Domestic High School Service Program
Pacific Northwest Teen Trip
Want to embark on an environmental service program in the United States? This trip across the Pacific Northwest will bring you deep into the beauty and vastness of this beautiful part of our country. Travel to the San Juan Islands and the Puget Sound, while you delve into the complex ecosystem of marine biology. Exploring these islands by kayaks and ferry, you will experience and learn first hand about local Native American culture and island ecology. From jaw-dropping adventure to environmental stewardship, this is a truly unforgettable program!
After arriving in Seattle, we drive to Deception Pass State Park for our first view of the stunning Puget Sound. We begin with a hike through the forest as our first taste of the beautiful environment that we will come to know over the course of the program. We get to know each other and our surroundings better with an orientation to start the trip. We hop on sea kayak and spend a morning paddling along the protected coastline of Deception Pass State Park. Our kayak guide teaches us about the abundant wildlife in this area and helps us look out for animals, including seals and porpoise, bald eagles, falcons, otters, and, if we’re lucky, Orca whales! We cap off the beginning of our trip with an adrenaline pumping scale up a Douglas Fir while we get a lesson in tree climbing.
On Day 4, we hop on a ferry to make our way to the San Juan Islands. We start with a drive to the top of Mount Constitution in Moran State Park. Enjoy a picnic lunch from the highest point in the San Juan Islands, before settling in at our new home on Orcas Island. Over the next few days, we enjoy the beautiful Orcas Island, while participating in a environmental education program with local naturalists who teach us about the diverse lifeforms that make up this fragile ecosystem. We learn while we exploring tide pools along the shoreline. Instructors lead discussions and lessons that connect us to this beautiful place, including marine biology, island ecology, astronomy, geology, and Native American culture and history. We also fill our time with adventures like a unforgettable ropes course! Our time here is also when we get our hands dirty with environmental service work. We partner with local non-profits on projects that include trail maintenance, wildlife conservation, and environmental sustainability.
Board the ferry once again and travel back to Anacortes on the mainland and then continue the drive south through Whidbey Island to Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula. Stop at quaint little coastal town along the drive! Settle into our bunk houses at Fort Worden Historical State Park, where we learn more about the role this area played during WWI and WWII. Explore the vast defunct bunkers, take in spectacular views of the Strait of San Juan de Fuca and walk to the photogenic lighthouse. We will also visit a local Marine Science Center and Aquarium to understand more about the vast marine life we have encountered so far.
We finish off our program in Seattle to get a taste of the urban side of the Pacific Northwest. While here, we spend our time exploring some of the most renowned sites the city has to offer – the Space Needle and the Chihuly Garden. And of course a trip to Seattle wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Pike’s Place Market! We also take a day to continue our environmental service work with a reforestation and restoration project. We end this unforgettable journey with a final evening of group reflection and a delicious dinner, leaving the Pacific Northwest with a deeper connection to the environment and memories to last a lifetime.
Please note that, given the unprecedented nature of travel currently, this itinerary is subject to change.
ADVENTURE & CULTURAL ACTIVITIES
SAN JUN ISLANDS
We will stay at a locally run summer camp right on the coast with our own private beach! Lodging will be in cabins with bunk beds that sleep up to 14. The cabins will be private for our group with shared bathrooms.
We will stay in dormitories at the Fort Worden State Park. Located on a beautiful and historic park, activities will be at our finger tips. Rooms typically host 2-3 students.
Our lodging in Seattle will be a locally run hostel in the heart of the city. Rooms will be dormitory style with bunk beds and shared bathrooms. Each private room typically holds 4-8 students.