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Every fall for the past decade Jake Bergevin, Director of Bands for Edmonds-Woodway High School, has escorted a group of student musicians on an annual retreat to Camp Casey Conference Center. Bergevin’s goal is to make the experience fun and memorable for his students, like a summer camp.
“Our groups do skits, like most camps, and we like the option to do them around the campfire with the natural amphitheater or in the big auditorium if the weather is bad,” Bergevin said. “We’ve also had some pretty cool impromptu swing dance sessions in the bigger spaces. Outdoors is ideal for Pep Band type of rehearsals.”
The band makes use of the barracks for student housing and staff are able to stay in nearby staff quarters. “The housing is inexpensive and clean. The staff make reservations easy and are willing to work with us to make it a great experience,” Bergevin said.
“Dining is great, especially with the new mess hall. Students love to play instruments all over campus,” he said. “We also have a tradition of hiking up to the bunkers in the dark and singing a few special pieces. It’s a big memory maker.”
Bergevin first learned about Camp Casey Conference Center 20 years ago when he was working for a company that provided youth music retreats at the center. He quickly grew to understand why the facility is ideal for this type of retreat. Auditorium B provides a perfect practice and performance area. Many of the buildings also features shared spaces for breakout sessions and small ensembles. Facilities aside, he says his favorite thing about Camp Casey is the thing that makes it so very unique – “It’s gorgeous!”