The Sunset Bay Wharf is located along a several mile stretch of sandy beach at the widest part of Puget Sound directly across from its entrance to the Pacific Ocean. This means ocean like beaches with ornate driftwood, expansive sand flats, and everyday encounters with marine mammals including seals, otters, porpoises, and sea lions. It also means crystal clear waters with ocean levels of salinity hosting almost every imaginable cold water marine organism along with copious populations of schooling fish and crab. In short, the Sunset Bay Wharf is worlds apart from lake based summer programs, as is our mission of helping young people develop the courage, critical thinking, and teamworking skills necessary to safely navigate the natural and human built environments, and to plant the seed for a lifetime of interest and appreciation in the outdoors and our saltwater marine ecosystem.
Where did it come from?
Prior to air travel, the Sunset Bay Wharf served as a tourist destination for Seattle's elite with Eddie Bauer and Bill Boeing being among the regulars here staying for their annual vacations and sport fishing for salmon. The current Wharf summer programs grew out of the Sunset Bay sea kayaking club some 25 years ago which was the first to adopt surface supplied air for teaching Eskimo rolls making the lifesaving skill accessible to weekend kaykers by allowing multiple attempts between wet exists.
Why is the Sunset Bay Wharf on of the Best Places Anywhere for Youth Summer Programs?
-Puget Sound is home to literally thousands of seals, porpoises, sea lions, otters, and even pods of resident Orca Whales, and we encounter these marine mammals everyday during the summer months.
-We have the largest warmest sandiest beach on the Sound for beach combing, biking, and exploring the intertidal zone.
-We have crystal clear water undisturbed by most boat and ship traffic.
-We have a year around stream containing all manner of freshwater organisms which is the sole outlet of nearby Lake Serene.
-We have a huge pier stretching 150' into the water with over 200 pilings supporting tremendous amounts of marine life and a diverse marine ecosystem including dozens of varieties of fish and other saltwater marine organisms.
-We have a touch tank and saltwater aquarium for up close examination of the many extraordinary types of saltwater marine life.
-We have environmental marine science grads on staff year around, and our our summer staff consists of those with demonstrated experience and love for the saltwater marine environment, ocean sports outdoor recreation, and legal education.
-The tide comes in most summer afternoons over the warm sand giving us warmer afternoon water temperatures than in many lakes.
-With our protected bay and little boat traffic, we have calm glass like water conditions in the middle of the day almost all summer long.
-We have more cool gear and variety of activities than any summer program we know of.
-Water safety is built into our program with with kids wearing bouyant wetsuits, and brightly colored rashguards, and with almost everything we do being over the water, including our swings, climbing structures, and zipline.
-We are located at the very widest part of the Sound with an unobstructed view of all our water adventure activities for many miles in all directions.
-We have paddleboards, kayaks, sailboats, rowboats, Zodiacs, windsurfers, skimboards, beach bikes, miles of beach, overwater zipline and climbing wall, as well as indoor climbing walls, skate ramps, and sport court. So unlike other water based programs, there is never any pressure here to do anything on the water unless conditions are optimal for the particular activity in question.
If you are interested in hearing more, we’d be more than happy to talk to you in person, so don’t hesitate to e-mail us and we'll have the best person for your question call you right back.
Seals and Porpoises love Beach Camp too!
Did you know?:
Did you know there has been a tremendous recovery in the population of porpoises here with current population estimates into the thousands?
OVER WATER CLIMBING WALL
Do you know why we don't use ropes on the Beach Camp climbing wall? Because its over the water, and the more you fall the more fun it is!
Ever wanted to try a backflip off a circus trapeze swing? Ours is over the water, almost anyone can do it!