August 25, 2011

Meet the LDI (Leadership Development Institute) Bikers

LDI bike is a two week program, where a group of teens (age 14-16) develop leadership skills through workshops, service projects, and active engagement in the camp community facilitating younger children. Rather than the traditional kayaking LDI program that includes a kayaking trip, the bikers instead complete their program with a 5 day biking expedition where they peddle across Orcas, Shaw, San Juan, and Lopez Islands.

August 23, 2011

And The Oscar Goes To....

Yesterday, the Turtleback unit (12-13 year old girls) were given the challenge of writing, performing in and producing four short films for the "Turtleback International Film Festival". They were given about two hours to create the films and were required to incorporate a NINJA theme, a TOOTHPASTE prop, and a RACCOON character into each script. Here is what they came up with:

CIT Session 2, Slideshow

The Counselors in Training, Session 2 had the opportunity to gain leadership skills, and personal growth through various workshops, trips, and activities hosted at camp. This is their story through pictures.

August 22, 2011

Campy Arts Photojournalism Workshop

As a part of the Campy Arts program at Camp Orkila, campers get the opportunity to work with digital photography. This morning, the Session 8 Campy Arts campers participated in a photojournalism workshop, where they wrote and created their own stories, then took digital photos to accompany the stories. Here is an example:

PAINTVILLE, By Tara (Age 12) and Elise (Age 10)

"One Day in Paintville, all the paint bottles were really excited because they wanted the fame of winning the race. The day before the race, Little Blue, like always, was being teased about how small and wimpy he was. But the worst part was that he too was entering the race, and the teasing was awful. When he woke up the next morning he was more nervous than ever. Little Blue even walked out the door to the laughing of bullies. He stood on the starting point, even doubting himself. When the announcer said "GO", Little Blue tripped right over the line. He could hear the competitors laughing. How was he supposed to make it? Then three fourths of the way through the race, something super unexpected happened. He won the race because of the storm."

August 20, 2011

Welcome to Camp Session 8!

Thanks for a WONDERFUL Week Session 7!

Meet the Counselors in Training (CITs)

The CIT program is a four week intensive learning experience designed to provide participants with the necessary skills to become a future leader in a camp setting. The program is divided into four week-long segments. The first week is a combination of team building and skill development on Camp Orklia’s own Satellite Island.

Throughout the second and third weeks, groups alternate between shadowing counselors and exploring peer-to-peer, peer-to-camper and organizational leadership techniques.

In the fourth week, CITs come together for a final project and a celebration of the work they have completed at camp. For more information on this program, check out

August 16, 2011

Meet the Orkila Inclusion Specialists (Talle and Sean)

Inclusion Specialists are special members of the Orkila staff who are here to provide direct support for campers who need extra support, lead camp-wide initiatives to benefit community morale, host staff activities, work with unit directors to provide individual plans for campers, and contact parents to ease concerns over camper transitions.

August 12, 2011

August 4, 2011

Camp Activity: Evening with the Elves

Orkila campers from the LDI (Leadership Development Institute) program have the opportunity to lead a group activity called "Evening with the Elves" with the youngest units at camp (the Goode Glaciers and the Hoodoos). These young campers travel up to the edge of upper camp to a hollowed out forest area called the Enchanted Forest where they do games and environmental learning activities led by the LDIs, eat dinner, and sleep outside for the night.

August 3, 2011

Batten down the Hatches

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain

YMCA Camp Orkila has the great luxury of having three sail boats in which sea-loving teens can go on sailing expeditions! These expeditions can take individuals on an exciting sailing filled adventure around Orcas Island, stopping off at ports and campsites along the way.

Whether you're coming in with a head filled with nautical terms or no idea what a 'boomshackle' might be, by the end of the adventure, you come out with a little more knowledge and a lot more memories drenched in friendship and times spent at sea.

August 2, 2011

Why the Loowits Love Camp

The Loowits are the oldest unit of traditional campers at Orkila. Here are some of the reasons they love coming to camp and being in their unit.

Camp Activity Spotlight: GaGa Ball