My main events for week three at the Skagit Valley Herald featured Camp Phoenix, a North Cascade elk meeting, Anacortes Workboat Races and Pirate Faire, and a La Conner skate competition.
Camp Phoenix is dedicated to helping children emotionally recover from severe burns. I arrived at the camp on Wednesday with Kera while everyone was outside either playing on a giant inflatable water slide or lounging in the sun. We spoke with the camp director to get a bit of background before I took off barefoot to frolic in the sun and water. Most children's scar tissue were exposed, which was great for the visual cue but I didn't want to be drawn to the boy or girl with the most severe burns because they had the most severe burns. I wanted to be drawn in by the children's personalities. And after about an hour of getting to know people, characters revealed themselves. I was drawn this 13-year-old boy, Austin, who had visited the camp several times before. His jovial nature pulling other children down the slide and hassling grown ups, more specifically Ryan Stiles, said summer camp. At the end of my stay, I didn't want to put my shoes back on, I wanted to go back to summer camp. Is there summer camp for 23-year-olds without working at the YMCA?
Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Rich Phillips, right, talks with Birdsview cattle farmer Jim Hinton and Ryan Valentine, Fish and Wildlife officer in Whatcom County, left, takes step outside to talk with Gary Knaus, in Skagit County Cattlemen's president, in blue, outside of the Sedro-Woolley Community Center during a North Cascade Elk Work Group meeting on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013. About 100 community and work group members came together to discuss the solutions for the elk problem in the area. Hinton said he is sick and tired of fielding calls from land owners in the area asking him for advice. He also said he is concerned with the elk getting on the roads causing accidents. Nick Gonzales / Skagit Valley Herald