Adventure awaits: Whidbey is ripe with summer camp options


Special to The Record

Music, nature, theater, sports, animals, faith, art and much more. Whidbey Island offers a number of summer camps with a wide range of activities for young people. Here is a sampling of what is available:

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Youth Center

An on-base youth center for eligible tweens and teens, grades 7-12, offers gaming, computer skills, art programs, career development, community service and field trips. For more information, visit

Island County 4-H

The youth development program, which is more than a hundred years old, offers nearly two dozen activities for young people. Learn more at

WABE of Whidbey Island

A nonprofit program under the umbrella of The Katie Johnson Fellowship was founded in honor of a young girl who was quadriplegic with cerebral palsy and died at age 12. WABE is a two-week program in July hosting about three dozen people with differing abilities and disabilities to participate in creative arts, theater, writing, sports and outdoor activities. For more information, visit

Deception Pass State Park

Our popular state park on North Whidbey offers summer programs for kids including a junior ranger program, regular classes on geology, marine biology and pinnipeds. For more information, visit

Camp Wa-Ya Adventure Camp

Outdoor adventures in Washington state, including Whidbey Island. Day camp adventures for kids 9-13 and overnight camping adventures for tweens and teens 12-17. Its focus is STEM principles, indigenous knowledge, outdoor adventure and caring for the environment. Visit

Island Strings Summer Music Day Camp

Will be held at the Whidbey Island Unitarian Church in Freeland June 28-July 2. Celebrating its 50th year since its initial founding by now-retired Linda Good. This summer students will learn about the heritage of Eastern European Folk Music. Visit

Whidbey Island Waldorf School

Summer camp held at the school’s campus in Clinton, July 8 through Aug. 1 for children aged 3-12. Sunflower Preschool Camp includes mornings on the playground, exploring the forest, water play and preparing food. Dandelion Mixed Aged Kindergarten camp includes songs, nature stories, walks through old-growth forests and creating nature-based art. Deutsche Wunderland Mixed-Age Kindergarten camp focuses on German culture — from which Waldorf’s founder Rudolf Steiner originated in the early 20th Century — storytelling, arts and crafts, fiber arts and outdoor play. Science Wonderland Camp for children 7-9, where students learn to cultivate their curiosity through science-based activities. Students who range from 6-10 years old learn chess strategies and outdoor appreciation through Mindful Moves. Other camps include Spanish, arts and crafts, Ultimate Frisbee and a waitlisted culinary adventures camp. For more information, visit

Whidbey Island Language, Art & STEM Center

While many of the classes are held in Langley, others are held in Clinton, Coupeville and Oak Harbor. The school’s founder and director, Hai-Anh Vu, was raised in Hanoi, Vietnam, earned her degree in the U.S. and moved to Greenbank with her family in 2020. A world traveler, she believes in the value of global education. Instructors at the school offer classes ranging from science to art to farming. Summer camp classes include coding, robotics, space science, STEM classes, animation, art camp, yoga, violin and farming ecosystems. Visit their webpage at

Backyard Whidbey

Geared for kids from 7-12, Backyard Whidbey is an alternative fitness playground that is housed at the South Whidbey Community Center in Langley. Camp runs July 16-17 from 9 a.m. to noon. Kids are taught natural movement and games. Register at

Full Moon Rising Farm

Located in Freeland. Founded by Anne Petersen in 1997, the camp offers summer programs in outdoor survival skills, hiking, yoga, visiting and learning about farm animal care and pollinators, creating fairy art, weaving and sewing using natural fibers, molding clay to create functional art and a camp where students learn to write and record songs. Visit

HeartField Learning Collective

Located in Greenbank, the nonprofit offers full and half-day camps. Founded in 2022 by a group of Collective Mentors — Andi Kopit, Bryn McAfee, Maisie and Bin Greer, Lauren Atkinson and Ariel Starlight — their focus is on recycling, up-cycling, repairing things, relationship to the earth, native pollinators and being rooted in self. Summer camp programs are quickly filling up — and are charged on a sliding scale. Three camping experiences are still open: Moon Snail Earth Spirit for children 4-6, where jumping, crawling, connecting with the Earth and its ancestors is taught. Cosmic Camp for 8-13 year-olds. Young people learn about the night sky, recreating origin myths through theater. Camping and bonfire. Also available is Earth Warrior camp for 10-13-year-olds. Explore the connection of the Earth from forest to the sea, learn to gather wild herbs and plants for food and medicine. Visit HeartField Learning Collective’s webpage at

Summer STEAM Camp ‘Mad Scientist’ classes

Held at the Coupeville Elementary School and taught by a trio of teachers skilled in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics, kids will learn to create rockets, engineer and build structures, build and learn technology techniques using Legos. Find more information at

Faith-based summer camps

Life Church’s Kid’s Camp for grades 1-5. Free. Located at Life’s Church in Oak Harbor. Register at

Living Word Vacation Bible School for grades K-4. Located in Oak Harbor, for more information visit

Lakeside Bible Camp located in Clinton has been running summer programs since 1960. Campers learn outdoor skills, teamwork, Christian values, water sports, running and sportsmanship. For ages 8-18. Visit the webpage

Whidbey Island Parks and Recreation

South Whidbey Parks and Recreation includes summer programs for kids including wrestling, swimming, basketball, youth sailing camp, magic camp, competition underwater robotics, skim boarding, kayaking, paddle boarding, volleyball, tennis, soccer, baseball, football and Feathered Friends day camp. Visit

North Whidbey Pool, Park and Recreation District offers Camp Trail Blaze — all day camp with swimming, kayaking, outdoor sports, arts and crafts. Additionally, there is Atlantis STEAM CAMPs, which build a remote-controlled underwater robot and a ROV Flora and Fauna Camp, in which kids learn about the inland sea, count unwanted plastics, talk about cleanup and explore the Salish Sea with remote underwater robots. Also available are summer soccer camps, baseball, bowling, cheerleading, Haggens Kids Cooking Club, ballet, junior gardening, Pacific Northwest Riding Academy for horsemanship, martial arts, magic classes, Oak Harbor Youth Sailing and acrobatics. For a full list of activities visit the district website.

Whidbey Children’s Theatre Academy

Located in Langley, the children’s theatre offers classes in Beginning Sword Skills, Intermediate to Advanced Sword Skills, and Beginning to Advanced classes in Unarmed Combat. Visit

Sno-Isle Libraries

Sno-Isle Libraries has locations in Oak Harbor, Coupeville, Freeland, Langley and Clinton. Its summer reading program kicked off on June 1. Kids and teens who read for 10 hours will earn a free book and a sticker. Visit and check out summer library events at your local library.

Photo by Caitlyn Anderson