The 2023 CampOut will be held Friday, June 2–Monday, June 5. This is one weekend later than previous CampOuts. The shift is intended to avoid the increasingly crowded Memorial Day weekend use of the camp area. Reports from early June campers in past years suggest that the area will be quieter and the change will allow for a better bird and nature experience. Campfire speakers will be scheduled for Friday and Saturday evenings, rather than Saturday and Sunday.
Pending final permits, we’ll gather again Friday, May 27 – Monday, May 30. The organizing committee is hard at work planning field trips, campfire programs, and the ever-popular sanitation stations. We hope you’ll join us for the return of this beloved, all-welcome event celebrating the natural beauty of the Wenas Wildlife Area. Staying mindful of everyone’s safety, these are the expectations for attendees:
Attendees should be fully vaccinated by the date of the event
Attendees agree to wear well-fitting face masks while in a carpool or in any enclosed space (i.e. restrooms and Sani-cans)
The first Wenas campout was held Memorial Day weekend in 1963. It has continued without interruption except for May 1980 with the eruption of Mount St. Helens. That is until now.
We are sad to say that the annual Wenas Memorial Day Campout has been cancelled for this year. The Wenas organizing committee has determined that in light of Covid-19 and looking at the health and safety of everyone attending, that it would not be responsible to hold this popular event as usual. We just aren’t able to guarantee the safety of attendees and are not willing to take that risk.
While we have all age levels attending, ours is generally an older crowd and therefore our risk profile is greater than average. Since we have people coming from all over the state, if just one contagious person were there, not only might attendees get sick, but they might bring COVID-19 to areas that have been somewhat unaffected so far.
Yes, we would be outside and there is ample camping space to maintain social distancing. However, there would be no way to sanitize the porta-potties after every use or maintain social distancing on field trips or at the campfires.
As a result, we have made the not-so-easy decision to cancel for this year. We hope all of you continue to get out for walks in your neighborhoods to watch birds and enjoy nature.
Two of the organizing committee members have shared they are planning their own campout over Memorial Day weekend so that they may continue the tradition, though with a somewhat modified version. They are planning to set up tents in each of their own yards and then they are going to get on their phones and share stories of other Wenas campouts they have attended. What a great idea!
Please keep checking the Wenas website and Facebook page as we get closer to Memorial Day weekend. There is a possibility that we might be able to put together a virtual campfire program with a guest speaker.
In the meantime, Stay Home, Stay Healthy and we will see you Memorial Day weekend 2021.