Camp Orkila’s 280-acre, waterfront facility is a major part of our community’s foundation, but it often goes unnoticed. We forget how gorgeous the property is and what incredible work goes on there.
For more than 100 years, YMCA Camp Orkila has been educating, inspiring and challenging thousands of children. Many of the campers are from cities and towns that are in stark contrast to the natural beauty and seclusion of Orcas Island. The day camp serves mainly island kids in the summer, and one in five scholarships to Orkila goes to an Orcas child.
Orkila is so much more than an incredible camp for children. The facility is open year-round and offers programs that range from day camp to women’s wellness week to teen expeditions.
It also has programs like camp to classroom, which involves team-building with fourth and fifth grade classes, and partnering with Kaleidoscope to provide day camp for kids who need child care in the summer months.
Camp Orkila has joined forces with the Funhouse to offer Spanish and English courses for islanders since last fall. They have become so popular that there is waiting list for the next round of classes. Go here for more on this story.
Every year Orkila holds a fundraising drive. Island volunteers solicit donations to help provide scholarships to kids in need, and this year’s goal is $92,000. Donations made to the annual campaign will provide scholarships for campers and support local programming. Donate at: http://campaigner.seattleymca.org/goto/Orkila.
The Islands’ Sounder is holding a subscription drive to benefit Camp Orkila. From Jan. 24 to April 25 we will donate $5 for all new subscribers. For more information, visit http://www.islandssounder.com/subscribe/ or call 360-376-4500.
We are very lucky to have a gem like Orkila in our community. It is enriching for us all.