Edmonds Kind of Play: What about Wilderness Camp this summer — right in Edmonds

Quiet Heart wilderness camp.
Quiet Heart’s Outdoor Wilderness Living Experience camp in Edmonds, courtesy of the organization’s website.

Lots of us just made it through Spring Break and then a holiday that involves irresistible candy. The Easter Bunny meant to bring my kids Reese’s Peanut Butter eggs, twice, but she (the bunny is a “she” per the resident 8-year-old) couldn’t deliver those delicious egg-shaped pockets of peanut butter anywhere other than straight down her gullet. I don’t blame her, AT all. I think the recent conquering of both a school and religious holiday make the fact that Friday, April 25 is a Non-Student Day in the Edmonds School District just a little more jarring. “Didn’t they just have Spring Break” was overheard at the bus stop yesterday and the answer is “Yes, they totally did.”

This Non-Student day is not the last for this school year; there is one more on Friday, May 16. The good news is, if you have a kid between the ages of 6 and 12, there is a day camp on the 16th through Edmonds Parks and Recreation held at The Frances Anderson Center, 700 Main St. The theme will be “Sea Trek,” and kids and their Discover Program Ranger-Naturalist will head to the beach to check out sand and seashells and “investigate creatures of the sea.” These day camps are really great and the kids come home exhausted, dirty, and full of stories. That is pretty much the kid-trifecta of a good time. The camp runs from 10 a.m. til 3 p.m. on May 16 and I confirmed with Parks and Rec that there is still space. At the beginning of the week, there was still space in Friday’s Discovery Program Camp and when I called today, it was all filled up. To register you can call 425-771-0230 or visit reczone.org.

In researching the different summer camp options for Edmonds, I came across a camp held at Yost Park and a school year program from the same organization. Quiet Heart Wilderness School holds “Summer in the Woods” for kids ages 7 to 13, at Yost, 9535 Bowdoin Way. Sessions run from June 23 through Aug. 15 and last from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The wilderness school was founded by “Hawkeye,” a former member of the Olympic Mountain Rescue team, who is joined by “Eaglewoman” and “Little Bear” among other well-named staff. Campers will “participate in hands-on naturalist activities, wilderness games, crafts, native storytelling and much more, while the whole time being outside getting fresh air and exercise.”

While taking with Hawkeye, I realized he has been attending my son’s school since September. He told me about a program they run twice a year called OWLE, Outdoor Wilderness Living Experience. OWLE is a Saturday program where kids get to play games, do chores, learn to build emergency shelters, make primitive arrows, learn how to make a fire pit and build and maintain a fire. There is also lunch where they learn to cook over a fire. If I read this to my 8-year-old he would lose his mind; I mean if I read it to my husband, he would lose his mind too. The Spring Session of OWLE runs from March to June and the Fall OWLE runs from September to December. It is held at “Coyote Camp” at the Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Church, 8109 224th St. S.W., Saturdays, throughout the session from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. I think this is a great option if your schedule or views don’t leave space for Boy Scouts. You can find more info and registration information for both “Summer in the Woods” and the “Outdoor Wilderness Living Experience” at Quietheart.org.

I am going to risk sounding so corny, but the truth is the options of things that we have to do in Edmonds are truly amazing. From soccer to circus gymnastics to day camp to the amazing wilderness camps/classes, you can do it all and so close to home. We are Edmonds transplants and when we drive down the big hill on Main Street, I remind my kids that not everyone gets to live near this kind of stuff. Before, I meant the mountains and water and ferries, but after being here for nine years I now also mean the resources, the opportunities, and, of course, the people.

– By Jennifer Marx

Jen Marx
Jen Marx

Jen Marx, an Edmonds Mom of two young boys, is a traffic reporter by dawn and writer and PBJ maker by day. She is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time. You can contact Jen with your local event at [email protected] or find her trying to make sense of begging kids to ” just eat the mac n cheese” at SnackMomSyndrome.com. If you have a kid-friendly event you’d like to share, email her at [email protected].

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