For almost a decade, Camp Casey Conference Center has provided a relaxing retreat for exceptionally gifted students from The Transition School program at the University of Washington’s Robinson Center for Young Scholars. The program is designed to prepare advanced students to go from middle school into an undergraduate program at the University, skipping high school entirely.
After their year of hard work in the transition program, students are rewarded with a getaway focused on relaxation and recognition for their achievements. Joined by staff and undergraduates from the program, the students unwind at Camp Casey Conference Center.
“We had tried a number of camps for our spring trip over the years, but have found Camp Casey to be ideal,” Maren Halvorsen Ph.D.,
Associate Director Robinson Center for Young Scholars said. “The beautiful location, the wide open spaces, the proximity of the Ebey Nature Preserve all make it a wonderful place to celebrate our graduation.”
“Our goal is simply to enjoy ourselves, bond together as a community, and provide opportunities for staff, UW undergraduates and Transition School graduates to mingle and talk about what they’ve accomplished and what’s ahead,” she said.
While at Camp Casey, the group uses two of the barrack buildings, the staff quarters and fire pit for marshmallow roasts.
“The camp is wonderful for this – there is a great communal space in one of the buildings, and we also go on a group hike along the beach and up to the bluffs as part of the experience,” Halvorsen said.
The students enjoy Camp Casey so much that, when they were once faced with a budget shortage, they took it upon themselves to raise the money needed to make the trip. The students see the trip as the culmination of all of their efforts and the staff appreciates the opportunity to unwind after a long, busy school year.
“The students love the battlements, the fields and the basketball courts. The staff love the driftwood on the beach, the various trails and the peace and quiet,” she said. “Being from the city, we even enjoy watching the wildlife, the birds, deer and rabbits.”
As the organizer of the retreat, Halvorsen also noted the friendly, helpful and responsive staff at Camp Casey as a huge bonus for herself.