Click! Orcas Island Rec goes online with youth programs

  • Wed Jun 18th, 2008 1:47am
  • Sports

One-stop shopping for summer activities

Orcas Recreation has partnered with many Orcas Island children’s organizations to create a Web site that is a virtual “one-stop shopping” of the community resources for youth on the island.

“At Orcas Rec, we want the community to know that every group we can think of is listed on the youth resource page at,” said Didier Ginçig, Coordinator of the Orcas Island Recreation Program. “It’s a handy resource to bookmark on your computer.”

All of the public and private schools on Orcas Island have links from the Orcas Rec website that detail school programs and important school-related news. The Orcas Island Education Foundation (OIEF) website profiles the work of the 501(c)3 organization’s ongoing efforts to support enrichment programs in the Orcas public schools.

A welcome source of information about the availability of childcare for kids from infants to age 12 can be found at the Children’s House Day Care site.

A link to the camps YMCA/Orkila and Four Winds/Westward Ho describes the many special opportunities and camper-driven activities that only a week or two away from home can provide.

The Funhouse provides extensive mentoring programs, after-school programs, drop-out prevention programs and support for teens with with hands-on, kid-friendly science exhibits, a complete audio and video production studio and more.

Orcas Center has a myriad of cultural programs for kids including Kids’ Fest and a Theatre Camp – Cirque d’Orcas – featuring artists from the Dream Science Circus. Participants are eligible to join a procession in the Fourth of July parade as well as a Center Stage performance of Cirque d’Orcas on July 5.

The Orcas Public Library is gearing up for summer reading with twice-weekly family storytimes, middle-school and high school book clubs and links to enough “Kids’ Fun Stuff” and “Kids’ Brain Stuff” to keep readers of all ages busy all summer long.

The San Juan Nature Institute provides a Young Naturalists program during the summer for children five to 12 years old through its ongoing Partners in Science program that enriches science education in the classroom all year long. Older kids can train as counselors and specialists for the Young Naturalist program or attend the free lectures series sponsored by Nature Institute. (See B2).

The FEAST (Farm Education and Sustainability for Teens) program has workshops that are open to a variety of ages including a “Global-to-Local video” screening and discussion, making seed balls, beekeeping and honey production, building a rocket stove, natural building and a food processing workshop about canning, freezing and drying.

Now in its fifteenth year, the Orcas Island Recreation Program offers a variety of opportunities for children of all ages, from preschool through high school. With programs in sports, music, arts and crafts, Orcas Rec has something to offer every child on the island.

For more information, go to

Orcas Rec Summer Sports Program

The Orcas Island Recreation Program will offer sports programs for island youth this summer including baseball camp, basketball camp, British Soccer Camp, Skyhawks Multi-Sports Camp, a tennis clinic, drop in soccer and the tenth Annual Steve Braun Memorial Triathlon.

The fun begins June 23-27 with an all-day Skyhawks Multi-Sports Camp for boys and girls ages seven to 12.

The popular British Soccer Camp will be August 11-15.

A girls’ basketball camp will run from July 7-9 and will be coached by the girls high school coach, Terry Moran Hodge, with the help of the players on the high school team. The camp is for girls entering grades 5 through 9.

For children and youth ages eight to 15, there are sailing lessons for beginners as well as for intermediate and advanced sailors in the Junior Sailing Program. Sailing lessons run weekly at West Sound from June 30 to August 21.

For adults and youth, the 10th Annual Steve Braun Memorial Triathlon takes place on Sunday, August 31 at Moran State Park. Participants swim 0.4 miles in Cascade Lake, ride 17 miles on scenic roads and run 3.5 miles around Cascade Lake. Participants may enter as a team or individually.

“Whether it is adult sailing, youth sailing, sports, cooking classes, learning about medicinal native plants, field trips, art, music, or theater, there’s something for everyone this summer with the Orcas Island Recreation Program,” says Ginçig. “It sure beats sitting around at home playing video games and watching television.”

Ginçig says, “Not everyone can afford to go to off-island camps. We bring quality instructors to the island and offer terrific opportunities for kids to improve on their skills, have fun and connect with others.”

Descriptions of the programs and registration forms can be downloaded at Printed summer guides are available at the public library, the public school, and the Rec. Program office in the Senior Center. Program guides can be mailed by calling 376-5339. Orcas Rec programs are open to guests to the island as well as to island residents.