Frequently Asked Questions

How safe is it, some of the water activities look really scary?

The Sunset Bay Wharf's unique location allows youth challenge activities to be placed over the water thus providing a safe and forgiving landing zone. In addition, we provide buoyant neoprene wetsuits and booties and bright colored rashguards for all Beach Camp participants which eliminates much of the risks associated with pool or lake based swim activities. Although in the short run, a safer week could no doubt be had playing video games or at coder camp, in the long run, a week spent here overcoming challenges and perceived risks, learning water and boating safety and self-reliance, and developing an appreciation and respect for the environment and the inherent risks in outdoor adventures, will pay safety dividends lasting a lifetime. Parents can also take comfort in another unique aspect of the Sunset Bay Wharf which is we have a full panoply of dry land activities so there is never any pressure to do anything on the water if the conditions are not optimal for the activity in question. Also, unlike most oceanfront adventure programs, we are only minutes from the entire range of medical resources Seattle has to offer.

Do Participants have to be able to swim?

Yes, but they need not be strong or accomplished swimmers. Wetsuits and lifejackets make it next to impossible to lose a swimmer, and for those who may not so far have exhibited a great interest in swimming, there is no more likely place than here to instill a love for the water. After a week at the Wharf we hear time and time again about there being no further need to force or bribe young people to attend swim lessons or swim team.

Are there any Day Camp programs?

As a service to the local community, Beach Camp offers a subsidized Day Camp program through the City of Edmonds Parks and Recreation Department. Day Camp is available for Minnow (Grades 2-3) and Seal (Grades 4-5) only. Day Camp is an introductory program with separate Day Camp groups. For additional information call the City of Edmonds at 425-771-0230.

Where do the kids stay?

Kids stay in modern cabins and cabanas that accommodate retreat groups and Beach Camp staff in the off season. All have normal indoor plumbing and clean respectable bathrooms, so no traipsing anywhere in the middle of the night for bathroom breaks.

Are there a lot of Mosquitoes, last time we stayed on the water my kids got lots of Mosquito bites?

No, we're on saltwater not a lake where Mosquitoes live! You won't even need bug repellent unless unusually sensitive to any kind of bug bite.

Is there anything expensive we need to buy?

No, we supply wetsuits and booties and colored rashguards for the week, so all you need is normal going away from home items which will be listed in your welcome pack email.  

What if my child wants to be in the same cabin group as a friend?

As long as your friend is the in the same program and age group, just make sure you sign up for the same week, and we'll take care of the rest at check in.

What is your ratio of staff to participants?

Each cabin/cabana group of 8 to 12 participants has two educator/counselors and one Jr. CIT.

Can you accommodate special diet requests?

Yes, we provide both vegetarian and gluten free meal options.

What time is pickup and Drop off?

Drop off is at 3pm on Sundays,  and pickup is at 11 am on the following Saturday.

What if someone gets homesick?

For those thinking about a week away from home for the first time but unsure if they are completely ready, there is no better place than the Sunset Bay Wharf to ease kids into the away from home experience. Most young people have a sense for the remoteness of their location, so being close to the City makes the vibe here totally different from driving hours away and being dropped off in the middle of knowhere. Also, with our close in location it is very easy to come by for a tour in the off season, which goes a long ways toward settling young peoople's minds. With all these things going in your favor, any pangs of homesickness almost always pass quickly.   

Is there a store for snacks etc.?

Yes, and you can charge up your store credit account at check-in.

How to be a Jr. instructor/CIT?

Applications are sent out in the Spring to Orcas from last season who expressed interest in the CIT program. CITs are chosen based on space available and prior experience and performance. There are 3 CIT levels, CIT 1 (camp tuition continues to apply), CIT 2 (CITs attend camp free of charge), and CIT 3 (CITs earn a stipend). New Beach Camp Orcas and Summer Law students who demonstrate special ability and maturity may also be eligible for promotion to CIT on subsequent weeks based on their interest and  input from staff.