Summer adventure

Finn and Ada Sandwith enjoy a quiet moment together on a warm day at Cascade Lake.

Sit down. Turn in your homework. Don’t talk too loud. Raise your hand. These are all tools that will help children to grow into adults who can follow rules and fit into society.

As a child I remember struggling with these hard-drawn lines. What I also hated hearing during summer break was “go outside and find something to do.”

The TV was turned off and I quickly found myself in the great outdoors deployed in all sorts of activities from climbing trees, spying on neighbors in make believe high drama and tip toeing across high fences with ferocious dogs below.

It was in those summer adventures that I found freedom to explore and learn by experience what to do and what not to do. Now as an adult I long for the summer breaks of the past.

As I recently pondered what summer vacation means for kids, I discovered the interesting notion that – contrary to popular belief – summer vacation was not merely created to satisfy agrarian America.

According to historian Ken Gold, in his book “School’s In: The History of Summer Education in American Public Schools,” the reason behind the creation of summer break in the 19th century was a belief that “too much schooling impaired a child’s and a teacher’s health.”

On Orcas, this summer, kids not only get a chance to benefit from the creation of this vacation, but get to wander our pristine beaches and forests and enroll in a number of exciting community programs.

Funhouse Commons classes

“How to make a Zombie Movie” classes are Monday – Friday (each session is two weeks) from 3 – 6 p.m. The cost is $300 for members and $325 for non-members.

Session dates:

August 5 – 16,  premiere August 24, (Ages eight to 13).

July 22 – Aug. 2, premiere August 10, August 19 – 30, premiere Sept. 7. (Ages 14 to 18).

Cardboard Camp, July 8 -12, from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., is led by artist and illustrator Brook Meinhardt.Kids will construct a variety of  sculptures, self portraits and other 3D creations. The camp is for ages 10 to 13. The cost is $150 for members and $165 for non-members.

For more info on any of these classes, visit

Parks and Rec

Book Club at the School Library for ages seven to 10 is held on Wednesdays, 1 – 2 p.m., July 24 – Aug. 14. They will be reading “Melonhead” by Katy Kelly over the course of the month. Books are available  at the Orcas Island Public Library.

Contact Mrs. Doss at 376-3382 with any questions.

Gardening and Story Time at the School Garden every Friday, July 5 – Aug. 24, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Every-other week Mrs. Doss will read garden stories. Contact Chelsea at 376-3031 regarding gardening or Mrs. Doss at 376-3382 regarding story time.

Visit for a full list of summer fun like jump rope club or golf and sailing  lessons.

Orcas Library

The summer reading program runs from June 19 to August 17. Kids from preschool age through sixth grade may register for the program.

For a full schedule or to register, visit

State park play

Moran State Park is located on Orcas Island and offers camping, freshwater swimming, old-growth forest hiking, trout fishing, wildlife watching and biking.

Visit the Summit Learning Center where you’ll find a self guided tour about the history of KVOS Television,  a 90 gallon tank filled with Kokanee fish from the Moran Creek Hatchery and the Newtarium where kids can learn more about rough-skinned newts.

For more info, visit