Canoe Island French Camp
PO Box 370
Orcas, WA 98280
Phone: (360) 468-2329
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Canoe Island is a 47-acre private island in the center of the San Juans in Upright Channel between Shaw and Lopez islands. The ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor goes by the southern corner of the island.
Arrival by ferry
Parents driving their children to camp take I-5 north from Seattle or south from Vancouver BC or Bellingham to Exit 230 towards Anacortes. The ferry terminal is a few miles past the town of Anacortes at the end of Highway 20 and is well signed.
Parents can accompany their children on the ferry to Orcas island or send them unaccompanied where they will be met by our counselors as they walk off the ferry. The counselors will take them to the camp's 27-foot landing craft, the Ferry Queen, located on the adjacent public dock. If you want to accompany your child on the ferry, walk on the ferry to save a long wait in the car line. Arrive at least 1/2 hour prior to departure to park your car and buy the ferry ticket. If you plan to take your car on the ferry you may need to arrive up to 2 hours in advance and you will need to contact the Camp Director to make drop off arrangements. Contact Washington State Ferries for more information on the ferries and a current schedule: www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/ or (800) 84-FERRY.
Campers should arrive on Orcas Island on a morning ferry to be in time for lunch and afternoon activities at camp. Because of the limited space on our boat, we must ask parents to say good-bye to their children on Orcas Island as they board the boat to Canoe Island. Parents who wish to see the camp are encouraged to visit during Open House in June.
You can also travel by shuttle service from SeaTac Airport or downtown Seattle to the Anacortes Ferry Terminal: BellAir Shuttles, www.airportershuttle.com, 866.235.5247; or Island Airporter, www.islandairporter.com, 360.378.7438.
Arrival by water taxi
There are also water taxis which can transport you directly from Anacortes to Canoe Island. Contact Island Express for more information: www.islandexpresscharters.com, 1-877-473-9777, firstname.lastname@example.org or Paraclete Charter Service: www.paracletecharters.com , 360-293-5920.
Arrival by air
SeaTac International Airport is the closest large airport to the San Juan Islands. Parents bringing their children to camp who are flying in to SeaTac Airport can either rent a car and follow the driving directions above to the ferry terminal, or take one of the shuttles listed above. Any child traveling alone will be met by the camp boat for the trip to Canoe Island.
Unaccompanied campers flying into SeaTac can be met by Canoe Island staff and accompanied via a shuttle service to the Anacortes Ferry Terminal and on to Canoe Island. The fee for this extra service is $150 per child for the round-trip. If you wish this service, schedule a flight arriving prior to 11 am and a flight departure after 3:30 pm.
For quicker transportation from SeaTac Airport to Orcas Island, campers can take one of the small shuttle planes.
Kenmore Air (www.kenmoreair.com or 800.543.9595 or from Seattle at 425.486.1257) flies seaplanes from Lake Union in Seattle to Fisherman's Bay, Lopez Island. Flights take about 1 hour. Free shuttles are available from SeaTac Airport to Kenmore's Lake Union terminal.
San Juan Air (www.sanjuanairlines.com or 800.874.4434) flies from Bellingham and Anacortes to the Eastsound, Orcas Island, airport.
Arrival by boat
Families in the area can bring their children to our boat dock on the west side of Canoe Island by noon of the first day and pick them up by noon of the last day. Please contact us to arrange arrival and departure times.
Each summer young adults from France or other Francophone countries are selected to come to Canoe Island to teach French and share information about their home. These staff members come with the highest recommendations from respected agencies that interview them, check references, do background checks and guarantee their respectability. Together with French-speaking counselors from the US (who we personally interview, check references and do background checks on), they form an energetic, enthusiastic and fun team to provide care and nurturing for your child. Each counselor has at least one other area of expertise - fencing, sailing, theater, French cuisine, photography, kayaking, archery, music, or art. CPR-trained lifeguards oversee all swimming and boating activities. Counselors are at least 18 and have had at least one year of college. Many of the counselors were Canoe Island campers themselves and know what will make the camp experience memorable for your child.
A registered nurse reviews all health forms, safely stores and dispenses campers' medications, and oversees the health and welfare of all. Paramedic services and physician-staffed medical clinics are available within 15 minutes on the major, ferry-served islands, and area hospitals are 20 minutes away via medivac helicopter.
Our Year Round Staff
Canoe Island French Camp is led by the husband and wife team of Joseph Jones, Executive Director, and Connie Jones, Camp Director, who live year round on the island. They have more than 30 years of experience running some of the Northwest's most respected camp programs. Joseph has a geology and natural resource undergraduate background, and a graduate degree in science education and education administration. He has extensive experience in land, sea and air search and rescue and emergency medical response. Connie has lived, studied and traveled extensively in France. She is a past EMT, has an English literature degree, was a certified teacher, and a reporter, editor, and restaurant reviewer with The Oregonian newspaper prior to joining Joseph in camp operations.