Camp Orkila, Covid style. The annual Camp Orkila trip back in May was cancelled. That whole pandemic thing was in full effect. Still is. But things are slowly opening, with major precautions and virus protocols. Like Camp Orkila.
Instead of offering standard kiddo summer camps, Camp Orkila announced they’d run family camps all summer long. At first we were hesitant to sign up, pandemic and all. But after thinking about it for some time, we decided it was worth going with all the precautions in place. Brian took the four kiddos in early July, while Maive and I stayed home and enjoyed the quiet for four days.
Ferry ride to Orcas Island.
From the trip report I was given, it was a great time. A bit of normal for the kiddos. With masks. Which are normal now. They usually go every May for Mother’s Day weekend, for three days and two nights. This time they went Tuesday through Friday, for four days and three nights. And with everything Covid, things were slightly different. I even hear some things were better…
Cabins. Each family had their own cabin. There was no sharing with random people. Not that this happens often. But in past years when camp has been super busy, sometimes they room families together. Brian said there were only about 11 families there all together, so not many compared to normal times. Brian and the kiddos requested the same cabin we had last year. It’s located just above the beach, near the main lodge, close to bathrooms, and the Gaga Ball pit is just to the side. I know they’ve stayed in different cabins over the years; sounds like this cabin might be the one that has won them over.
Activities. During normal times, activities are open to all, where you can drop in at any time during the day. This time, each family was assigned specific times for activities, ensuring social distancing from others and allowing time between families for staff to clean shared spaces. I hear this was great! The kiddos’ assigned activities included: archery, fishing, boating, and zip lining. Several activities were closed thanks to Covid, like the art center… too many shared-items to deal with the germ factor.
Boating to Crab Island, which is really Freeman Island. The kiddos call it Crab Island since there are crabs galore in tide pools.
Saige with her Crab Island loot.
Blaise and Laine were super stoked they were able to zip line this year. Kiddos have to be fourth grade or above.
Zip line Laine.
Zip line Blaise.
When they weren’t participating in set activities, they were at the beach.
The kiddos kept finding dead jellyfish on the beach. So of course they had to pick them up. Apparently there were several live ones in the water they were able to observe.
Meals. Usually the dining hall is the place for meals. It’s buffet-style with open seating. I went last year and this was a massive turn-off. I don’t know how many times I watched a kiddo grab a roll or whatever, change their mind, and put it back in the buffet. Pandemic or not, germs galore. But this year, the camp prepared meals for each family. Brian said he’d pick up each meal during a timeframe and take it back to their cabin to eat at the picnic table. The camp put picnic tables outside of each cabin for this very reason. The only thing was you never knew what the meal was until you opened it up back at your cabin. Which is why Saige has this face in the left picture. She’s not an enchilada fan.
Random camp pictures.
And an adorable raccoon!
Brian was very complimentary on how well Camp Orkila handled everything Covid and made adjustments so camp could happen. It was masks 100% of the time, even on the beach—unless there were absolutely no other people around. And social distancing was practiced well, by staff and other families. I think it was a successful pandemic trip.
Ferry ride home.
Exhausted kiddos heading home.