Fort Flagler State Park, situated on the northern tip of Marrowstone Island, rests on a high bluff overlooking Puget Sound and offers breathtaking views of the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. It’s one of Washington’s waterfront gems. The Fort was built in the late 1890s and manned during World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.
With tents pitched at the Wagon Wheel group site, a mid-size open grassy field hugged and protected by native plants and trees where just a few minutes of walking led to quiet trails and tranquil beach, we sought out the grand views, beauty, historical significance, and amazing guided interpretive tours by Volunteer David of the gun emplacements and hospital. The military museum is fascinating!
Here young boys who love camping participated in the Junior Ranger program. We’re stoked to be part of the outdoor narrative they’re writing at such a young age. Improving camping skills is a priority at all of our campouts. Here some eagerly learned how to make kindling, start, and manage a safe fire. Most learned about rain management and how to properly stake their tents and keep the interior dry. Principles of leave no trace were adopted and practiced. We all got to be part of the first camp experience of a young couple and their toddler.
Being respectful of nature (i.e. quiet), we were rewarded with visits from the many resident deer and countless birds. The array of native plants provided hours of plant identification. Some took contemplative trail walks. Others combed the beach and identified marine life. Some chased sunsets. A few incorporated tourism and explored nearby towns.
These skill-building and BIPOC outdoor Community building campouts are extremely important. This campout also provided Community a safe space to Rest — Black people are dying from sleep deprivation and our resistance to rest is a social justice and public health issue.
“What stands out in my mind was learning how to take in more of nature by using all of my senses and slowing down to do so.”
“I learned to not be so worried about being fully prepared because there is always a chance of something unexpected happening.”
“There is beauty in community away from the urban space.”
Gratitude to Justice Outside. Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission. Interpretive Specialist Kelsey Lang. Volunteer David. You supported Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color in the movement towards a more racially-just outdoors.