hosted by Santi Quiroga Medina and Carlos Snellenburg-Fraser
audio edited by Sydney Lorton
audio produced by Santi Quiroga Medina and Carlos Snellenburg-Fraser
Robyn Myers, Assistant Director of Conference Services at Camp Casey and the Fort Casey Inn.
2009, I started in this position and I was born and raised on Whidbey Island at Oak Harbor. My father was in the Navy, and I am also an SPU alum, class of ’95.
I love where I live. I love where I grew up. I like the rural nature of it. When I went to SPU it was just crowded. It feels crowded in the city, especially if you go to a beach, like you go to Golden Gardens – one of the nearest beaches – and it feels very packed. You go to a beach on Whidbey and you won’t see anybody. We’re not going to put a bunch of condos out here. It’s not possible.
Like I just think about the beauty and honoring the history. I mean, that’s the idea, that the landscape will look the same as when the pioneers came. Camp Casey is a great value option for getting away with your group and particularly getting to Whidbey. The demographic is probably college-age or younger, I would say that’s maybe 60 to 65% of our groups. The school groups come in the springtime more predominantly for outdoor education. In the summer. It’s mostly sports, either nonprofit organized camps, or school, like a lot of ASB football teams and that sort of thing. PTA sponsored football, cross country.
So in the offseason, like November, December, January, February, beginning of March, it’s really quiet. It’s also storm season, a lot of storms come in through and wind. So it’s not as jovial, we’re not chatting as often. We’re not as excited. But when you see students back, the staff are more excited. It feels more like family’s coming back home for the season, and that feels very fun.
In speaking with group leaders, as someone who’s planning an event, a lot of them want to be entertained. I mean, they are going to do some programming, but they’re looking for what is there to do. And the thing that I always remind people to do is figure out when sunset is going to be, and program that in your daily agenda. It’s a unifying opportunity between you and your group and it’s also free, right?
There aren’t any major projects right now. Coming out of the pandemic, we’re still trying to figure out what our next steps are going to be. People are ready to get back, people aren’t as fearful as they were.
In the next few years, I hope that the nonprofit organizations and particularly SPU alums, like I think that’s probably a hidden area that we would love, I’d love for people to come back to Seattle Pacific University, but more particularly at Camp Casey. As an alum, to realize that they can stay at Camp Casey and enjoy the space, and bring their corporation or their business to enjoy it and get back to each other. Get back to community, get back to cell phone not working and actually having a conversation with someone that might be a little more meaningful.
I think that we are a bit of a hidden secret. We’re a unique location. There’s not a ton of west side spots in the Pacific Northwest that are on the water or the Salish Sea and drivable that feel close enough, not too far away.
This vista that I get to look out my window every day is a true blessing.