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Friendships and Good Times

Posted on Nov 29 by

Over the years when discussing our campers’ experiences, we’ve shared memories of friendships and good times spent on the grounds of Camp Casey.  But, until now, we were not aware of any “love connections” that have resulted. A recent discussion with SPU Alum Danny Walter produced both.  Having spent the summer of ’92 as an SPU Day Camp Counselor, he said it was the best summer of his life.  As a camp counselor he frequented our neighbor Ft. Casey by day leading activities and playing sardine (yes, it’s a real game … look it up!) His fondest memory, however, is sharing the barracks with other day camp counselors and the cleaning and landscaping staff during that summer.  While they worked hard during the day, they had the evenings to themselves.  Those nights were filled with forming new and long lasting friendships, games like Uno, basketball, volleyball – and all the other amenities the camp had to offer.   A product of the relationships they built was the Thomas Parker Club. On the heels of the Dead Poet Society movie, Danny...


Entiat 6th grade’s 13th year!

Posted on Nov 15 by

2015 marks the 13th year that Lee Southard and his team have brought his Entiat Middle School 6th grade class to Camp Casey.  Volunteer parents and leadership chaperones on from Entiat Middle School are included in this adventure.  This is Lee’s story: Many of our students have never left our neck of the woods.  Every year I have students that have never been to Seattle, most have never been to the Pacific Science Center or rode on a Ferry. We stop at Snoqualmie Falls and the Pacific Science Center on the first leg of our trip.  First day lunch is always burgers from Seattle’s famous Dick’s Drive-In.  We then cross on the ferry from Mukilteo to Clinton. At Camp we participate in the Sea Lab, Beach Seine and the Forest Meadow classes, taught by Keith Ludeman.  It is apparent from the Students first contact with Keith that they are in for an educational, entertaining and fun time.  Keith draws the students in even if they are normally not inclined to do so.  Whether it’s the “Velcro” he tosses on...


Making Memories

Posted on Oct 29 by

Rainier Christian Middle School students don’t just survive – they THRIVE!  That’s their motto and their focus is on educating and developing the whole person for the glory of God – spiritually, academically, emotionally, socially, and physically. We love it when former camp attendees, especially SPU alumni teachers, come back to Camp Casey with their students to share in the same experiences the teachers had as children. An SPU Alumna visited Camp Casey again this past May. In keeping with one of the schools goals of “maintaining intellectual curiosity” and being a “life-long learner”, teacher Angela Pierotti accomplished both of these. She brought 60 students, parents, and teachers from the 6th grade of Maple Valley Elementary and Kent View Elementary to experience nature, build friendships, and grow closer to God. This trip is a culmination of the school year where they’ve researched words such as biodiversity, conservation, crepuscular, and habitat to prepare for their studies. While at camp, they receive additional instruction from the 6th grade teachers about animals, soil, and fire. In addition to being a favorite activity...


Outdoor Ed – Sea Lab

Posted on Oct 15 by

In a previous blog, we ended with the walk up the hill from our beach seine experience, having had the chance to speak with a parent who was bringing his daughter, a 1st grade student from Coupeville Elementary, to the Sea Lab. What was unique to that conversation was that the parent had participated in the same experience during his own childhood. The Camp Casey Sea Lab aims to uncover the mystery of the depths by showcasing local marine life and educating guests on the importance of conservation. The lab features about a dozen aquariums that house fascinating sea creatures. As the Sea Lab instructor, Keith Ludeman’s goal is to encourage students to understand that a very important habitat exists in the ocean, even though they can’t see it. They also learn how their actions affect the beaches, oceans, and habitats of these animals. As the class makes its way into the lab the noise level is almost overwhelming from the students’ excitement. Keith’s first display is the Blood Sea Star, pointing out that the stars have as many eyes as they have arms. His approach is...


Largest leadership college program in the state!

Posted on Sep 29 by

Every year the Bellevue College Student Leadership Institute kicks off its program with a retreat at Camp Casey.  This year, more than 140 student leaders converged on Camp Casey for a four day retreat which featured interactive leadership seminars, an off-site ropes course, games, camp fire huddles, and opportunities for reflection.  The activities were facilitated by 22 mentors and 14 staff members.  “This retreat kicks off our summer leadership training and includes activities that are designed to empower and educate future leaders”, says Faisal Jaswal, associate dean for student programs.  He also is the adviser for the Jewish Cultural Club at Bellevue College.  “Camp Casey is iconic”, continues Faisal, “and was intentionally chosen as the retreat site.” Faisal lived just a bit south of Camp Casey for 28 years and still has family in the area.  Having lived near Camp Casey gives him great appreciation for the natural beauty, history and collective convenience of having vast open spaces, lodging, meeting spaces and meal service, all in one location.  The calm and quiet of the location make it a natural setting to...


Passing knowledge and passion on to the next generation

Posted on Sep 8 by

Touted as the world’s premier distance runner during the ‘60s, Doris Heritage continues her long tradition of coaching and mentoring young runners by being a Falcon Running Camp coach.  This two-time Olympian, five-time world champion, former Olympic coach and longtime member of the SPU cross country coaching staff, gives her time freely at the Falcon Running Camp.  In addition to the usual coaching tasks, she sat for an hour-long interview where she discussed what it was like growing up on Gig Harbor and how she developed her passion for running.  As she tells it, it wasn’t until participating in a running camp in the early 60’s that she learned about training and running drills.  She explained that her participation in running programs taught her much more than just the fundamentals of the sport.  In a time when racial segregation was the norm and women were excluded from many activities we take for granted today, she joined a very few who stood by their principles and led by example.  When participating in a running camp in Texas in the early 60s,...

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