Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Find answers to our most frequently asked questions including COVID-19 safety protocols, directions to camp, and more. If you still have questions, please don't hesitate to contact us via email or by calling our main camping office at (206) 382 5009.

Will Camp Orkila and Camp Colman offer programs this year?

Yes! We believe that now, more than ever, there is a need for meaningful, fun outdoor experiences. We are excited to provide families with a fun-filled camp experience at YMCA Camp Colman and Camp Orkila.

We have adjusted our program and procedures as we prioritize the health of our campers, staff, and volunteers. We work closely with our state and county health departments and the American Camping Association on policies and procedures to mitigate risk surrounding COVID-19. 

How will activities be impacted by COVID-19?

Due to physical distancing and sanitizing needs, we will limit the drop-in activities offered. Most activities will be self-guided, with limited scheduled activities available. 

What will happen if public health restrictions change?

Camp Orkila and Camp Colman are committed to following the recommendations of civil authorities and public health officials. If restrictions remain in place that prevent us from operating, we will cancel programs and notify families. Impacted families will have an opportunity to credit their fee towards a future program, make a donation to the Y’s COVID-19 Relief Fund, or request a refund.

How does the Y support minorities who have been traditionally excluded from the outdoors?

The work of decentralizing whiteness in the outdoors is an ongoing process, but at the Y, our commitment to inviting and supporting more kids and families from all communities, especially Black and brown communities. We want all people to feel the lifelong connection to the earth and to themselves which these expeditions offer. We have a zero-tolerance policy for racist comments or jokes, which can result in the offending individual being removed from a trip. YMCA Camp Orkila and Colman also provide financial assistance which reduces the barrier for entry for families new to camping.

COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols

What steps are you taking to minimize the risk of someone contracting COVID-19?

We continue to develop a comprehensive set of policies and procedures specific to COVID-19. Our leadership team has reviewed and will continue to update necessary camp protocols to comply with or exceed governmental guidelines to reduce risk of exposure. These include but are not limited to, the following:

  • Daily health screenings for all participants and staff.
  • Extra vigilance around cabin, building and bathroom sanitation - including increased deep cleaning in high traffic areas and thorough disinfecting of cabins between sessions.
  • All staff will be reminded to promote regular hand washing and good hygiene practices. Additional hand washing and hand sanitizer stations have been added.
  • Program area and equipment protocols and sanitization practices after each use have shifted to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
  • Large group gathering will be adjusted to align with current requirement of Local, State and Federal orders.
  • Physical Distancing practices are in place for guests, staff and volunteers.
  • Guests, staff and volunteers will follow mask wearing recommendations of the state and county.
  • Guests will be asked to bring their own linens/bedding and personal recreational equipment (i.e. lifejackets and paddles) if possible.
  • At the conclusion of each activity or trip all personal and group gear will be cleaned and disinfected as directed by manufacturers COVID-19 procedures.
How are you cleaning and disinfecting your physical space?

We use EPA registered products to clean and disinfect our space on a regular basis.

  • Ongoing cleaning will be scheduled during the day, especially in common areas.
  • Hand sanitizer stations have been installed, and nightly disinfectant cleaning will be done as an additional measure.
  • Staff will disinfect program areas and equipment between each use.
  • Families will be provided with some supplies and equipment for the duration of their stay to reduce the need to share between families. This will include items such as crafts packs that you can take home at the end of your stay as well as camp items like life jackets or harnesses which Y staff will disinfect between sessions.
  • We ask families to leave their cabins tidy and remove all belongings at departure to allow us to more efficiently and effectively clean cabins between sessions.
How will you be screening participants and staff for COVID-19?

All guests, staff and volunteers will be asked to maintain a self-observation before coming to camp. If you or a family member have been sick or in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, we ask that you wait 14 days before coming to camp. We can arrange for a cancellation or change in registration. All guests, staff and volunteers must complete daily health screenings, provided to guests upon arrival.

Will camps be testing participants, or having participants get tested prior to arriving for their program?

