Camp Casey Conference Center, Whidbey Island, Washington

Camp Casey Conference Center is available year-round for school groups, outdoor education programs and retreats for nonprofit organizations!  We are located on beautiful Whidbey Island, Washington.

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By Richard 18 Jun, 2017
Did you know that just a few miles off the western shore of Whidbey Island near Oak Harbor are the Smith and Minor Islands? The US Fish and Wildlife Service designated these 36,300 acres of tidelands and seafloor habitat as an aquatic reserve. An aquatic reserve is a State-owned land considered containing exceptional biodiversity. The Smith and Minor Islands have the largest kelp bed in the Puget Sound and provide a pristine ecosystem that attracts multitudes of migrating, nesting and foraging birds, fish and marine mammals.

The Reserve’s boundary includes the western coast of Whidbey Island from Joseph Whidbey State Park to just south of Fort Ebey State Park and provides several opportunities to access. Specifically, there are five access points. The first at Joseph Whidbey State Park, just northwest of Oak Harbor. West Beach Road, just south of the park. From here a public beach provides shoreline access as well as a view of the Olympic Mountains, the Reserve and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. A third entry point where you gain access from the water to the reserve is at the Hastie Lake Road Boat Launch. West of Coupeville and north of Ft Ebey State Park, there is a small county park called Libbey Beach County Park (Partridge Point) which provides shoreline access to the Reserve. Lastly, Ebey’s Landing, located south of Ft. Ebey State Park offers shoreline access, as well as spectacular views of the Reserve.

Apart from Reserve serving as a nesting and foraging habitat for seabirds, it’s also part of the National Wildlife Refuge that offers a breeding ground and winter sanctuary for birds. Whales, such as orca, gray and minke can frequently be seen for the Reserve; and harbor seals, elephant seals, and stellar sea lions use the islands for water, rest, and pup-rearing.

The large kelp beds function as a rearing and foraging habitat for juvenile salmon, crab, and other fish. Lastly, many invertebrates – part of the Reserve’s food chain - such as snails, clams, crabs, shrimp and other critters are found around the waters and shorelines.
From Casey, these points of access to the Reserve are just minutes away. If you’d like a presentation made to your group, contact Robin Clark at Robin@whidbeywatersheds.org or (206) 235-3321.

Find more information at http://www.aquaticreserves.org/wp-content/uploads/Smith-and-Minor-Panel.pdf
By Richard 30 May, 2017

Seattle Pacific University invites the public to visit the Camp Casey Conference Center on Whidbey Island, a historic military fort built at the turn of the 20th century, during their open house on Friday, June 16, 12-4 p.m.

The open house at Camp Casey will feature:

·        Guided tour of the Colonel’s House, which is used predominately as a retreat space for SPU leadership and special groups. The tour begins with a historical talk by SPU Professor of History Bill Woodward, and Fort Casey Volunteer Battalion member Steve Kobylk will lead the tour.  (Tours are at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.)

·        Tour of the Fort Casey Inn, a row of cottages formerly used as officer’s housing just before World War I. Rooms at the inn are now available for rent.

·        Admission to the “Sea Lab,” a marine biology teaching facility.

·        Tours of the barracks and mess hall.

·        Free admission to the swimming pool during the open house.

The Fort Casey State Park, adjacent to Camp Casey, will offer guided tours of the fort at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The Admiralty Head Lighthouse located in the park will be open from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Camp Casey, originally known as Fort Casey, opened in 1890 by the U.S. military. Fort Casey, along with Fort Worden in Port Townsend and Fort Flagler on Marrowstone Island, became part of the “triangle of fire” to protect the entrance to Puget Sound. Within 20 years, Fort Casey was the fourth largest military post in Washington state, housing ten officers and 428 enlisted men.

Fort Casey was decommissioned after World War II, and SPU purchased the property in 1956. The buildings have been updated and renovated to house school groups, churches, nonprofit organizations, and outdoor education classes.

By Richard 15 May, 2017

What will your high school-aged children be doing this summer? If they are looking for a summer experience that will change their lives, consider Immerse: Seattle Pacific University’s Youth Discipleship Academy. The program leaders challenge students to “invest in your faith and discover your identity as one of both knowledge and action.”

Students, currently in grades nine through 11, will gather at SPU’s Camp Casey Conference Center July 9-15. Students will participate in a program that Daniel Vanderwarker, Immerse program manager, says is for students who wish to think more intellectually about their faith and wish to learn how to put their faith into action. SPU School of Theology professors will provide in-depth teaching, while well-trained discipleship leaders lead activities to discover and expand spiritual principles and practices of thought, prayer, meditation, prayer walking, and Bible reading.

The Immerse program web page states, “Students will begin to form their identity around a God who is present, vital, missional, and powerful, and they will address particular interdependent and mutual faith characteristics: spirituality, narrative, vocation, and community as elements of their relationships with God and each other.” Classes are four hours in length, delivered in a pair of two-hour sessions. There are four courses, each held on a different day:

  • Story explores the basic meta-narrative of Scripture with introductory hermeneutical practices.
  • Creed explores the basic theological beliefs of the church with some Christian history that illustrates the emergence of those beliefs.
  • Mission explores the many ways that God’s mission is embodied in the global and local church in all its cultural diversity, with some understanding of the demography of global Christianity.
  • Connect explores the theology and practice of spiritual disciplines, sacraments, and symbols garnered from the rich well of Christian history.

There will be plenty of time for peer groups and mentors to explore the beaches, forests, lighthouse, and Fort Casey. Free time options are plentiful at Casey and include frisbee, kite flying, soccer games, scavenger hunts, volleyball, hiking, and tag football.

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