Washington State Youth
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Melissa M. Johnston
253-847-2234 | 253-948-7449
WA State Youth Conservation Camps
Since 1952 the Washington State Youth Conservation Camp (also known as the WA State Junior Sportsmen's Conservation Camp) has been educating campers ages 12 to 16 about the outdoors, and how to wisely enjoy them. We encourage conservation methods to ensure our resources will be there for "future generations." Our camp is located on breathtaking Orcas Island at the foot of Mount Constitution, in the Environmental Learning Center of Moran State Park.
Girls Camp - July 16-22
Boys Camp - July 23-29
Campers receive training in archery, including: basics of bow construction, proper form, safe practices, and practice range time.
At the end of the week an archery competition will take place.
Mt. Constitution Hike
Hikers are shuttled to the top of Mt. Constitution at an elevation of 2398 feet
where they will begin their journey back to camp.
Before making the nearly 6 mile trek back to camp they can soak in the rare 360 degree view of salt water.
The only such view in the continental United States!
Campers will then hike down the mountain stopping for a picnic lunch and a fun visit to Cascade Falls.
Hunter Safety Training
Campers are trained by our certified instructors in the safe and responsible handling of firearms.
Our course is built around the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Hunters Education Program.
Our camps do offer the opportunity to receive Hunters Ed Certification, but not every year.
Certification class is offered subject to certified volunteer instructors available to teach.
All guns for this class are provided by the WDFW.
Training weapons are painted hunters orange, rendered inert
and are designed to replicate the look and feel of real firearms without the risks.
For years that certification is not offered, we hold a class on marksmanship & gun safety including plenty of range time.
Range use is restricted to spring loaded BB guns.
No live firearms are brought to camp.
Our survival class teaches campers the basic rules of survival.
The 10 essentials
Unlucky 7, what is really going to kill you
Basics of shelter building
Camp is located on Cascade Lake where campers are trained in the basics of fishing.
Our youth get the opportunity to put their new found knowledge to the test
as they fish our stocked lake in hopes of catching the big one!
Campers 15 and under do not require a license.
Campers aged 16 are required to bring a license if they wish to fish.
All fishing gear and bait is provided by the camp.
Our Washington State Youth Conservation Camp
programs are carefully planned to be unforgettable experiences for our campers.
Get the Answers You Need
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is camp?
One week. Sunday drop-off; Saturday pick-up.
Where do I drop off camper?
Campers are delivered to 2100 Ferry Terminal Rd, Anacortes, WA 98221.
From Interstate 5 take exit 230 and follow SR 20 westbound to Anacortes. After arriving in Anacortes continue north on Commercial Ave. Turn left on 12th St, which becomes Oakes Ave, and then continue to the ferry terminal.
When approaching the ferry terminal to pick up or drop off, follow Ferry Terminal Road to the left of the auto toll booths to the parking lot near the terminal. There should be parking near the sidewalk where the buses turn around for a quick pick up/drop off.
We will meet near this drop off parking lot. This is also where you will retrieve your child. Registration / Check-in will take place between 10:30-11:45. Please try to be there during this time, as we'll need to buy the exact number of tickets. Their ferry leaves at 12:35. The ferry waits for no one :)
What are the ages of the campers?
12 –16 years old. Campers must be 12 prior to the start of camp and cannot turn 17 by the end of camp.
How do cabins work?
Campers are grouped by age. There are 8-12 campers per cabin. Each cabin is assigned a Senior and Junior Counselor. Cabin assignments may be requested but we cannot guarantee placement.
How can this camp cost only $350 for a full, all-inclusive week, with meals, materials, instructors, transportation to and from the island (and around it)?
This is a non-profit camp, so all costs are kept to their minimums. All staff serve on a volunteer basis. Good planning, donations, teamwork and flexibility allow for minimal costs as well.
Will there be a full-time camp medic or nurse throughout the week?
Camp will have a licensed nurse on staff, able and trained to deal with emergency situations, as well as everyday cuts and scrapes. There is an ambulance and emergency clinic on the island as well.
What about when they’re with a class that goes outside of the camp grounds?
Each class is instructed by a responsible, mature adult, who will be equipped with an emergency fanny pack or backpack, as well as any camper information necessary. They will bring with them everything from band-aids to bee kits. Whatever that group requires, the instructor will try to have it.
Who is responsible for the campers on a full-time basis?
There will be a Senior AND a Junior counselor assigned to each cabin. There will always be one with their campers/cabin at all times (outside of free swim time and meal time); including at night.
How old are the senior and junior counselors, and where do they come from?
Junior counselors often range in age from 16-18. Senior counselors range from 17-23. All counselors have previously been outstanding campers and/or who showed the ability to lead by example, the maturity to follow instructions,
and the responsibility to make good decisions. They go through training before camp begins, and meet with the Head Counselor daily throughout the week.
Can any camper become a counselor? How does one go about it?
Every camper is looked at by their senior counselor, the head counselor, the entire staff (instructors, cooks, etc.), and the director. After input from all of these people is attained, then decisions can be made. Of course, there needs to be openings in the counselor staff. Some years we only lose one or two counselors from the previous year, thus less spots are available. In the end, we’ll contact you if we wish to offer a counselor position to anyone.
What kind of contact can I have with my camper while they’re at camp?
Letters are always a fun way to communicate with your camper. Make sure to plan ahead so they will get them while they’re at camp. There is a land line phone for emergency use in our lodge. The number is provided in the paperwork.
How early should I get to the ferry for drop-off and pick-up?
Plan to be there 1 ½ hours before departure for check-in, etc. For pick-up, ½ hour before arrival time should be fine. If you miss the ferry prior to camp, the camper will need to be brought to Camp Moran Environmental Learning Center at the camper’s expense. If the camper does not show up at the ferry, with no prior notice, there will be no refund. Being late at either time could be extremely detrimental to the camper’s experience, as well as the camps.
Are all staff and instructors background checked?
Yes, all staff and instructors receive a comprehensive national screening and background check.
Empower youth by becoming an instructor, counselor, or staff member
Volunteer Opportunities Available
Please inquire about open positions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
A huge THANK YOU goes out to all of these clubs/groups
who sponsor campers each year.
It would not be possible for many campers to come to camp if not for our sponsors and their generosity to young people!
A special thanks goes out to the BUCK BAY SHELLFISH FARM in Olga, near our camp. They guide our campers through their oyster farm, explain the process, and even barbecue some up for the campers to try. They're awesome people, so if you're on the island, please visit their farm and give them your business. If you do stop by, thank them for helping out the camps.
77 E.J. Young Road
Olga, WA 98279
Columbia Basin Fly Casters (CBFC)
Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club
Evergreen Fly Fishing Club
Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club
Key Peninsula Sportsmen’s Club
Nimrod Club-Mason County
Oregon Duck Hunters Association
Richland Rod and Gun Club
Seattle Poggie Club
Shelton Nimrod Club
Snohomish County Sportsmen’s Association
Save Our Fish of Auburn
Sultan Sportsmen's Club
Washington Waterfowl Association
Western Washington Walleye Club
Kittitas County Field and Stream Club
For more information about Washington State Youth Conservation Camps, our program, activities, staff and more, don’t hesitate to contact us!