Salish Sea Expedition Program Details

We are looking forward to a weeklong expedition to the Salish Sea. We will travel via water taxi to our basecamp on the remote and beautiful Sucia Island State Park in the San Juan Islands.

Sunday 9:30 AM – Meet at the Duvall Park and Ride
The park and ride is just north of the Woodinville-Duvall Road and Main Street (Rt 203) intersection. The sign is small and the entrance is about 100 feet after the intersection on the river (west) side.

After a short introduction and gear check, the teens and staff will head out in school vans to Bellingham where we will catch our private water taxi to Sucia Island in the Salish Sea! This remote island is all state park and has no roads!

Teens should have their gear well packed in backpacks they can carry for 2 miles after getting off the water taxi.

Friday 10:00 PM – Pick up at the Duvall Park and Ride
We will have a parent closing circle at the Park and Ride at 10:00 PM that will wrap up by 10:30 PM at the latest. Please arrive at 10:00 PM to catch our story or no later than 10:30 PM for pickup.

  • We may adjust the drop off and pick up times based on our boat schedule and the tides. Look for an update in June.

If you have any questions, please email us at [email protected]. We look forward to seeing you this summer!

To warm summer days,

Dan Corcoran – Program DirectorNicole O’Byrne – Summer Program Manager

Salish Sea Expedition

We will be camping in a wild location with limited facilities. Supervised wading may be available depending on weather and tides. Campers should bring tents as shelter from the weather and mosquitoes.

We will provide all meals and snacks during camp, beginning with dinner on Sunday and ending with dinner on Friday. Campers will be expected to be a part of food preparation and kitchen cleanup. We see this as an important part of living and working together and an opportunity for developing group cohesion and cooperation.

We provide healthy food and serve organic fare as much as possible, particularly with regard to meat and dairy products. We plan our menu and make our food orders prior to our summer season and are unable to accommodate last-minute requests.

Because of our local squirrels and mice, keeping food in tents is not an option. Campers may bring one quart-sized Ziploc of bars and snacks to store in the kitchen.

Medical Information:
Because of our remote location and the overnight nature of this camp, it is absolutely vital that we have complete medical information and history for all of our participants. Please let us know about any concerns you have or changes to your teen’s medical information or health.

Please pack any medications for your teen in a ziplock bag with name and instructions and review with the staff at check in. Your teen will keep them secure and can ask for support from staff with medications when needed.

For our Health policies and guidelines, click here.

Communication During Camp:
There is likely no reliable cell phone reception at basecamp, and we ask that participants leave cell phones at home or stored away for use only during travel. Please do not expect to receive any calls or texts from your teen during the week. We can securely hold cell phones needed for travel to Duvall. All phones should be turned off upon arrival to save the battery. We cannot recharge participant cell phones during the expedition.

For some families, this week at camp is the first time campers have been away from home for so long. We are used to working with children during this exciting and sometimes challenging time and are honored to be a part of their lives during this experience.

If you need to contact us during camp, please call our office at 425-788-1301. Please realize that we usually do not call or email parents to provide updates on how your child is faring.

Important Gear Tips:

Tent: Waterproof, with a ground tarp, and your teen needs to know how to set it up before you arrive at the start of camp. Please practice at home. Instructors will be available to help campers set up tents, but not to do it for them. If your child is coming to camp with a friend, they are able to share a tent. Tents can be rented at REI.

Sleeping Bag and Ground Pad: Nights can be chilly depending on location, even during the summer. Please make sure your child has a warm bag. Keeping a bag dry can be a challenge for campers if the weather turns damp. Neither down or cotton provide adequate warmth if they get wet, and can be very unpleasant. Please make sure that your child’s sleeping bag is made of entirely synthetic material.

Clothing: Cotton is great for warm, dry days. We recommend clothes made of polypropylene, “fleece”, other synthetics, or wool for wet, cool conditions. Cotton loses all of its ability to insulate when it is wet, and can lead to hypothermia. We require that all campers bring several top and bottom layers, and socks, which are not made of cotton. Some cotton clothing as per the gear list is fine.

