Camp Orkila Pond Classroom - Thanks Robinson Foundation

Last updated: March 22, 2023, at 5:03 a.m. PT

Originally published: June 21, 2018, at 11:36 a.m. PT

Robinson Foundation invests $500,000

Until now, the 8,000 students taking the popular Pond Ecology class at Orkila each year had no shelter from the rain, wind, cold and darkness. And campers visiting the Organic Garden had little shade and no kitchen facilities to prepare their harvests.

With a generous pledge from the Robinson Foundation, we are moving forward with a classroom building that will elevate these experiential education programs.

The goal is to further promote and facilitate the hands-on nature of camp while providing a facility that supports students’ – many of whom are new to the outdoors – learning.

Outdoor Environmental Education has been part of the year-round programming at YMCA Camp Orkila and Camp Colman since the 1970s and has grown significantly since then. Each year more than 120 school groups visit our two camps, more than 11,000 participants, and we anticipate serving more youth as a result of this generous gift.

While at camp with their school, students that classes that might include Pond and Marine Science as well as Challenge and Teambuilding. The Pond curriculum is rooted in discovery, investigation, and multidisciplinary learning. All activities are designed to increase participants' enthusiasm for science and STEM subjects, to reward curiosity, and to promote cooperation and communication skills.

This classroom will expand the potential for new and different programs offered at the Pond and Garden area. If you are interested in learning more about this project or have ideas about future program improvements to these areas at Camp Orkila, please contact Magill Dickerson-Lange.

This project is a part of the YMCA of Greater Seattle’s Opportunities for All: The Y a Campaign for Kids and Communities. For the Camping and Outdoor Leadership branch, the capital campaign focuses on increasing capacity and improving the camping experience for everyone. This includes significant projects at our current camps as well as the purchase and initial development of a brand new overnight camp.

A huge thank you Robinson Foundation for investing in this vision and their commitment to experiential education!



Locations: Camp Orkila
Category: Camp