Camp Orkila and Camp Colman’s eligibility criteria and health screening processes will be updated as needed to minimize, as far as practical, the risk of transmission of COVID-19 occurring at camp. The requirements for participants will depend on preferred practice at that time, as determined by:

  • Guidance from federal and local health authorities, like the CDC, and state health departments for schools, camps, and businesses.
  • The types of tests and other screening tools considered to be highly reliable and widely available at that time.
How will you respond if a participant or staff member is suspected of having COVID-19?

We will continue to adhere to guidance from the CDC, our state department of health and local officials. Any staff that exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 will be immediately separated from our camp population or leave camp. Families would be asked to depart as soon as possible if a member of their family is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. In either case, we will work with local health authorities, should this occur.

Are staff prepared and trained to handle an outbreak of COVID-19?

The safety of participants is our highest concern. Camp always involves risk. The most important thing we do to mitigate risk in our programs is to be certain our instructors follow our safety policies and procedures. We have planned additional training for our full-time and seasonal staff to orient them to risks of COVID-19 and minimize exposure of themselves and others to COVID-19 – or any communicable disease or virus. This training will include, but is not limited to signs and symptoms, stringent cleaning and disinfection protocols, program changes to minimize risk, and outbreak response plans. These trainings will occur before guest arrive.

Who is guiding your camp health and safety plans?

We are being guided by federal, state, and local health officials and working in regular consultation with our partners at the American Camp Association and Y-USA to ensure that we have effective protocols in place to successfully run our program

Arrival, Check-In, and Packing Details

Is there anything I need to do before arriving at camp?

Yes, we need all groups to fill out and return meal and health and safety forms.

How do I get to Camp Colman?

Address

20016 Bay Road KPS | Longbranch, WA 98351 

Driving Directions from Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia

  1. Follow I-5 into Tacoma and take the Gig Harbor/Bremerton exit (#132) onto Hwy 16.
  2. Go over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and through Gig Harbor. Take the Purdy/Key Center (Hwy 302) exit into Purdy.
  3. Turn left at the first stop light to cross over the Purdy Spit.
  4. Cross the water and make no turns. You will be on this road for approximately 20 minutes. The Joemma State Beach signs along the way will aid you in getting to Camp since Camp is adjacent to this park. Hwy 302-Shelton exit will veer to the right, continue to travel straight into the town of Key Center.
  5. Travel through the town of Key Center (you are now 10 miles from camp). Continue on and through the towns of Home and Lakebay
  6. In Home/Lakebay, you will pass a gas station. Go over the bridge and turn right on the sec­ond road past the bridge, Whiteman Road. Whiteman Road is approximately one mile past the gas station and has signs indicating Camp Colman and Joemma State Park.
  7. Whiteman Road bears to the left as you pass Lake Road. Do not follow Lake Road. Instead, continue on Whiteman Road to Bay Road (the next road), approximately one mile from the Lake Road junction.
  8. Make a sharp right on Bay Road and follow it until you come to a gravel road on the left. This gravel road is the entrance to camp and is indicated by a Camp Colman sign.
  9. Follow the gravel road along the beach and into camp. Check the notice board at the first parking lot for check-in information.

Driving Directions from Bremerton

  1. Follow Hwy 3 east past Bremerton. Take Hwy16 east towards Tacoma.
  2. Take the Purdy/Key Center exit into Purdy.
  3. Turn right at the stop-light.
  4.  See numbers 4-8 to the left (from Seattle directions)
     

Driving Directions from the Southworth Ferry

  1. From the ferry landing, take a left onto Sedgewick Road and follow to Hwy 16.

 

How do I get to Camp Orkila?

Address

484 Camp Orkila Road | Eastsound, WA 98245

Drive

If you choose to drive to camp, plan to arrive at the Anacortes ferry landing at least an hour or two before sailing times listed on the WSDOT ferry schedule. Take any ferry bound for Orcas Island. Reservations are strongly encouraged. 

