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Summer camp guide: Time to make memories
The fire pit sits at Orton Ranch on May 19. At the camp in Naha Bay, children can swim in the Naha River and enjoy campfires, among other activities. Staff photo by Alaina Bartel

Daily News Staff Writer

They are the unsung heroes of Orton Ranch summer camp. They, the ones who go out weeks before campers arrive to clear the cobwebs and dust, and remove other signs that a cabin has sat uninhabited for the long winter months.

A group boated out to the camp on May 18 and arrived by floatplane on May 19 to do just that. From an outside perspective, it’s an adventure just getting there. It’s not just a hop, skip and a jump down the 30-mile stretch of Tongass Highway.

A popular way to get there is by boating from Knudson Cove to the Naha River Trail in Naha Bay; hike that trail to a skiff; take that skiff to another part of the trail; then hike another part of the trail to Orton Ranch.

Luckily the heavy batch of cleaning supplies took the skiff the entire way on May 18 while the group hiked through a massive amount of skunk cabbage on a bright, sunny afternoon.

In that group were Johanna and Clarissa Hubbard — two people who have been preparing the Orton Ranch grounds for several years. Clarissa Hubbard has been coming to the camp since she was in the belly of her mother, Johanna Hubbard.   

Johanna Hubbard has been attending First Baptist Church, which owns the camp, since 1995. Her family became “super active” in helping at Orton Ranch after Clarissa Hubbard was born in 1999.

Although the family doesn’t help prepare the camp every year, they’ve had their fair share of experiences at Orton Ranch. While cleaning on May 18, Johanna Hubbard explained they were inspecting the cabins for mold on the ceilings — where it’s been pretty thick in the past. But now, there are windows that open and close, which alleviates that situation.

Preparing the camp for summer isn’t all work — there’s plenty of play. Both Johanna and Clarissa Hubbard brought their bathing suits to take a dip in the Naha River on May 18. It’s pretty much a tradition for them, and traditions often have stories attached to them.

“I was in an innertube and I floated past (the camp) down the river,” Clarissa Hubbard said.

“She was fine, but it was … freaky … when they float by you and they’re, like, going down the river and screaming, ‘Mom,’” Johanna Hubbard said.

That was when Clarissa Hubbard was about 6 years old. She was wearing a life jacket, so she was in no danger — but her mother was in the water in the flash, coming to her daughter’s rescue. While they were scared at the time, it’s now something to laugh about.

Memories such as this are often made at summer camps, and a whole bunch more are about to be made this summer at several summer camp options offered in Ketchikan.

The Daily News has compiled a list of what is being offered in Ketchikan, to the best of its ability. Those options are listed below. For more information and pricing, contact the individual organizations.

Ketchikan Parks

and Recreation

Ketchikan Parks and Recreation will be having a summer day camp. This year, it will be nine weeks due to the changes in school calendars, according to Eryn Brooks.

• 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, from June 11 through Aug. 17. There will be no camp on July 2 through July 8.

• There are a variety of weekly themes. Children will go roller skating on Tuesdays in June; swimming every Thursday; visit the library on Wednesdays; and other field trips to local parks and playgrounds.

• Extended care: Ketchikan Parks and Recreation offers an extended care option for those enrolled in the full day camp, which will be from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., except from July 2 through July 8.

• Online registration began on Friday, there is a brochure about the camp in Saturday’s Daily News, and in-person registration begins on Tuesday.

Ketchikan Wellness Coalition

The Ketchikan Wellness Coalition will be having a Summer Enrichment Camp for elementary-age children called “I Am More Than I Seem,” which is a collaborative effort between KWC and other organizations, according to Diane Gubatayao.

• 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.; Monday through Thursday; from June 11 through June 21.

• Parent drop-off is at 7:55 a.m. at Ketchikan Charter School. Parent pick-up is at 12:15 p.m. at Schoenbar Middle School.

• Enrollment is limited, and registration should be turned into teachers, the school district or the KWC by June 4.

Southeast Sea Kayaks

Southeast Sea Kayaks will be offering summer kayak camps for children. The company focuses on kayaking skills, confidence on the water and knowledge of the marine environment, according to its website.

Kayak camp for kids:

• Ages 10 to 16.

• 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, June 25 through June 29.

• According to the company, each session includes a land lesson, warm up, games, snacks and paddling practice. On water practice will include learning boat handling techniques in both single and double kayaks, and assisted rescue techniques.

• They will kayak in the harbor, Ketchikan Creek and across the Tongass Narrows to Pennock Island. On some days, they might stay in the harbor due to weather conditions.

• To register and find much more information visit: http://www.kayakketchikan.com/youth-programs/.

Kayak master camp for kids:

• Ages 12 to 16.

• 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, from July 9 through July 13.

• This class is for kids who have already completed kayak camp, or have some experience kayaking, according to the company’s website.

• Kids will learn advanced paddling and rescue techniques; nautical rules of the road; ferrying; towing; and how to plan and prepare for a kayaking day trip. Kids will paddle in single and double kayaks, according to the company.

• To register and find much more information visit: http://www.kayakketchikan.com/youth-programs/.

First Baptist Church

First Baptist Church will be having its annual summer camp at Orton Ranch near Naha Bay. Children will learn about God, and there will be hiking, swimming and campfires. Some scholarship funds are available so children can participate.

• Depart Knudson Cove at 11 a.m. on June 13, return to Knudson Cove at 5 p.m. on June 16. This is for grades seven through 12.

• Depart Knudson Cove at 11 a.m. on June 27, return to Knudson Cove at 5 p.m. on June 30. This is grades three through six.

