Going up? Many of those attending Saturday’s big party at Camp Long were: The all-day celebration marked the park’s 75th anniversary as well as its annual Mountain Fest. Photojournalist Leda Costa was there for WSB. Of course, there was an anniversary cake:
West Seattle’s own Stuffed Cakes made it.
Among those at the park to enjoy the cake: Mayor Ed Murray.
Other VIPs there included City Councilmembers Lisa Herbold and Debora Juarez as well as Parks Superintendent Jesús Aguirre. Below are Janie Murphy, a Parks Naturalist, and Mat McBride from the Camp Long Advisory Council, who dressed in honor of the historic occasion:
Back to the activities – climbing, ropes course, ziplining among them:
By day’s end, challenge-course and rock-climbing availabilities were fully booked, including the park’s famous Schurman Rock, which has been training grounds over the years for renowned climbers including the first American to summit Everest, West Seattle’s own Jim Whittaker.
The celebration also included activities on the ground, along the Camp Long meadow:
Sachi Horback and her daughter Varshana worked together with the saw; at the beginning of the day, the log was around 7 feet long.
The Greek-food truck Athena’s was on the meadow for lunch-seekers:
Or, you could go small – roasting marshmallows and hot dogs by the campfire with Scouts:
Scouts also participated in the flag ceremony:
According to the city’s official history of the park, “Camp Long was once a little used, 68 acre corner of the West Seattle Golf Course. In 1937, Seattle Park Board member Archie Phelps, Judge William Long, Ben Evans of the Seattle Park Department, and Clark Schurman – well known Scout leader, expert mountaineer and wilderness camp developer – embarked on a mission. They wanted to acquire and develop this land to make it into a place for organized scouting groups to learn camping skills.” With help from around the city, they succeeded. Presentations during the day were made by speakers including Clay Eals of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and Yosemite National Park chief of staff Mike Gauthier, former lead climbing range at Mount Rainier:
This was the biggest party at Camp Long since the celebration of the historic lodge’s reopening after renovations back in 2010.
More than 500 people came to the anniversary party to celebrate what they accomplished, and to look forward to many more years of enjoying Camp Long (5200 35th SW).