Hiking Shoes: Please make sure that the sturdy hiking shoes your camper brings are well “broken in” prior to camp. Sneakers and light hiking boots or shoes are great. Heavy backpacking hiking boots are not necessary and may be too heavy for most activities. New boots can cause blisters, which range from merely very uncomfortable to having a serious impact on ability to participate. We will be covering a lot of ground both off and on trail, and potentially walking through swampy, marshy areas.

Water Shoes: Please bring shoes you can wear in the water exploring tide pools to protect your feet from sharp rocks. Old sneakers work great. Sturdy hiking sandals that protect your toes, like Keens, also work. Teva style sandals that strap on securely are ok, but don’t protect toes. Flip-flops are not adequate foot protection and fall off in the water.


  • For this camp please send your child with a sharp, fixed-blade knife with a sheath and with a blade 4” or shorter. Smaller students may find a smaller blade easier to work with. NO SERRATION. Serrated blades are not good for carving projects and are difficult to sharpen. Knife safety will be taught and campers will be supervised in their use. Folding “pocket” knives are not allowed at our camps for our projects.
  • Morakniv Companion in orange is the knife we recommend and will be available for purchase as part of the online registration process. Knives will not be sold at camp or during the in-person check-in process on Sunday. If you have already enrolled and would like to purchase a knife, you may email [email protected]. We cannot guarantee that knives purchased the week of your program will be delivered before your camper’s first need of them.

Shellfish License: Teens will need a shellfish or fishing license if they want to fish or harvest. (No crab endorsement.) Buy locally or online from WDFW web site. We will provide oyster knives for teens to use and you can bring your own. Harvest is dependent on safe conditions and healthy waters.

Gear List

All gear should fit into a backpack your camper can carry a moderate distance. Up to 2 miles. Please pack light and bring only what you need.

Required Gear:

  • Backpack to carry gear
  • Small waterproof tent – please make sure your teen knows how to set this up
  • Sleeping bag – synthetic
  • Sleeping pad – insulation from the ground
  • Toiletries and personal medication
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen and/or sun protection
  • Insect repellant
  • Outdoor clothing
    • sturdy pants
    • shorts
    • wool and/or polar fleece layer (top and bottom)
    • warm jacket
    • rain jacket and pants, or poncho
    • warm hat
    • swimming suit
    • socks (including some non-cotton)
    • underwear
    • sun protection hat
  • Hiking boots or shoes – see description above
  • Water shoes – see description above
  • Basecamp shoes – extra shoes for lounging around camp. Sneakers or flip flops.
  • Cup or mug
  • Spoon and fork
  • Bowl and plate
  • 2 sturdy Tupperware containers – labeled with name and big enough to carry a hearty lunch and snacks into the field.
  • 2 sturdy 1-liter water bottles – metal or “nalgene” style is best. Please, no bottled-water.
  • Day pack – should be large enough to carry lunch, water, and some extra clothing.
  • Plastic garbage bag or pack cover – large enough to cover your bag. For rain protection.
  • Flashlight or headlamp w/ extra batteries (we will be out in the dark often)
  • Bandana (for games)
  • 3 face coverings/masks (one worn, two as backup)
  • Small personal bottle of hand sanitizer
  • Compass (with cord for carrying around the neck may be helpful)

Optional gear:

  • Binoculars (great for sea mammal spotting!)
  • Notebook, pens, pencils in a Ziploc bag
  • Pillow or pillow replacement (i.e. fleece jacket inside a small soft sack)
  • “Crazy Creek” type camp chair
  • Long underwear
  • Camera (remember sand, sea, and cameras don’t mix well. Keep in a Ziploc.)
  • Cell phone, money and IDs needed for air travel

*Please leave behind cell phones, electronic games, and other unnecessary items!

Wilderness Awareness School