Not many campers come to camp with friends from home or school. Your unit mates will become your close friends at camp pretty quickly, since your unit will be spending most of the time together as a group. You will also have a few opportunities to choose activities with campers from other units during Open Activities and Specials, so there are lots of ways to make new friends. Your Unit Staff will help you with this. Camp is a very “make new friends” kind of place, and inclusion is a key aspect of our philosophy.
Definitely. You can eat together during our Scramble-Amble (see “Where do we eat?” below). In addition, units do activities together in the evening—stuff like soccer, campfires, dances, etc. You’ll also likely see them multiple times a day, just walking around camp going to activities.
Everyone eats together in our lodge three times a day. Each unit is assigned 2-3 tables and that is where your unit will sit. At least twice a week we have ‘Scramble-Amble’. At that meal you can seat at any table in the lodge! It’s a great time to visit with friends or siblings in other units.
We’re very proud of the food we serve in our kitchen. We have a lot of variety, including vegetarian options and most everything we eat is made from scratch. In case you can’t find anything to eat at a particular meal we will have peanut butter and jelly available. But we’re confident you’ll find something you like. See our Food & Wellness page for more information.
You can often see deer wandering around the property day and night – but they aren’t really curious enough to come into your tent or tipi. Sometimes mice and raccoons get a bit curious, but they quickly learn that there is nothing there for them and move on. Your tent or tipi is definitely safe from most critters – but sharing space with wildlife is part of camping. Otherwise you can see bald eagles, ravens, herons, otters, seals and maybe even an Orca from our shores! And that’s just what’s above the water. Tidepooling is a great way to see starfish, crabs, and lots of other sea creatures at camp too.
The core of our program philosophy is to provide children the opportunity to become part of a dynamic, supportive community and to experience the joys and challenges inherent in being a contributing member of a small group of their peers. Our experience in the area of group development supports an extended, away-from-home experience. While an individual’s skills can be increased in a short period of time, the development of relationships within a group takes longer. Over the course of four weeks, campers gain insight into themselves and others, develop conflict resolution tools, and acquire the confidence necessary to face new activities previously out of their comfort zone. We consider the extended-stay experience of four weeks to be a cornerstone of our program.
The majority of our campers are from Western Washington and the Portland, Oregon area. We also have many campers from Canada, central and southern Oregon, California, Colorado and Arizona, as well as campers from across the country and several from countries around the world!
Our staff come from all over the country and the world. Many are past campers, familiar with our program and philosophy; others come to us through referrals from past staff and camper families. We look for new staff that have had prior experience at summer camps or have done student teaching, coaching, outdoor programs, tutoring or worked with children in a formal setting.
Our screening process is very thorough. All new staff are required to submit a detailed application form and 3 references. References are verified through phone calls or emails from the camp office. Final candidates receive a personal interview with one of the directors. Before any staff (new or returning) is offered a contract, a Criminal Background check is conducted, both in their home state and the state in which they currently live. In addition, a check of the National Sexual Offenders Registry is conducted annually on all staff, as well as all volunteers.
Living out of a trunk, for four weeks, without the help of Mom or Dad to organize and sort things, can be a real challenge. It is part of the camp experience. Campers can best be prepared prior to camp by being expected to do these sorts of things at home.
Kids will get dirty at camp and will most likely come home with a trunk containing twigs, dirt, and possibly someone else’s clothes. That being said, we make every effort to monitor the daily hygiene of every camper. Showers are scheduled for every unit, at least twice a week. When a group is in the shower house, staff are present. Campers are given daily reminders about such things as brushing teeth, changing clothes and wearing clothing appropriate to the weather conditions.
We are very sensitive to this situation and Unit Staff are given detailed instructions on how to handle it. Parents and guardians can help us by doing a few simple things. Tell your child that you will be letting the camp know about his situation and that he or she should let the Unit Staff know whenever he has an incident so they can help him. We know this takes some courage but remember there are probably several campers in the same situation. It would be best to send your child with a sleeping bag with synthetic filler that does not require an industrial size washer/dryer or special handling. If this is a regular occurrence it would be ideal if you would send two bags, so that when the wet one is being washed we can use the other. In addition, we might recommend that you talk to your child about wearing some sort of disposable undergarment to bed. We have successfully used this practice with several campers. Unit staff are discrete and will work with campers on how to dispose of the undergarment each day.
From our end, Unit Staff are expected to check camper beds daily, to ensure they are dry. If one is wet, the sleeping bag is removed, washed, and returned during the day. We also use moisture resistant mattresses for younger units.