Bethany Northeast Children’s Group Retreat
If your group happens to be mostly comprised of families with young children and you are looking for the ideal location for a group retreat, look no further than Camp Casey. At least that’s what Sonja Erickson, Bethany Community Church Northeast children’s director, tells everyone. This year’s group comprising about 100 adults and 20 children camped in the campground for their weekend stay. Sonja explains, “It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, but there’s nothing like a camping trip to shake things up, trigger new conversations, and create wonderful lifelong memories.” She said it adds an element of adventure to life, and “kids thrive on that, as do adults.”
The retreat’s goals were simple: to connect, build relationships, and have fun. The morning of the first full day, Sonja says they were well on their way. The children played in the woods while several of the adults gathered at the fire pit near the Colonel’s House to plan their day’s excursions. Hiking Ebey’s Landing trail, visiting the Admiralty Lighthouse, and Fort Casey were all on the list. The younger members of the group, however, seemed to be captivated by a comment about setting up a makeshift waterslide in the field. Okay, maybe there would be no hiking.
Even though Sonja has only been bringing her group to Camp Casey for two years, she is familiar with the area. The first clue that she has been around for a while is when she refers to the Colonel’s House as ‘the blue house’. For those of you who might have been around Camp Casey in the mid ’80s, you’ll remember that at one time the Colonel’s house was painted blue. In addition to several sport camps, her family stayed at the Colonel’s house for weekend getaways. Sonja’s father has been on the SPU staff for most of her life. A benefit to SPU faculty, staff, and/or alumni is the permission to use parts of the Camp Casey facilities. Sonja is not the only group member with ties to Camp Casey. Jenni Gabhart, associate pastor at Bethany, came to Camp Casey for retreats as a Seattle Pacific University alumna.
It’s always great when alumni and SPU faculty or staff bring their groups to Camp Casey, but SPU employment is not a requirement. Our facilities are available to non-profit organizations and we love starting new relationships. If your non-profit group is looking for a historic venue surrounded by nature, give us a call.