Once a week (three times per session) all campers will spend the night camping out with their unit, away from the main camp and other groups of campers. Destinations include hidden coves, windswept beaches, forested hilltops, secluded meadows on the island and on nearby islands. Transportation is mainly by foot, canoe, kayak or bike.
The overnight schedule is designed to create “graduated” opportunities for units. For example, youngers units will travel mostly to on-site locations, packing up their backpacks and hiking out to a spot on property. Middle units will spend at least one of their overnights off-property, canoeing, kayaking or biking to their destination which could include a state our county campground or a private property location open to us by permission from a friend or alumni of camp.
Our two oldest units each have one two-night overnight trip, spending time either learning climbing techniques at Mt. Erie near Anacortes or on a service trip to Lopez Island working with the Lopez Community Land Trust. As the camper ages, the level of “challenge” for these overnight trips increases, providing more opportunities for growth and learning new skills. The schedule is mostly pre-determined to allow for this graduated experience.
With the help of staff members, the campers get involved with planning their menus for these outings, as well as learning skills specific to their outings like safety procedures for different boats or training specific to our bike fleet. These outings provide a hands-on opportunity for everyone to practice and improve low-impact camping techniques, as well as experience what it’s like to “sleep-out” under the stars if weather permits. Overnights are also usually central to team-building and bonding within the unit.
Big and Little Big Trips
Beginning at age 13, campers participate in co-ed, out camp trips lasting four to five days.
These trips may include a mountaineering expedition, alpine hike, biking, kayaking, sailing or paddling the 22′ Hunt canoes through the San Juans.
Big trips, both challenging and rewarding are, to many, one of the highlights of their camp experience. These trips provide each camper with a unique experience, different than everyone else in their unit, and they return to camp excited and invigorated to cherish their final weeks with their unit mates.
All trips are led by a camp staff with experience and trained in skills specific to the trip, and at least two additional staff members are assigned to support the trip as well. The Mt. Baker trip is led by a professional mountain guide.
All equipment specific to the trip is provided by camp, and campers of a trip-age are encouraged to pack basic camping gear like sturdy shoes, a sleeping bag and pad, synthetic clothes for layering and a hiking backpack . Camp can provide any additional gear a camper may need.
Trip selection is based on many factors, and each summer our Trip Coordinator works hard to make assignments considering a camper’s preference, creating a solid group of campers who will work well together, which trips a camper may have been on in past summers, and how many eligible years a camper has remaining.
We cannot guarantee a camper will be placed on a particular trip – a huge part of the experience is about learning new skills and providing a safe space for challenge and growth.