Orcas Life: A Blog

Town & Country Explores Camp Four Winds Westward Ho

May 22nd, 2012

A Piece of the Past

America’s Summer Camp Revival (June/July 2012)

Moquito bites.  Homesickness.  Merit badges.  Capsized canoes.  Great stories (and friends) for life.  Camp remains an American rite of passage preserved in the glow of perpetual summer – impervious to iPads, brimming with nostalgia, and, it seems, as popular as ever.

A Piece of the Past.  At Four Winds Westward Ho, in Washington state.  At right: A boys tent; a jam session; showing off the retro Sunday uniform.  The tie color indicates whether the wearer is a camper, counselor trainee, or staffer.

Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors.  A Four Winds Westward Ho camper relaxes on a hammock on Drifter Point, with a view of Puget Sound.  The camp, founded in 1927, is on Orcas Island, in Washington’s San Juan Islands.

Sing It Loud

Sing It Loud.  After breakfast, Four Winds Westward Ho campers gather on the stairs to sing “Sasquatch,” which includes monster gestures.

Camps of Distinction: T&C Merit Badges.
Best Uniforms.  Camp Four Winds Westward Ho, Orcas Island, WA.  We love the retro look of the campers at Four Winds, where part of our article was photographed.  The uniforms are virtually unchanged since the camp’s founding in 1927. Girls still wear old-fashioned bloomers and middies (blouses with sailor collars), while boys are dressed in navy shorts and matching shirts.  The girls also wear red ties, which they can decorate with award  pins or their own stickers from home.

Treehouse Adventures.  Located by the lodge near the center of Four Winds Westward Ho, this two-story treehouse, built in a maple tree, is a popular camper destination before and after meals.

Treehouse Adventures

Photographs by: Susanna Howe

This excerpt is taken from the June/July 2012 editions of Town & Country.  Magazine subscription information is found here.

Camp, Kids, Orcas Island

Blue Heron Bed & Breakfast on Orcas Island

April 2nd, 2011

Blue Heron B&B in West Sound

Orcas Island is made up of interesting characters, and interesting places.  From time to time, the Chamber of Commerce shares the stories and details surrounding our membership, and our island.

If you are planning a trip to the island, and perchance, have your pet with you, you may not find a more hospitable home than the Blue Heron Bed & Breakfast.  Located in West Sound (about 10 minutes from the ferry landing), the Blue Heron is a charming Victorian-style B&B, with a rich history.

I took a few minutes to chat with the owners, Carol & Bogdan Kulminski.

Chamber: How did you happen to discover Orcas Island?

Carol: The honest answer – by way of a haphazard search involving a motivated Realtor from Seattle. After making the decision to retire from teaching, and Bogdan making the decision to humor me, I bought a book called, “How to Run a Bed and Breakfast” and I began to search online. We narrowed the search to Oregon and Washington, but traveling to see potential B&B’s for sale resulted in properties that didn’t look anything like the description or was “pending sale”. We enlisted a Realtor in Oregon and one in Washington. It was the call from an agent in Seattle to see some properties in Eastsound (which I thought was near Seattle) that prompted a trip to first, San Juan, and then Orcas. My husband wasn’t on this particular trip (which later he says he should have been after he saw what we bought). The Blue Heron was the last property I saw that day. The Realtor and I ran out of time, so I had to make the trip the next day by myself and meet the listing agent, Wally Gudgell, who showed me the property and sold me on every wonderful historical feature of this 100 year old house. My husband didn’t see the house until the day we arrived from San Diego with all of our possessions in a U-Haul truck. He likes to share with our guests that we would never have purchased it, but then we all agree that it was good he wasn’t there because owning the Blue Heron Bed and Breakfast is awesome and we love it!

Chamber: Tell us a little about you and your business.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bed & Breakfast, Blog, Family, Kids, Lodging, People, Pets

Seattle blogger falls in love with Orcas Island!

February 26th, 2011

Walk With Me: Orcas Island

Being a Chamber of Commerce, it’s only natural that we love hearing about folks who enjoy their visits to the island. And with search engines constantly looking for “Orcas” topics, we run across a great many. But this one really stood out!

Shoni writes her Walk With Me blog as a young mother and wife living in Seattle.  A recent blog update lovingly tells of a visit to Orcas Island in February, and the happiness — she calls it Her Slice of Heaven – she found exploring the island.  Summer can be a tad hectic for visitors and islanders alike, but Shoni loves the natural beauty of the winter months, from Moran State Park, to the serenity of a nearby beach.

She actually describes the island better than we can: “I can easily imagine a retreat to the island where I get a room with a view, take lots of books to read, go on walks, write, and just relax.  But if you need a bit more excitement on your vacations, there are whale watching expeditions, kayak tours, trails for hiking and bicycling, lakes for fishing and other recreational activities, and dinner cruises.”

Shoni, we are glad you and your family discovered Orcas Island.  Please come back and enjoy it whenever you want!

Blog, Family, Kids, People

An Airstream and Orcas Life = True Bliss!

January 4th, 2011

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s refreshing to find people who have discovered yet one more way to relax, slow down, and enjoy their family time.

Monica Bennett’s family is one lucky group – for they have discovered how to enjoy Orcas Island in a very unique way.  Take a look at Monica’s terrific blog and you will agree that her family is doing something right!

As she notes on the blog, they are “exploring America in our Airstream and cooking delicious meals with ingredients from local markets and farms found along our way.”  They couldn’t have picked a better spot than Orcas Island to make that wish come true!  Come back soon!

Family, Kids, People

Enjoy the Fall Festival at Camp Orkila – an Orcas Island tradition

October 16th, 2010

Happy Orkila Campers

(Monday, October 18 from 3 pm – 5 pm)

On Monday, October 18th, Camp Orkila will celebrate fall by opening camp to the community for the annual Fall Festival. From 3 to 5 p.m., come visit us at the Big Red Barn for climbing the wall, bow and arrow practice at the archery range, pumpkin carving, face painting, cider pressing, hay rides and other fun games! We will be serving hot dogs and hot apple cider. The School of the Salish Sea will also be offering crafts, activities, and light snacks geared towards younger children and their parents at this time. Please follow signs to their location in Tracy Strong Village at Camp Orkila. Please arrive at camp through the main entrance on Mount Baker Road and follow signs to parking areas. Happy Halloween from everyone at Camp Orkila! We can’t wait to see you all on Monday!

Events, Family, Kids