April 2, 2017

They Are Women, Hear Them Roar!

The sun came out to play with us as we celebrated Women’s Wellness Weekend. Held once in the spring and again in the fall, this weekend brings women from all over together to connect, recharge, and try something new. Here were some of the many highlights during the retreat:
Friday night started off with s’mores, yoga, needle felting, and karaoke!

Saturday showed off the many skills of both staff and participants; activities like jewelry making, kayaking, hula hooping, cooking and crafts were so fun….it was hard to choose which one to do!

It wouldn’t be a camp experience without overcoming challenges, and these ladies sure did with kayaking, the giant swing, zipline, high circuit and the climbing wall!

Saturday night really peaked the excitement with continued crafting, Bingo with prizes from the camp store, and even an excursion to the Doe Bay Soaking Tubs!

Sunday morning wound down with meditation, exploration of sea life in the Marine Salmon Center, and packing that good ol’ sack lunch for the ferry ride back home.

Thanks ladies for a wonderful spring weekend, and we hope to see you in the fall!

January 9, 2017

Happy winter from Camp Orkila!

We're certainly feeling the changing of the seasons here in December and January. With our first snow in a few years and a couple weeks in the 20's, camp has certainly changed it's face. Our pond has frozen over, making for some great (if a little nerve-wracking) skating. Also check out Graham McDade campfire pit covered in snow!

For the first weekend of the year, we had the delight of hosting almost 300 people at camp! We were visited by Alpha Omicron Pi, a UW sorority on their winter retreat, a local school group, and the island's firefighter team. We provided a banquet for the latter group, eating some delicious food and celebrating their service to the island.

October 6, 2016

There are a lot of really wonderful things about being here on Orcas Island. There's the opportunity for adventure in the woods, mountains, and sea. We have astounding views of the Salish Sea right here at camp. That's just to name a couple of the features we value so much about this island. We can't mention these merits without highlighting one of the greatest things one can find here: An abundantly welcoming and vibrant island community. The people, businesses, schools, organizations, and sense of place all come together to make Orcas Island the gem that it is.

This week, we're excited to be hosting many local groups from the Orcas Community. Here's a big shout-out to Orcas Island School District (including specialty groups Outdoor Adventures and Marine Science), Orcas Christian School, Kaleidoscope Preschool and Childcare Center, and the Salmonberry School for coming to learn and play with us this week. See you at Fall Fest!

May 5, 2016

Spring OEE takes to the Trail!

When students come to Orkila for the spring and fall OEE seasons, all of camp becomes the classroom. It doesn't stop there, though! Really, the natural world here on Orcas Island is the learning environment. This week, Oregon Episcopal School (Portland, OR) took their experience all the way to the top of Mt. Constitution. Hats off to these 54 5th-graders and their chaperones for conquering the hike!

April 26, 2016

Spring Mentor Group Outings

In addition to our overall Spring 2016 Outdoor and Environmental Education team, we're spread among several "Mentor Groups." These smaller groups, each made up of 6-7 instructors and a member of the Leadership Team, act as a community-within-a-community. Yesterday, we had our annual Mentor Group Day. Folks enjoyed activities on 3 different islands such as hiking, games, cycling, milkshakes, enjoying wildlife, and visiting alpacas. Check out some group photos from the day!

April 14, 2016

Twin Day

Seeing double? Well, that's probably because today's "Theme Day" theme has us many of us twinning. Readers, allow me to introduce you to Larly, Chalex, Jemoey, Jeverty, Malanatt, Marchelle, Thumpyle, and...Joe.

Letty and Carly, "Larly"
Chex and Alex, "Chalex"

Joey and Emily, "Jemoey"
Jessie, Flaherty, and Eva, "Jeverty"

Matt and Alana, Malanatt

Margaret and Richelle, "Marchelle"
Joe Davidson-Curry

April 7, 2016

Springtime, especially here on Orcas Island, is often marked by interesting weather. Today, we had the chance to see an impressive system of heavy fog that rolled through camp from early morning until just after lunch. Even familiar places, like the challenge tower and zip line, took on a new, foggy appearance. Check it out in the photo below. The only thing cooler than riding the zip line is riding the zip line through a cloud!

A foggy view of the zip line from the top of the tower.

October 6, 2015

One of the things I love about Camp Orkila is that we work to serve our community. Above, you can see one of our instructors, Eli, hanging out with local kindergartners and feeding carrots to the horses. With the fall season rushing by, it's important to take a moment to appreciate the amazing work our staff does.  They instill a sense of wonder in our participants and teach them not only about nature, but also about them selves. The value of the experience they provide is incalculable.

September 16, 2015

The days are getting shorter. The air is getting cooler. And camp has switched gears from the roar of summer to the bustling of school children learning about the wonders of nature. OEE has begun once again! Check out some of our RAD fall instructors and staff! Don't let their silly costumes fool you, these wild cats mean business! Our wonderful educators work hard to create amazing programming and they don't disappoint! With our first week of schools underway, nothing warms the heart quite like the site of youth engaging with the outdoors and each other!

July 1, 2015

Camp Orkila 2015 | Staff Training Slideshow

Staff Training is over and we are all ready for campers to be here! Check out all the fun we had here for the last 2 weeks!

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April 29, 2015

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

The OEE season is flying by just about as fast as milk and bread fly off the shelves during a southern ice-storm! Judging by all of the smiling faces, I'd say Week 6 of the OEE season is off to a great start! With multiple schools arriving, there is plenty of sunshine to go around! Something must be going quite swell because I hear the sounds of joyous children outside of my window just now! The laughter and enthusiasm of our students motivate us to give every day our all!
Science is so rad! Christ the King students' eyes are full of excitement while looking for plankton in their microscopes!

Christ The King School group enjoying their bridge team-building activity... Is it sturdy? Will it hold? Only time will tell.

April 14, 2015

Spring OEE Season Begins!!!

The Orkila property is abuzz with the sound of children, eager to learn! On this delightfully sunny Tuesday, our Outdoor Environmental Education Instructors get to put a month of training to use, as many of them lead their very first school groups.
The amazing humans who make up our Spring OEE Staff