Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien,WA 98166

Office Hours:

Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Reconnecting Ourselves Outdoors To Succeed (ROOTS) is a series of programs capitalizing on the culture and experiences established at Camp Waskowitz.  ROOTS programs are created and facilitated by Waskowitz staff for specific purposes, including challenge facilitation to connect a new community, high school credit retrieval and social skill development.

Mission Statement

ROOTS provides a repurposed educational adventure to strengthen relationships with nature, people and self.


Freshman Success

Waskowitz Outdoor School offers quality experiential education to students as they transition into high school. These programs help students take control of their educational journeys, as well as develop relationships with their classmates and teachers.  The program focuses on building community within each advisory class, helping to create a supportive school climate. Programs are challenge-based and designed around the following:

  • The district promise to know every student by name, strength and need
  • Natural classroom management
  • Peer mentor training opportunities
  • Establishment of good character and positive school climate
  • Developing a common mindset of excellence and ethics

For the past four years, Waskowitz has been running day programs themed around teambuilding, positive relationships, and the idea of grit.

What is unique about residential programming at Waskowitz?

Residential programming allows participants to work, eat and live with one another for a period of time.  This type of programming is very beneficial to creating a strong, safe and positive community.

The Camp Waskowitz experience honors a Highline Public Schools tradition that is 70 years strong! Staff are invested to Highline and understand the district's strategic goals.

Camp Waskowitz has a certified challenge course on site. Staff and students working at the camp have completed WSU/4H and challenge course training.

Literacy Camp

What is Literacy Camp?

Literacy Camp is designed to provide students in 9th or 10th grade the opportunity to earn 0.5 credit in Language Arts or social studies. It is held at Camp Waskowitz over three weekends (nine days total).  Lit Camp is a highly engaging residential program. Curriculum design allows students to set goals, develop positive peer support, understand themselves as learners and obtain literacy skills for school and the workplace.

What do I do at Literacy Camp?

Activities at Lit Camp vary based on students. Basic activities include:

  • Group/individual reading and completion of instructor-selected novel.
  • Journal writing and reflections.
  • Homework assignments in addition to the work assigned at school.
  • Group project, including poster design, essay and presentation.
  • Team-building challenges and activities.
  • Personal slam poetry piece, written and performed.

What will I learn through Literacy Camp?

As a Lit Camp student, it is your role to:

  • Grow as a learner by reflecting upon your academic work and seeking feedback.
  • Gain a clearer academic understanding of your strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Retain new and personal productive ways to learn.
  • Develop skills to become a stronger student and community member.

Literacy Camp Logistics

In this intensive weekend course, students will explore a topic related to social studies or social justice through reading, discussion, debate and research.  Students will keep a writer’s journal and will write papers that demonstrate their depth of understanding about the topic and their ability to communicate to a variety of audiences about the topic.  The course will culminate in a poetry slam/open mic experience where students present their topic to other students and staff. 

Students travel by bus from their high school to Camp Waskowitz in North Bend, where they stay overnight for each of the program weekends, returning to their high school on Sunday.  This course is free for students and includes all meals.

Students will earn a 0.5 credit in Language Arts or social studies if they attend all three weekends and complete the coursework during the weekends.

Challenge Course

Camp Waskowitz’s 4-H Challenge Course program is a sequence of activities and elements that serve as an experiential education tool to encourage teamwork; foster self-confidence, and trust; and engage participants both physically and mentally. Additionally, the challenge course provides participants with an opportunity to reflect upon and recognize their role as a leader, follower, team member and individual. Using problem-solving skills, learning from each other and succeeding as part of a team, participants will learn how to better cooperate with, trust, and rely on themselves and others. 

Camp Waskowitz offers over a dozen built elements and several portable elements to reach all learning types. Facilitators are trained to adapt the course to their group’s needs and vary the challenged based on what the group's intended outcomes. The hands-on learning and experiential methodologies used in the program engage participants in the learning process for development of their own character and ability to connect with others.

Challenge Day

As a partner with Washington State University 4-H, Waskowitz can provide an excellent experience for you and your group on the challenge course. The Waskowitz staff can adapt an afternoon into a day full of learning, discovery, risk taking and teamwork, all revolving around fun.

 Challenge Overnight

Through an overnight challenge experience, the Waskowitz staff is able to build off the experiences and learning that occur during an afternoon and take them further for a deeper group experience. The overnight is held in Waskowitz’s dorms with groups split into cabins for the evening. 

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