For 23 years, Western Washington University’s Ethnic Student Center has offered the Annual Ethnic Student Center Conference, a retreat that helps students develop leadership skills and connect with others. The conference has been hosted at Camp Casey Conference Center for the majority of its existence.
Nate Panelo, WWU’s Ethnic Student Center Coordinator describes Camp Casey as an ideal location for the conference because it is far enough away from campus that students don’t feel the draw to leave for other activities. This allows for a more concentrated experience for students and faculty alike.
“The relationship-building is a hallmark of the ESC Conference. Many working relationships are formed during this time and continue into lifelong friendships. Camp Casey lets our students get away from campus and do some identity development in a space that is new, comforting, and conducive to reflection,” Panelo said. “Many of our first time attendees have never been west of Seattle and Camp Casey provides the scenic and tranquil place that has historically served our attendees for many years.”
As coordinator of the event, Panelo says he really appreciates the flexibility and dedication of the Camp Casey staff. He works closely with event coordinators who make sure his group has everything they need for a successful event. “Every time I interact with the office, I have such a pleasant experience,” he said.
The group uses Auditorium A, Classroom B, Quarter Masters CQ B and C, and SQ A and C for their activities.
“I appreciate how Camp Casey brings a balance of a ‘low key’ rustic feel with all the functionality to have a conference setting with break out rooms at a VERY reasonable cost,” he said. “Many other facilities I have worked with either charged a lot for the technology/services or did not have accessibility at all. “