Camp Program Overview
Beach Camp consists of 8 one week camp
sessions starting on the Sunday before the Fourth of July and ending the last
week in August. Campers are divided into 4 levels based on their grade in
school in fall following camp. Minnows (3-4), Seals (5-6), Dolphin (7-8),
In addition to being the most fun on the water this side
of Hawaii, Beach Camp promotes self-confidence, teamwork, water safety, and
knowledge and respect for the marine ecosystem through a wide variety of
watersport activities which are gameified around each cabin group’s marine
science project for the week. Projects include measuring water temperature,
salinity, and PH, and performing censuses of aquatic and intertidal zone
Beach Campers at the Orca, LIT, and CIT levels may
receive service leaning credit for Beach Camp science projects through the Save
our Shorelines non-profit which offices here at the Sunset Bay Wharf.
Beach Camp’s signature activity area is the Ocean Fun
Zone (OFZ) containing Beach Camp’s suite of unique and entirely over-water
challenge features including a climbing wall, zipline, trapeze swing,
tightrope, cliff jump, and our famous causeway connecting it all of floating blue
(Grades 3 & 4)
Beach Camp’s nurturing environment and family-oriented
philosophy is ideal for allowing young Beach Campers to bond with camp friends
and counselors and immerse themselves in the Beach Camp experience. Beach Camp
Minnows receive close personal attention from 2 hand-picked cabin counselors
who guide their group through the week’s activities. Minnow cabin counselors are
selected for their experience working with younger children and stay with their
same Minnow cabin group throughout the entire week.
Minnow counselors take the
time to understand each child’s interests as well as anxieties in order to
create the best possible conditions for increasing self reliance and confidence
in a fun teamwork oriented environment. Every Beach Camp Minnow’s individuality
is greeted with unconditional acceptance which is what makes Beach Camp a
special place that keeps kids coming back year after year.
Major activities outside the OFZ for Beach Camp Minnows
include canoeing, paddleboarding, snorkeling, innertubing, fishing, beach
combing and exploring the intertidal zone.
(Grades 5 & 6)
Seals are the golden age for Beach Camp. Old enough to
handle a kayak paddle, but young enough for everything to feel new and
exciting. Seals are challenged to build their water sports skills as well as teamwork
and communications skills though a variety of enriching activities where
campers learn to understand and assess risks as they accomplish new skills. Seals
learn to exercise judgment as they take on new challenges and how to work collaboratively
as a group. Each day revolves around fun, friends, and life skills setting the
stage for a happy and healthy adolescence.
Major activities outside the OFZ for Beach Camp Seals
include tandem sea kayaking, paddle boarding, skim boarding, and sailing.
(Grades 7 & 8)
compares to middle school at Beach Camp. Just as Dolphins start to crave independence
and adventure, and seek to define themselves in relation to their peers, Beach
Camp is there to provide endless challenges to be conquered, a supportive peer
group, and extreme sports bragging rights to last a lifetime.
have increased freedom to choose their activities, more flexible schedules, and
increased autonomy within the various Beach Camp activities and over the Beach
Camp property. Dolphins earn the privilege of a sea kayak trip to downtown
Edmonds and counselor-free beach combing trips to gather specimens for the
Beach Camp touch tank. Beach Camp Dolphins enjoy a fun filled week away from
home, video games, and the pressures of social media, leaving them with
wonderful memories and life skills to last a lifetime. Beach Camp Dolphins come away as stronger,
more resilient, and more thoughtful teens who are better equipped to navigate
the challenges of middle school.
outside the OFZ for Beach Camp Dolphins include sea kayaking in singles, wind
surfing, sailing sans instructor, beach biking, and fly fishing
Orcas are the highest and arguably most important grade level
at Beach Camp. Orcas are looked up to as camp leaders and receive increased
freedom and responsibility including a supervised overnight paddle trip to
Whidbey Island and operation of the camp’s outboard powered rescue Zodiac
between Meadowdale and Picnic Point parks. The increased confidence and
self-reliance provided by Beach Camp is especially important for Orca teens who
are (or soon to be) navigating the challenges of high school. Orca teens in
need of service learning hours are eligible for service learning credit for
time spent on Save Our Shorelines sponsored Beach Camp science projects.
Major activities outside the OFZ for Beach Camp Orcas
include overnight paddle trip to Whidbey Island, Zodiac w/outboard, solo
sailing, windsurfing, wake surfing.
In Training (LIT) – Outdoor Leadership Course (Grades 11-12)
Beach Camp’s Leaders
in Training - Outdoor Leadership Course is a separate leadership and team
building program for older teens that does not involve assisting with summer
camp operations. LIT teens stay in their own camp site in the Beach Camp
upland forest and participate in advanced outdoor education and leadership
development exercises. The LIT program focuses on developing the 6 Life Skills
most essential for teens’ transition into adulthood: Leadership, Independence,
Communications Skills, Resilience, Confidence during adversity, and
Responsibility. LITs develop these skills though various challenge activities
during camping, paddling and hiking excursions. LITs learn to build and cook
over a camp fire, navigate via compass, and use ropes and knots to overcome
obstacles and travel safely in rough terrain and marine environments. Interested LITs who demonstrate sufficient
maturity and watersports aptitude may be eligible for transfer into the CIT
program in subsequent weeks which involves assisting Beach Camp counselors in planning and operating the Beach Camp program. See the "Junior Instructors" tab for information about the CIT program.