Young scientists learn about their surroundings through exploration


By Marita Kleissler, Education Specialist

Haystack Trailhead

Summer campers pose by the Haystack trailhead

Thirteen young scientists began their summer vacation hiking, playing leadership games, and learning how special it is to be living in this dynamic bioregion. Our bioregion gives us the opportunity to visit a different habitat each day. We hiked through a temperate rain forest and found fungus and Alectoria (witch’s hair), a type of lichen. With the guidance of Sam Hertel from the Forest Service, we found macroinvertebrates living in Odiak Pond, which salmon eat to survive and grow. Sphagnum moss was found all along the forest floor as we hiked on Haystack Trail. Hiking the trail up to the reservoir may have been the hardest, but the group found it very rewarding. The muskeg at the top was the perfect habitat for a game of camouflage tag! There was a light misty rain on the last day of camp, but that did not deter our exploration of tidepools and rocky shorelines in Orca Inlet. We carefully turned over rocks looking for gunnel fish, crabs, sculpin and we even found a limpet! Sharing our experience with our parents while enjoying hot chocolate and cookies at Orca Adventure Lodge filled our bellies and warmed our hearts, ending a week of investigation.

It’s not too late to sign-up for another week of exploration. Contact Marita Kleissler at 424-5800 Ext. 238 or email

Heney Trail

Campers hiking Heney Ridge Trail