In January, Camp Sealth and Camp Fire Central Puget Sound welcomed more than 60 youth to the Teen Leadership Retreat. At this event teens, volunteers and staff participated in a service project to help rebuild and protect the camp seawall. Lauren Dixon, pictured right, led this project as part of her individual placement with Camp Sealth as an AmeriCorp participant through the Washington Service Corps. Lauren joined Camp Sealth in September of 2013 and will continue in this placement until July. Along with handling program areas such as the touch tanks, our organic garden, a thriving recycling program and the composting worm bin, she strengthens the Outdoor Education program lesson plans and curricula to help enrich the lives of youth and spark an interest in science. Read her summary of the project below!
What do you get with a group of sixteen Teen Leaders, one Camp Fire Executive Director, two Camp Sealth trained adult counselors and a Washington Service Corps member? The ability to improve the condition of our seawall to a much stronger formation than before, leaving it capable of battling the raging waves of wintry Colvos Passage.
The Puget Sound landscape region was shaped through the melting and withdrawing of the Vashon glacier some 15,000 years ago. In the millennia since, the lands that remain in this area have been competing with the tectonic activity of the Juan de Fuca plate moving under the North American plate, as well as the shoreline tidal cycles around the Puget Sound. This affects us here at Camp Sealth because our location is set on 1 ½ miles of shoreline, putting the base of main camp at risk for coastal erosion and flooding.
To keep our property, facilities and habitats safe it is important to maintain a seawall, and our coastline on Vashon Island, Washington utilizes the Riprap technique. Riprap is an assortment of boulders, spalls, rocks and pebbles put against the base of our high tidal zone and carries the risk of these rocks moving with time down the beach and out to sea. It is vital for us to repair this wall on a regular basis by taking loose rocks along the beach and filling in the holes and gaps along the seawall. This service project was exceptionally fitting for a group of teen leaders as it practiced problem solving, team work and communication in order to maximize efficiency and safety. The project connected our teens to the environment by teaching about the world of physical oceanography and coastal habitat protection.
We hope that these Teen Leaders will also take pride in seeing the impact of this work whenever they return to Camp Sealth in the years to come, and thank them for their Service to Sealth!