Day 11 - Tillamook & Nahelem
This morning, we watched the Camp Westwind flag ceremony outside the dining hall, where they raise the USA flag together with a smaller foreign flag that represents an international staff’s home country. This small act allows international staff members time to share their culture with campers. Then campers wait on the stairs while their counselors sing camp songs to entertain them before breakfast - similar to “lineup” before meals at Camp Seymour.
Our hosts at Camp Westwind treated us to blueberry pancakes hot off the griddle, with delicious ham and fresh fruit. But the forks were missing! During the meal, counselors played a mystery game with campers to help find the missing forks. It was funny to see staff and campers alike eating pancakes and ham with their spoons.
After breakfast - we drove to the Tillamook Creamery in Oregon to tour the factory, taste some cheese, buy some swag, and eat some ice cream - another highlight for many of our teens. If you’re reading this, ask the ladies about “the cheese guy”.
Next stop was a rest hour at Canon Beach and Haystack Rock, where our teens strolled the beach until our campground opened at 4PM. At our last stop for the day, Nahelem State Beach campground, we step up tents, took FREE showers, and began cooking campfire packs for dinner (foil wrapped food pouches filled with campers choice of hotdogs, potatoes, freshies, and seasonings, cooked over the flames). Then something truly epic happened - a first on trail. Our neighbors asked to borrow one of our parking spots for their family camp reunion, and in return offered us 12 freshly cooked Dungeness crabs to enjoy with our dinner! So we made quick work of dismantling the legs and dipping crab meat in melted butter for dessert! Follow us and check out our photo with a dozen crabs at https://twitter.com/ExpeditionTeen
Tomorrow, we tour YMCA Camp Colman and arrive back at Camp Seymour with Gertie (the Y-bus) to end our epic road trip and reflect about our long journey from Seymour to Santa Cruz and back.
—Josh, trip co-leader from Silverdale, Washington