Trekking the Ozette Triangle: Alumni Edition

After many years, I finally crossed “backpacking the Ozette Loop Trail” off of my bucket list. Making it even better, I was joined by some of the most amazing friends and former Seymour staff. 

As many of you know, the Ozette Loop Trail (AKA the Ozette Triangle) is a hike on the Washington coast in the Olympic National Park. The trail is about 9 miles: 3 miles of mostly boardwalk out to the beach, 3 miles of beach hiking, and another 3 miles of boardwalk back to the trailhead. 

This relatively easy hike, with some of the most incredible views, has been the trip for Trek campers for many years.  The two-week Trek program, for rising 9th and 10th graders, is the first step in Seymour’s summer teen leadership program.

Joining me on my first trip to Ozette were five former camp staff. Amongst them are two former trip staff, two former assistant directors, and at least one former unit leader. Between all of us we have worked 33 summers and have worked or participated in about 50 family camps at Camp Seymour.

As we hiked, camped, laughed, and played camp games (of course), I couldn’t help but be so immensely proud of who these women have become. I truly believe that all of them changed the lives of kids for the better during their time at camp, and now they continue to make a difference out in the world. 

I know that these women would be accomplished no matter what, but I am thankful they had the opportunity, at a young age, to work as camp leaders. Camp allows staff to practice leadership skills and build confidence unlike any other workplace. And now, they are confident and competent professionals who continue to make a difference in the world.  They are magic makers and life changers. 

Even more, this trip served as an opportunity to strengthen and continue friendships after a year of isolation and working from home. The combination of a beautiful setting and good friends gave me the quarantine detox I needed. Camp was the place where our friendships were formed, but this trip reminded me of how those friendships last. 

So if you haven’t already, call up an old camp friend, get outdoors, and feed your soul.  

-Hollie Penuel, former Camp Director


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