For our third year of summer camp, students built a Lookout Tower to guard over the marshlands of Smoke Farm, a property about an hour north of Seattle. This tower was inspired by the fire lookout towers that Beat Generation writers like Gary Snyder and Jack Kerouac stayed in while they were writing such classics as Dharma Bums.
Students stayed at the farm for a full week, working during the day, and learning about carpentry, leadership, teamwork, and more. At night, students, counselors, and builders would have group meals, talking about the work they did that day and digesting the invaluable community that develops around camp. The tower still stands on the pastures of Smoke Farm, boasting french doors, a cozy sleeping area, and a perfect view of every sunrise.