A group of sixth graders from central Washington enjoyed an adventure to Camp Casey to learn about and experience Whidbey Island’s history and environment.
The students, who attend Royal Intermediate School in Royal City, Wash., also visited the Museum of Flight in Everett, explored the historic town of Coupeville, stopped at Deception Pass on the northern tip of Whidbey Island and visited Snoqualmie Falls located east of Seattle.
Teacher Chris Palmer said students from Royal have visited Camp Casey for years with an exception being during the pandemic. Normally the three-day trip takes place during the spring, but the excursion was moved forward to the fall.
“We thought we could turn this into more of an education experience,” Palmer said. When students used to visit in the spring near the end of the school year, they would learn a lot but wouldn’t carry over into the classroom.
The Royal School District is a 1,700-student district where students are divided, depending on grade level, between an elementary, intermediate, middle, or high school. The school district is in Royal City, which is located southwest of Moses Lake.
Staying in the barracks at Camp Casey, students hiked to the gun emplacements at neighboring Fort Casey State Park, toured Admiralty Head Lighthouse, and learned about beaches, forests, and meadows. Students documented their experiences in journals and started an art project they will complete when they return to school.
“They explore things they otherwise don’t get to see,” Palmer said.
They also took time to visit Coupeville’s historic downtown located on the shore of Penn Cove minutes away from Camp Casey. Students visited the Island County Historical Society Museum.
“They experienced a different version of a small town,” Palmer said.
Sixth graders also honed their skills for the Amazing Shake, which is a competition that takes place in Atlanta in the spring. Students develop such skills as how to make a proper handshake, learn about “working the room,” and prepare themselves for future opportunities, according to The Amazing Shake website.
“That really tests students’ employability skills,” Palmer said of the Amazing Shake.
Royal Intermediate School Principal Angie Baldus said the visit to Camp Casey offers freedom for the students.
Children and parents have their favorite part of the yearly trip that is a tradition for students attending schools in the Royal School District.
“The kids always love the fort,” Palmer said. “The families highlight the Museum of Flight.”