Articles: Science at Camp Wa-Ri-Ki

Exploring Science at Camp Wa-Ri-Ki

Kiwanis Camp Wa-Ri-Ki’s 22-acres of natural grounds along the Washougal River in the scenic Columbia Gorge area is ripe for environmental science educational opportunities. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife runs a hatchery operation just down the road from the Camp. At a recent “Nature Explore” event, one of the school science teachers helping the kids learn, remarked on how ideally suited the Camp is for outdoor science activities. He proposed a contest to name species of flora and fauna in the Camp area and explained that the the contest would be long lived because there is such a range of plant life at Wa-Ri-Ki.

So we’re preparing a series of articles about the science opportunities at Camp Wa-Ri-Ki here. And, we’d like to hear from you if you’re a Science Teacher or just want more information about Camp Wa-Ri-Ki science learning activities.

Nature Explorer Day Camp 2018 at Camp Wa-Ri-Ki

Registration for 2018 Nature Explorer Day Camp

We are so excited to have you out at Kiwanis Camp Wa-Ri-Ki again for our 5th Annual Nature Explorer Day Camp! Camp is on June 20th, July 25th and August 1st from 10am to 2pm. This year we are charging a small fee to cover camp expenses and help care for the beautiful grounds. The cost is $10 for up to five people, and $15 for any family bringing over 5 people. Families who ride the bus will receive a $5 refund when they arrive at camp.

Enjoy some pictures from last year, then register below (see more pics on this post)
(click any photo for slideshow)

Fill Out & Send Registration Form

Please contact me with any questions: Thank you!

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Natural Science at Camp Wa-Ri-Ki

Natural Science at Camp Wa-Ri-Ki

Learning at Wa-Ri-Ki pond, discussion environmental science with “the Pond Lady”.

The Camp Science team is continuing plans for events and educational materials to help kids and campers learn more about the right environment that is right outside the dormitory doors at Wa-Ri-Ki.

Ken Rowe, Chairman of the Camp Marketing Committee, explains that, “developing science learning opportunities at the Camp is a major component of the Board of Director’s vision. The marketing team has a number of related promotional activities planned, including developing an online quiz about the natural science at Camp Wa-Ri-Ki.”

Just some of the related activities include:

  • Phyllis Goldhammer, the Camp’s Executive Director, is working on a number of things including bird and wildlife informational packets for Campers.  She also meets with a group of science educators on a regular basis to cultivate the Camp’s educational opportunities.
  • Generous help from volunteers like Judy Bufford, an aqua scientist (affectionately nicknamed “the Pond Lady” by the kids last Summer) who is interested in developing a curriculum along with other local science educators.
  • The signage in the photos below that teach and tell the story of the natural surroundings were developed by Mark Watrin, a Battle Ground Science Curriculum Director who helps lead the planning for the Camp.  These were used during the Summer at our first “Nature Explore” event and were developed with the help of a grant.  Already another Nature Explore event is planned, and the goal is to create durable signage to store and put on display on a seasonal basis.

 Would you like to help?  We need:

  • Science Educators who want to brainstorm fun ways for kids and campers to learn about nature — Contact Mark Watrin, or Phyllis Goldhammer
  • People to help us help kids learn — arrange a day trip to the camp for your local groups and get the word out on social media (just click a link below).
  • Donations.  We’re close to a fundraising goal that will win us a matching grant to pay for some of these educational endeavors — read about it here and consider donating.
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First Nature Explore Event Successful

Kids at Camp Wa-Ri-Ki

The gang from Washington Elementary School Boys & GIrls Club pose at Wa-Ri-Ki.

Imagine close to 100 kids unplugged from electronic devices interacting with nature and learning from science teachers on 22 acres of wooded campgrounds under the sun on a warm summer’s day and you get the picture of the successful event held this week at Camp Wa-Ri-Ki.

Monday, August 18th, Camp Wa-Ri-Ki held its first Nature Explore event in conjunction with the Forest Service, the Parks Foundation of Clark County, and Vancouver Summer Adventure and combined a celebration of Smokey the Bear’s 70th Birthday with lunch and a science filled exploration of the wooded camp area and pond.

The kids helped Smokey Bear celebrate his 70th Birthday, and of course he taught them about fire safety.

The kids helped Smokey Bear celebrate his 70th Birthday, and of course he taught about fire safety.

Guiding the kids were local community leaders including Nat, a counselor with Boys and Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington, who had never been up to the Camp before, and Mark Watrin, a Science teacher from Battle Ground Schools.  The children progressed from area to area marked by (more…)

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Nature Explore Club Event at Camp Wa-Ri-Ki

EVENT: Monday, August 18 • 10am – 2pm  |  Nature Explore Club Event • 360.891.5001

Connect Outdoors at Camp Wa-Ri-Ki

Explore nature at Camp Wa-Ri-Ki with your family and treat your children to an unplugged outdoors event.

Explore nature at Camp Wa-Ri-Ki with your family and treat your children to an unplugged outdoors event.

Kiwanis Camp Wa-Ri-Ki, in partnership with The Parks Foundation of Clark County, Vancouver Summer Adventure, the US Forest Service is pleased to announce it’s first Nature Explore Club Event at Camp Wa-Ri-Ki, this August 18th.

Nature Club Registration Form

Registration is Required…. download our form here (PDF).

The program is free, and open to anyone who is interested in getting outside and exploring — only requiring that you apply to form a club.  We suggest family members join and form a Nature Explore Club along with friends and neighbors. Club Application forms are available online (PDF) or by contacting John Givvines at 360-891-5001 or

Once you form a Nature Explore Club, free backpacks are available at the U.S. Forest Service, 10600 N.E. 51st Circle, Vancouver and also for daily check-out at the Mount St. Helens Coldwater Science and Learning Center.  The packs are provided by (more…)

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Camp Offers Natural Education Opportunity

Donna Thomas, VP of Sales of iQ Credit Union, and President of the Camp Wa-Ri-Ki Board this year has a vision for continued growth.

Donna Thomas, VP of Sales of iQ Credit Union, and President of the Camp Wa-Ri-Ki Board this year has a vision for continued growth.

We caught up with Donna Thomas, current President of the Camp Wa-Ri-Ki Board of Directors, this week to ask her about where she sees the Camp going in the future. The good news is there’s a perfect synergy brewing as local leaders and groups pull together to back the Camp and the educational opportunities it provides.

“A partnership with a college,” is one of several ideas Ms. Thomas has for the Camp. For example the Kiwanis Mt. Hood Camp enjoys a partnership with Portland State University, and Donna envisions possible programs where students “could earn credit hours as a counselor.”

Thomas is Vice President of Sales for iQ Credit Union which was founded by teachers in 1940.  The iQ Credit Union of today stands for financial intelligence and demonstrates our continued commitment to the educational community — a commitment that shows in everything we do. In an age of belt tightening and budget cuts, it’s tough just covering the basics. By continuing — and even expanding — our partnerships with local schools, we work to create a positive and enriching educational environment. Then there’s the history of Camp Wa-Ri-Ki, (more…)

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