Camp Orkila 2020 | Serving Community in New and Expanded Ways
Last updated: March 30, 2021, at 8:25 a.m. PT
Originally published: March 26, 2021, at 11:36 a.m. PT
As we continue to navigate the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 pandemic, Camp Orkila remains steadfast in our commitment to kids, families, and communities.
In May 2020, we canceled overnight youth camp programs and redirected our focus to addressing the needs of families and community. As a result, a wide array of families participated in Family Camp 2020. Together they experienced the fun and wonder of the outdoors while following healthy protocols and social distancing. For many families, Camp Orkila was their first outing away from home since early spring. With guided team-building activities, breathtaking outdoor spaces, and programs for everyone to laugh and play, camp was a powerful and timely experience for hundreds of families.
Meet the Rivera family as they share their Orkila summer experience:
Alongside family camping, summer day camp provided local kids an active, social, and enriching experience of playing and all-day adventures. The impact was tangible; one parent shared:
“It was a magical and important experience for them and is a shining example of how in-person education is not only possible, but beneficial in the era of COVID.” - Community Parent
Keeping the momentum of in-person learning, Camp Orkila worked with Orcas Island School District to create an outdoor learning program for all elementary and middle school students (Watch Video). For the 2020-2021 school year, classes have been online and outdoors at Orkila, with camp staff providing weekly, in-person, outdoor education to students. In addition, families needing online-school support, Orkila offers opportunities for kids to learn at camp. Support from individual donors, Orcas Island Community Foundation, and Orcas Island Education Foundation has been critical to the success of these programs.
Camp Orkila teamed up with a local food bank and assisted with food storage and preparation to meet the needs stemming from rising food insecurity in the Orcas Island community. Camp Orkila also partnered with local non-profits to provide temporary options for people without housing.
"The Y is thrilled to work with the Orcas Island community in new ways to help address basic needs for all." - Dave Affolter, Executive Director of YMCA Camp Orkila