Outdoor Environmental Education at Camp Orkila

Last updated: January 23, 2024, at 10:50 a.m. PT

Originally published: October 27, 2022, at 11:50 a.m. PT


Camp Orkila's Outdoor Environmental Education (OEE) program encompasses two areas of study: Environmental Education and Challenge Education. We aim to weave social and emotional learning competencies, experiential education principals, and social justice into every facet of our program to serve all participants in an equitable, respectful, and culturally versatile way.


Environmental Education

Environmental Education focuses on nurturing a sense of appreciation for the natural world through an understanding of ecological systems. Surrounded by the natural world, our staff work to pique students' curiosity and guide their discovery experience. Basic ecological concepts are introduced and studied with an emphasis on how students can interact positively within natural systems. Areas of study include Marine Ecology, Forest Ecology, Garden and Sustainability, and Earth Science. Investigations are incorporated into several of the classes so that students can apply the scientific method in the field. All classes are aligned with state learning standards.

Ropes Course

Challenge Education

Challenge Education focuses on building cooperation, problem solving skills, trust, self-reliance, and self-esteem to build strong individuals and strong groups. Instructors create a supportive and judgment-free atmosphere where individuals and groups are able to challenge themselves and learn through their experiences. Camp Orkila has one of the largest challenge courses in the region.  We utilize both ground and low ropes initiative courses, a climbing tower and zipline, giant swings, and traditional and advanced high ropes elements to help attain these goals.


Camp Orkila Marine Salmon Center

Program Details

At Orkila, your experience is completely custom.

Most groups that come to Camp Orkila fully utilize the resources by choosing classes from both Environmental and Challenge education areas. You may choose the length of stay (traditionally two to four nights), and you may choose the class line-up to align with the goals of the trip.

Programs are predominantly held outdoors in our beautiful northwest setting. Our campus includes beachfront on Puget Sound, old growth forests, open fields, garden and pond space, a Marine Salmon center, and various indoor and outdoor gathering spaces. 

Our standard rate includes meals, housing, and program. Generous financial assistance and program adaptation is available based on need and goals of the group.

To discuss outdoor education opportunities at Camp Orkila for your school or group, contact:

Haley Cruz Winchell
Senior Director of Education & Family Programs
(360) 376-2678 x103

Downloadable Resources

Category: Camp