• There is a list of items to pack on the First Baptist Church website. Items not allowed are electronics, hair dryers, curling irons, large sums of money, expensive jewelry, or items hard to replace.

Ketchikan Indian Community

Ketchikan Indian Community will be having a Culture Camp at Orton Ranch. It is open to ages 8 to 14, with tribal member priority. There is limited space and registration is due by noon on June 1. Registration forms are online at www.kictribe.org.

• The camp will be held from June 18 through June 24.

• There will be hiking and plant identification; traditional food harvesting; canoeing, language; storytelling, songs and dancing.

Ketchikan Theatre Ballet

Ketchikan Theatre Ballet will be having two camps in addition to its summer classes. One is a Princess Camp for kids ages 4 to 6; and the other is called “Big City Summer in Ketchikan.” For this, they are bringing up a Radio City Rockette, a “fantastic professional choreographer” and a pilates instructor for the week-long camp, according to Aubree Kline.

Princess Camp:

• It will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on July 7, July 14 and July 21.

• Students will learn basic ballet technique, craft and have a snack. Register online or by visiting KTB.

Big City Summer Dance Camp:

• The camp will be held from July 8 through July 13.

• All three classes (beginner, intermediate and advanced) are for those at KTB for the 2017-2018 dance year.

• Beginner class: enrolled in Ballet 3-4; or Jazz 1-2.

• Intermediate class: enrolled in Ballet 5-7; or Jazz 3-4.

• Advanced class: enrolled in Ballet 8-9; or Jazz 5-6.

• Drop-in is an option for these classes. Visit www.ketchikan.dance for more information.

• Non-KTB dancers and KTB alumni are strongly encouraged to attend, according to KTB. There will be a placement class to assess the best level for individual dancers who are not previous KTB dancers.

• The camp will also feature contemporary choreographer, Joshua D. Estrada-Romero; and ballet and pilates instructor, Ilana Jonas.

South Tongass Alliance Church

South Tongass Alliance Church will have a summer camp at Orton Ranch. The theme is “Shipwrecked: Rescued by Jesus.” The camp is for ages 8 to 12.

• It will be held from July 13 through July 17.

• Campers will participate in Bible lessons, games, swimming, music, campfires, archery, kayaking, survival skills, crafts and other activities. Campers will be fed by camp staff.

• Travel to camp will be arranged, and parents or guardians will be notified when and where to drop off and pick up their camper. Departure will most likely be on July 13 in the morning, and they will return on the afternoon or evening on July 17.

First City Players

First City Players will be having its ArtsCool camp this summer. The theater organization is still working on registration details, but here are the basic information and important dates. FCP hopes to have registration open by this coming week; follow them on Facebook for the announcement.

• The first day of ArtsCool will be July 16 and the last day will be Aug. 9.

• Classes will be Monday through Thursday for four weeks with full day and half day (morning or afternoon) options.

• Supervised lunch will be available for a small fee. This is at the discretion of parents of younger full day campers.

• Afternoon session kids will spend the camp working on putting together a production of “Singin’ in the Rain Jr.” and will have an afternoon final dress rehearsal on Aug. 10.

• “Singin in the Rain Jr.” will have two performances: 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 10; and 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 11.

First Lutheran Church

Folks from First Lutheran Church participate in Glacier Bible Camp in Juneau each summer. The camp is a cooperative effort of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American churches in Southeast Alaska. The camp is open to the public.

• It will be held at the Eagle Valley Boy Scout Camp in Juneau from July 23 through July 28.

• Transportation to Juneau is not included.

• Anyone in grades five through 12 are welcome. There will be crafts, games, gifts of the spirit, Bible studies, campfires and other activities.

• The camp is not exclusively for Lutherans.

• Those entering grades 10 through 12 may participate as counselors in training or come as campers.

Ketchikan Gymnastics Club

Ketchikan Gymnastics Club is offering a few short camps in its schedule breaks over the summer. The organization offered a tot camp in the beginning of May for ages 3 to 5, and will be offering two more over the summer, according to Shelby Reese. Dates, times and more information are listed below.

Tot camp:

• 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 30, Aug. 1 and Aug. 3.

• Snacks are provided but camp-goers need to bring a packed lunch. Included in the camps are preschool gymnastics classes, arts and crafts, fun activities and play time.

Ninja camp:

• Ages 5 to 8 will attend from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.; and ages 8 to 12 will attend from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., on July 30, Aug. 1 and Aug. 3.

• Each participant will receive a T-shirt, ninja headband and a certificate. Space is limited and interest is high with these camps, according to Reese.

British Soccer Camp

The Ketchikan Youth Soccer League will be hosting a British Soccer Camp through Challenger Sports this summer, with several sessions and options for soccer players in Ketchikan. There will also be TetraBrazil soccer camps. All camps will be from July 30 to Aug. 3 at Esther Shea Field. For more information, pricing and to register, visit: https://bit.ly/2IM1Unn.

Ketchikan Youth Soccer League soccer camp:

• Mini soccer: ages 5 to 6; 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

• Half day camp: ages 7 to 10; 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

• Half day camp: ages 7 to 10; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ketchikan Youth Soccer League TetraBrazil soccer camp:

• Half day camp: ages 11 to 13; from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Half day camp: ages 14 to 18; from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

• According to the Challenger Sports website, the camp combines traditional Brazilian technical practices with the “flair, passion and creativity of South American soccer.”

• The soccer curriculum has been designed by an organization of professional soccer educators in Brazil to provide teams, coaches and players in North America with the same expert level of training received by the professional Brazilian clubs, according to the organization’s website.