FAQs

These are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). If you have a question that you would like answered, just let us know (see CONTACT tab).


Q) Do I need to get CPR and First Aid certified prior to arriving to Camp?

A) Yes, unless you are enrolled in our lifeguard course. Staff hired to fill lifeguard and expedition positions will be given an opportunity to go through a YMCA Lifeguard training at no cost to them. It will be held prior to the start of training. This course provides First Aid, CPR, AED, and Emergency Oxygen certification. Additionally, if you are certified, check the expiration dates. Certifications must be valid for your entire period of employment. Finally, even if you're certifications are valid, please review and practice your skills.

Q) CPR and First Aid, where can I get certified?

A) The best way to find courses are to check with your local Y, Fire Department, or college/university. Also to visit the websites of acceptable organizations listed below:



  • American Red Cross — First Aid/CPR/AED for Schools and the Community
  • American Heart Association - (Heartsaver Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED, Heartsaver First AidCPR/AED, Heartsaver CPR, Heartsaver AED (CPR/AED), or BLS for Healthcare Providers)
  • American Safety and Health Institute: Basic First Aid/CPR
  • Emergency First Response – Primary and Secondary Care (First Aid and CPR)
  • Medic First Aid International - PediatricPlus CPR, AED and First Aid for Children, Infants and Adults (camps serving all ages)
  • Medic First Aid International - Basic CPR, AED and First Aid for Adults (camps serving children 8 and older)
  • Medic First Aid International - BasicPlus CPR, AED and First Aid for Adults (camps serving children 8 and older)
  • St. John's Ambulance (Canada, Australia) Emergency First Aid/CPR, Basic Life Support, or Emergency First Aid for Childcarers.
  • National Safety Council - First Aid, CPR and AED

  • Q) Can I bring my bicycle to camp?


    A) Yes! Here are some things to consider.

    • You must wear a helmet while on camp property (leading by example for our campers). 
    • Campers may NOT ride your bicycle. Other staff may, with your permission. They too, must wear a helmet while on camp property.
    • We don't have a designated "bike lock area," so you are free to keep it near your cabin and lock it to something durable, like a small tree.
    • If you are driving yourself or with someone else, bring your bike along, too. If you are walking onto the ferry, and are planning to be picked up by us, we can pick your bike up with you. Just let us know in advance.
    Q) Is there electricity/lights/outlets in the cabins? In the restrooms?

    A) Only a few cabins have electricity, but all restrooms have electricity.

    Q) Where can I charge my cell phone, iPod, laptop, etc.?

    A) Our staff lounge is called Great Blue Heron or GBH. Here we will have computers, couches, and camaraderie! You may charge things in this common space, but please do not leave your electronics unattended. We also provide a secure space in the Camp Store where you can "check in" a device for charging.

    Q) Should I purchase ferry tickets in advance?

    A) It is not necessary for walk-on passengers to purchase a ticket in advance. It is highly recommended that vehicle passengers make a reservation in advance. To learn about the reservation system and to make a reservation please visit: Washington State Ferries Reservations.

    Q) How early should I try to be at the Anacortes Ferry Landing for my desired sailing?

    A) New this year: the Washington State Ferries are taking reservations for the San Juan Islands. To learn about the reservation system and to make a reservation please visit: Washington State Ferries Reservations


    Q) What will the first day of my training look like?

    A) Almost each different wave of training will have a different start time – as necessitated by the ferry schedule. Please refer to the "TRAINING DATES" and "TRAVEL TO CAMP" pages for more information about when you need to be at Camp and how to do that. In general, trainings begin shortly after the designated ferry arrives to Orcas. Some staff will drive themselves (onto the ferry and to camp), and others will walk on the ferry and be picked up by us in a camp vehicle. Then all gear will be left in cars and in our Luggage Truck until after introductions, tours, etc. If someone is dropping you off, you can leave your stuff in the designated area and say your goodbyes at that time. After orientation, we can get our belongings and begin to move into our cabins.

    Q) Will I live in the same place for the whole summer?

    A) We ask that staff are flexible throughout their employment with us as living arrangements from session to session tend to change. Living arrangements are determined by our specific job, the number of campers during each session, and other Orkila programs that use camp space. We will all have to move during and after staff training to accommodate Outdoor Environmental Education and Family Camp programs that will be running during the end of June and early July. We request that everyone remain flexible. In return, we will always give as much advance notice as possible, and offer assistance in moving belongings from point A to point B.

    Q) When do campers arrive/leave?

    A) Campers arrive and leave on the same day (Wednesday or Saturday) we call it Changeover Day. The only exception is the last day of camp at the beginning of September.

    Q) Is their wifi at Camp?

    A) Yes! There are “hotspots” in a couple of places, but the best location for staff is in Great Blue Heron (GBH) and the Larry Norman Lodge. If the service is ever slow or not working, please notify a director as soon as possible so we can fix it.


    Q) Can I use my cell phone as my alarm clock?

    A) Time is crucial at camp, and a great way to start the day is by waking up on time. We feel that the best alarm clock is a watch, because then you also have a watch, which you need at camp. We prefer not to use cell phones as alarm clocks as we wish to provide a technology-reduced experience (cell phones, video games, computers) for our campers. Regular alarm clocks are fine, especially if they use a gentler, more pleasant sound. Just make sure it's a sound that wakes you up.

    Q) Can I bring my car to Camp?

    A) Yes! Staff may park in Foxfire Field, on the left after you pass the welcome sign. Speed limit on camp property is 15mph.

    Q) How should my friends or family contact me if they have important new and/or an emergency that I need to know about?

    A) The following numbers are good to know…


    • Camp Orkila Main Office, 8am-6pm: 360-376-2678 
    • 24 hour Cell Phone, always carried by a director: 360-317-6852
    B) Staff will have opportunities each day to check their email and personal phone for messages.