Week 1 and 2: The Birds and the Bugs, June 26-30 and July 5-7, 2017

Through hiking and exploring various trails in the Olympia area, campers will learn ornithology and entomology. During this session we explore the secrets, mysteries and patterns of birds and the bugs. Have you ever wondered how or why birds migrate during the day and night? Or, how birds are able to fly and communicate? During this session we will discuss the science of birds and how to observe and identify birds in the wild.

Bug are a large food source for birds and many other organisms. During this session, campers will have an opportunity to collect and study bugs through identification.  They will learn how important bugs are and how even the smallest bug plays a crucial part in our ecosystem. There are over 200 different types of bugs in the pacific northwest. Campers will gain stills on how to capture and identify insects using kill jars and insect pinning techniques. Campers will gain introductory study methods, field experiment design, and learn to recognize local species and habitats.  

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Week 3 and 4: Survivor meets Plant Science (Botany), July 10-14 and 17-21, 2017

No one truly plans to be in a survival situation. The type of situation where you’re tired, cold, thirsty, hungry or sick. Knowing how to build shelters, collect and filter water, find food and medicine before signaling for help can mean life or death in many situations. We will be teaching advanced survival skills such as bushcraft, firecraft, tracking, hunting, fishing, shelter-building, and navigation by a natural means.  We also plan to catch, prepare and cook marine invertebrates and vertebrates such as crab, clams, oysters and fish. Additionally, knowing plant science can truly help you in a survival situation. During both sessions campers will learn about botany and how to use plants for survival. In the Pacific Northwest alone, there are well over one-hundred plants that can be eaten or used as medicine. WaYa campers will have the opportunity to make medicinal salves and much more.  

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Week 5 and 6: Geology Rocks! and Rolls!, July 24-28 and July 31 - August 4, 2017

Nestled between mountains and volcanos, rivers and the Puget Sound, Olympia is the perfect place to observe the some of the most diverse geologic terrain in North America.   WaYa outdoor school is going to explore the science and outdoor adventure behind rivers and rocks of our favorite places.  Students will learn about plate tectonics and geologic formations from volcanos to glaciers and the dynamic processes of our river systems.

Rivers in the Pacific Northwest provide so much life. Many cultures and communities depend on healthy rivers. Campers will learn the big picture of how rivers move land and create land formations through erosion. They are important to our environment, economy and our everyday lives and provide vast habitats for many organisms.  

The Deschutes River crosscuts glacial and basalt deposits in the Olympia area, and provides a refreshing opportunity to see these formations exposed in the streambanks.  We will also visit Capitol State Forest and hike to outcrops containing fossils of marine invertebrates, similar to their modern equivalents in the Puget Sound, observe the rare environment of Mima Mounds, and visit hidden secrets like the Shebear Boulder. 

Campers will learn adventure skills from floating in the Deschutes River, hiking and scrambling in Capitol Forest, and testing their skills at rock climbing in the safety of an indoor climbing gym.

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Week 7 & 8: South Sound Marine Biodiversity, August 7-11 and 14-18, 2017

Pollution and climate change have an enormous impact on biodiversity worldwide. Some of these impacts can be seen in the pacific northwest, specifically in the South Puget Sound region. During both sessions campers will have an opportunity to learn about South Puget Sound’s marine biodiversity by traveling in kayaks. Activities will provide basic safety and the fundamentals of kayaking in near-shore conditions. Additionally, students will learn to design and engineer plankton nets, quads for biodiversity sampling, and learn land-based activities. By the end of the second session we will take a kayak journey to Anderson Island. During our visit we will explore and identify organisms on and around the island, learn sampling techniques, and study marine phytoplankton. Campers will learn to identify organisms by their common name and their binomial name. They will also learn the phylum’s and classifications for each organism. Day to day course activities require the cooperation of weather and tidal conditions. 

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Week 9 & 10: The Best of WaYa!, August 21-25 and August 28 - September 1, 2017

The Pacific Northwest offers amazing adventures and endless of opportunities for camping and exploring. Whether it be by car, trailer, or back pack we hope to enhance the desire and adventure surrounding camping. We will provide the knowledge and training needed to establish successful campouts with amazing meals cooked from campfire to camp stove. Campers will also have the opportunity to learn about microbiology and how we can utilize bacterial cultures for food such as yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, and more. Additionally, campers will learn skills such as setting up a tent, building a camp fire, purifying water, packing a backpack, first aid, and more. At WaYa, we always teach the importance of “Leave no Trace.”

During the second session of camp, we will utilize all the skills learned throughout the summer. This action-packed session includes trails, kayaking, and instruction in the identification of birds, animal tracking, entomology, and outdoor wildness survival. Participants and their families are invited to join us for a potluck, and to learn about the program accomplishments. Several stations and coursework materials from camp themes will be available for family members to explore. 

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