July 2017 News & Views
Look for News & Views in your inbox every month to see what's happening at Seabeck.
A Message from Chuck
Happy 4th of July! I say every year that around here it's Memorial Day, then the next thing you know it's the 4th. The next time you look up after that, it's Labor Day. That seems so true this year. The time is flying by. It's because this a very busy and rewarding time of our schedule. Summer is when our longtime friends return to visit.
The summer of 2017 is looking good. Most groups are up in numbers. I have received many comments on how nice the grounds look this year. That should continue as the new lawn at Rhododendron takes hold. I think that area is going to be a great new spot for our guests.
One of the big leaf maples in front of the Inn dropped a huge limb during a wind storm last month. That limb scratched a car and took out the porch railing. We immediately had our tree service come and evaluate the tree. They were able to save it by severely trimming it. I don't know how many more seasons those two big trees have left. I will do everything I can to preserve them, but eventually safety will dictate their removal. Maples like that have a life span of around 125 years and these are probably over 150 years old. When the removal happens, we will replace them with Armstrong Maples to match the two already there.
We finally got our salmon for the season. The fish weren't swimming in May, so we had to bring in Alaska salmon for our first salmon bake. Our wonderful supplier from the Yakama Tribe, Rex Zack, came through and we got the fish for Camp Seabeck the morning of the event. As he so wisely said, "they call it fishing, not catching." We are set to serve beautiful Columbia River Kings throughout the summer.
Thanks for reading. I hope to see you sometime in the next few months!
Columbia River Kings are Here!
Jonah, a Seabeck staff member, showed off some freshly caught King Salmon before it was prepared and grilled at Salmon Bake Beach.
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Association for Research & Enlightenment
Altissimo in Music
University Congregational United Church of Christ
Eliot Institute - July Eliot
Seabeck Family Camp
Seabeck Christian Family Camp
Good Shepherd Mission
Otters at Seabeck
Every year a female river otter takes up residence under one of our buildings to have and feed her babies until they are ready to move on. There may be anywhere from two to four pups born March through May.
Some of our quilting groups that come during this time have seen the mother otter every now and then. She has been seen crossing the parking lot, headed for the lagoon, or running down from the amphitheater and disappearing under the Inn.
Otters normally occupy a den site for only two or three consecutive nights. However, during the mating and nesting season, females are attracted to warm, dry, dark, easily defended areas, and will remain longer if the setting remains favorable. They seem to love the serenity and safety of Seabeck, just like our guests.
This does present somewhat of a problem for the staff and guests at Seabeck. That problem would be the odor that is present as long as the otters are living under the building. We did receive some comment cards this year, saying that there was a fishy smell in the dining room. We can assure our guests that it does not come from the kitchen, but under the Inn, where the otter and her babies were living.
As cute as they might be, never approach the otters if you see them. They are wild animals and the mother of these cuties can be very dangerous.
Our otters have since moved on and the odor is gone. Until next year....
Food and Feeding Habits
- River otters are opportunists, eating a wide variety of food items, but mostly fish. River otters usually feed on 4- to 6-inch long, slowly moving fish species, such as carp, mud minnows, stickle backs, and suckers. However, otters actively seek out spawning salmon and will travel far to take advantage of a salmon run.
- River otters can smell concentrations of fish in upstream ponds that drain into small, slow moving creeks, and will follow the smell to its origin, even in urban areas.
- River otters also eat freshwater mussels, crabs, crayfish, amphibians, large aquatic beetles, birds (primarily injured or molting ducks and geese), bird eggs, fish eggs, and small mammals (muskrats, mice, young beavers).
- In late winter, water levels usually drop below ice levels in frozen rivers and lakes, leaving a layer of air that allows river otters to travel and hunt under the ice.
- River otters digest and metabolize food so quickly that food passes through their intestines within an hour.
- River otters use dens for giving birth and for shelter from weather extremes. Birthing dens are lined with small sticks, shredded vegetation, and other available material.
- Den sites include hollow logs, log jams, piles of driftwood or boulders, and abandoned lodges and bank dens made by nutria or beaver.
- Dens are well hidden; those located at the water's edge will have an entry far enough below the surface to prevent it from being seen and/or frozen shut.
- River otters also den under boathouses, duck blinds, and other human structures up to ½ mile away from water.
- Young otters begin playing at four weeks of age and learn to swim at about seven weeks of age. When eight to ten weeks of age, the pups begin exploring beyond their den and are introduced to solid food.
- In late fall, the pups leave to establish their own territories. During this time, wandering youngsters are seen far from water, traveling on land between lakes, ponds, and from one stream drainage to another.
- The basic social group for river otters is a female and her offspring. (Before and after breeding, male otters usually lead solitary lives.
Seabeck Group Profile
Celtic Arts Foundation
To "sponsor, encourage and promote Celtic culture through events and educational activities."
We extend an enthusiastic invitation to anyone who is interested in participating in the work of our Foundation.
The Celtic Arts Foundation (CAF) is based in Washington State. We produce regional Celtic events with a Scottish and Irish focus, offer Celtic schools and scholarships for aspiring musicians and dancers, and we invite only the most acclaimed, award-winning artists from Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the US to come perform and instruct with us. Our goals are to inspire and cultivate interest in Celtic cultural art forms. We invite anyone who is interested in the work we do to join the Celtic Arts Foundation whether or not your ancestry is Scottish, Irish or Celtic at all!
The Celtic Arts Foundations holds an Autumn Smallpipes Workshop and their Winter School. Top-flight instruction and small class size are the hallmarks of their Winter School programs. For over a decade, they have been offering fiddlers, pipers and drummers from around our region, and beyond, the opportunity to improve their musical skills. They do this by presenting the finest bagpipers, Scottish drummers and fiddlers in the world for their concerts and instructional seminars.
The instructors also put on an entertaining concert for the Seabeck Community while they are here.
The New Pines Campaign
We have a desire to continue to offer our services for many years to come. Seabeck Conference Center is happy to serve people like you, and we invite you to be a part of our legacy. Your donation will help us build a new Pines that will be a place for future generations to gather.
The New Pines will have:
- Flexible Floor/Bed Plans
- 20 Private Bathrooms
- Two Meeting Rooms
- Spacious Lobby
- Conversation Areas
- Increased Accessibility
- Hidden Parking
- New Plaza with Seating
- Keeps Big Trees
Levels of Donor Recognition:
* All donors will be acknowledged in the new Pines
* $1,000 - Acknowledged on a brick in the Pines Patio
* $5,000 - Acknowledged on a bench in the Pines Plaza
* $20,000 - Acknowledged on Guest Rooms
* $50,000 - Acknowledged in Lounge Area
All gifts are welcome. Seabeck Conference Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and your contribution may be tax deductible. If you have any questions, please contact our Executive Director, Chuck Kraining at (360) 830-5010 or email him at email@example.com.
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