  • Directions:
    • Take I-5 to Exit 230, which is north of Mt. Vernon. The exit will say Burlington, Anacortes, San Juan Ferry.
    • Turn left at the end of the exit onto Highway 20.
    • Drive west about 20 miles to Anacortes.
    • Follow the signs in Anacortes to the San Juan Ferry.
    • When you purchase your ticket at the ferry landing, indicate your destination as Orcas Island. The Anacortes ferry landing is about 90 minutes from Seattle. The ferry ride from Anacortes to Orcas is about 45-80 minutes, depending on the number of stops at other islands.
    • When you arrive at Orcas and depart the ferry, turn left and stay on the main road (Horseshoe Highway), following the signs to Eastsound for about 10 miles. The road takes a few 90-degree turns along the way..
    • At Eastsound, the road you are following becomes Lover’s Lane. Stay straight on Lover’s Lane, going toward the airport. Do NOT turn right into town. (If you come to a stop sign, you have gone the wrong way.)
    • Just before the airport, the road curves to the right. Do not curve to the right! Instead, turn left onto Mt. Baker Road.
    • Proceed up the hill about one mile. Camp Orkila will be on the left, at the end of Mt. Baker Road.
    • Drive into camp and follow the signs to the parking lot. Please park in designated areas only. Use the luggage carts provided to transport luggage to your cabin.

Shuttle Service

Camp Orkila will not be providing shuttle service from the ferry or airport drop off locations. To coordinate transport from these locations to camp, please call one of the taxi services on the island in advance of your arrival for best results:

  • New Orcas Taxi Tours - 360 298 1639
  • Orcas Island Scenic Shuttle - 360 298 8414
  • Orcas Island Taxi Service - 360 376 8294
  • San Juan Transit & Shuttle - 360 378 8887
What time is check-in and check-out?

Camp Colman

All groups must be checked in by 6:00pm. Check-out time is 11:00 am.

Camp Orkila

Please arrive at camp no earlier than 4:30pm. Check-out time is 11:00 am.

 

What should I bring to camp?

Suggested Items:

  • Thermometer and pen for health screenings
  • Face coverings
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Clothes for warm, wet, and cool weather
  • Rain gear
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen
  • Sturdy, comfortable, closed-toe shoes
  • Long pants
  • Flashlight or head lamp
  • Water bottle
  • Towel & washcloth
  • Pillow
  • Sleeping bag or linens for twin-sized bed, unless staying in the Derderer Center at Camp Orkila

Optional Items:

  • Mugs for hot cocoa or coffee
  • Cooler, for storing extra food and leftovers
  • Camera
  • Bug spray
  • Shower shoes
  • Musical instruments
  • Good book
  • Swimsuit
  • Backpack or small bag to carry items around with you
  • Portable crib or pack-and-play for your little one
  • Life jacket for baby/toddler 
Are pets allowed?

Only professional, assistive pets are allowed at our camps. Please let us know if such a pet will accompany you

Is there cell phone reception at camp?

Cell phone reception can be spotty at both Camp Colman and Camp Orkila but generally most carriers work.

Our camp staff can provide you with a phone to use for emergency calls, if necessary. Important incoming messages for participants may be left on the camp voicemail and will be relayed at meal times.

Camp Colman: (253) 884-3844
Camp Orkila: 

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We enjoyed the scheduled activities a lot. Those combined with just getting to enjoy camp really made for a magical weekend. I really enjoyed getting to spend time at camp with my family. Thanks so much for the opportunity!

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STAY ENGAGED WITH THE Y

Teen Outdoor Leadership

Boys, Girls, and All Gender Outdoor Leadership (BOLD & GOLD) expeditions inspire youth ages 11 to 18 to be their most courageous and confident selves as they explore some of the most beautiful and natural places in the Pacific Northwest.

Overnight Camp

Camp Colman and Camp Orkila offer kids and teens the chance to explore their individuality, become a part of their own community, and enjoy the classic American camp experience of archery, rock climbing, and s’mores over the campfire.

Day Camp

Offering active days spent learning new skills and making lifelong friends, Y Day Camps offers fun camp activities to engage brains, exploration rotations to encourage kids to try new things, and plenty of physical activity and games to keep bodies moving.

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