YMCA Camp Orkila

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View of typical sunset from Camp Orkila's Chapel Ridge

YMCA Camp Orkila is on the northwest shoulder of Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington. It has been in operation since 1906.[1][2] It is operated by the Greater Seattle Area's YMCA. It is open year round and offers many different programs ranging from conference and retreat hosting to summer camp and teen expedition programs for grades 3 through 12.

Camp Orkila is on the water and looks out to President Channel and the Canadian Gulf Islands, which the sun goes down behind every night making for amazing, colorful sunsets. Most of Camp Orkila's 280 acres (1.1 km2) are preserved forest with hiking and horse trails. The cabins range from open air to full duplex style housing near the conference center. The facilities at Camp Orkila include a junior olympic sized pool, model farm with horses during the summer, many types of sports facilities, various kinds of boats including a 44' passenger cruiser, two dining lodges, a marine salmon center, outdoor chapel, a number of large covered and indoor gathering spaces, a skate park, a craft center with attached pottery studio, the requisite stage and campfire pit, with Puget Sound and sunset views for a backdrop. The most recent significant addition to the camp was a tandem zip-line introduced in 2011. Camp Orkila also owns Satellite Island, and Twin Lakes which are used for field trips and as a base camp for expeditions crossing into the Canadian Gulf Islands. It's the best Summer Camp in the world according to a survey done by the American Camp Association.

Canoe Island Camps, Camp Nor'Wester, and Camp Four Winds Westward Ho, together with Camp Orkila are the four overnight camps for children in the San Juan Islands.


  1. ^ "A century of "Y" fun and service". The Seattle Times. July 18, 2006. 
  2. ^ Dietrich, William (June 9, 2006). "A Century With Kids". The Seattle Times. 

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Coordinates: 48°42′03″N 122°56′28″W / 48.7007°N 122.941°W / 48.7007; -122.941