Camp Nor’wester is a co-ed residential summer camp for girls and boys ages 9-16. The camp's activities are designed to teach traditional camping and outdoor skills, waterfront skills including sailing, canoeing, and kayaking, as well as biking, archery, arts and crafts, singing and drama.
Camp Nor’wester’s extraordinary 135-acre property is located on the old Nell Robinson Ranch at the west end of Johns Island, in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. Surrounded by over 10,000 feet of saltwater shoreline, this area encompasses wetlands, open meadows, and mature, richly varied forests.
Our focus is on being outside, on learning to live with simple comforts that rely less on technology and more on personal solutions. Here there are no computers or traditional academics. We do have such classic camp programs as arts and crafts, drama, archery, and a ropes course, with myriad activities like sailing, kayaking, hiking, and overnight camping trips. Nor’wester is also home to a traditional native Bighouse, which is the focus of our Native Cultural Activities program.
Under our Unit System, campers are grouped according to grade level, participating in the majority of their activities as a unit. While campers develop new skills or improve their abilities in familiar areas, they are also learning to live together.
Our Directors embrace the Camp’s mission to provide children the chance to discover their own strengths and talents in an environment that minimizes the distractions of outside world. Nor’wester’s summer staff of approximately 85 men and women, most of them college students and recent graduates, provides leadership to a maximum of 170 campers, with a supervision ratio of 1:3.