorado which hosts Day, Overnight, and Adventure-based programs. The program is for kids ages 5-17 years old and the mission of the school is to inspire curiosity and critical thinking. At first glance, KSS is a traditional summer camp with campfire sing-a-longs, backpacking excursions, mountain summits, whitewater rafting and archery, but when you look closer each activity is very intentional.
The Hot Pink Gorilla is not just a school mascot or a counselor doing impressions of a wild beast. The HPG is used to teach questioning and the scientific process. A great activity at Keystone Science School is known as the Hunt for the Hot Pink Gorilla. During the activity, students are tasked to ask questions and then be investigators as they seek solutions to the questions they posed. Throughout the entire activity, campers are running around as scientists and learning about the scientific process.
Many of the KSS activities have lessons applicable to any young adult’s life. Campers learn how to challenge themselves, gain independence, and work as a team with other campers. Keystone Science School loves to hike mountains with all ages of campers. Yes, you read that correctly, campers get to hike to the top of mountains, which is often part of a group activity known as a challenge hike. What can’t always be put into words, is the feeling of accomplishment each camper feels when they summit that mountain. These are the experiences that build character and teach campers to push their limits.
After each challenge hike campers of the overnight program get to participate in the nightly ritual of candle chat. That’s when campers reflect on their day and talk about how they can take that day’s activity and apply the lessons to almost any activity in their everyday life. Common feedback from parents is “what did you do to my child? They came home from camp and they cooked dinner for themselves and even cleaned their room.” While Keystone Science School isn’t in the business of training kids to clean their room, they are focused on inspiring independence and the “can do” attitude often fostered during camp activities and reflection.
Keystone Science School is most widely known for its flagship Overnight Camp program known as Discovery Camp. In just one-week campers will go on day hikes, eat s’mores, go on a one-night backpack trip with a challenge hike, go whitewater rafting, and participate in a ton of different fun activities with a scientific twist.
KSS also offers a variety of adventure programs know as Keystone Voyagers and Keystone Mountain Adventures. This teen-based program takes campers to different parts of the west coast while getting a slightly more adventurous experience which includes backpacking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and stand-up paddle boarding. Lastly, KSS hosts several Day Camp programs throughout Summit County. Each week has a different theme with amazing adventure activities tied to the scientific theme.
If KSS is a new program to you and your family, campers can sample the program with their Spring Into Adventure Camp on April 6-8, 2018. During this weekend-long program, campers will do all kinds of activities while getting to cross-country ski and learn about the deep winter of the high alpine. With any luck, the Hot Pink Gorilla will even show its face.
Go to keystonescienceschool.org for more information.
In partnership with Mile High Mamas