Are your kids going to camp this summer? Our little guy (2.5 years old) is a bit too young for such fun at this point, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t already giving it some thought.
Dreaming, really, and honestly, wishing we were the ones getting to enjoy the outdoor time, arts and crafts, sports, and learning without all the everyday interruptions of regular life.
We’ve found the perfect spot too. Last week marks our second visit to Orcas Island, Washington’s Camp Orkila, and this latest look around just got us even more excited to send Bergen away for an adventure on his own. Yes, even though he won’t be able to attend until he’s in third grade, we’re already making plans.
We’ve even worked up a plan for ourselves. When he goes off to camp, we’re coming along too, for our own little vacation. No, we wouldn’t sneak in and spy on him. We’d leave him alone to adventure while we continued on to explore the island like we love to do. He shouldn’t be the only one in the family who gets to reap all the glory of this amazing place, right? We just couldn’t handle that.
The camp, run by the Seattle YMCA, is like how I imagine summer camp in the outdoors to be. Picture the ideal natural paradise for kids, the summer camp you see in the movies, and that’s Camp Orkila.
We’ve never visited when kids were actually in attendance, but the owners, organizers, and caretakers allow the public to wander around during the day when camps not in session.
We’ve explored the hiking trails, this year discovering a challenge/ropes course among the trees.
We feel it has one of the best beaches on the island with it’s wide open space, long dock out into the water, and plenty of good rocks for tossing. Not to mention the beautiful views of the President Channel and other surrounding small islands that make up the San Juans.
We poke around the learning center, getting a look at what’s happening in the touch tank and salmon habitat.
And we also love to peak inside the open air cabins (many with water views!) and wonder what it would be like to actually occupy one of those beds for a week or so.
We adults will never really know what it’s like to go to summer camp here. We can catch glimpses and gather ideas, families can even stay here before the official camp season starts, and the pool is open on certain days in the summer for public swimming.
But to truly experience the magic, we’re unfortunately just too old for that. Lucky for us though, Bergen’s got a lot of years ahead of him, and he will have that opportunity. You can bet we’ll be ready and waiting with open ears to listen to his stories, feel the enthusiasm, and maybe even get a tiny piece of the enchantment.
Did you and/or your kids go to a nature summer camp? Tell us about it! Was it as dreamy as I imagine?
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