• American Camp parade ground looking west

    San Juan Island

    National Historical Park Washington

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  • English Camp Visitor Contact Station on Winter Schedule

    The English Camp visitor contact station in the Royal Marine Barracks is closed for the season, starting September 2. Grounds are open daily from dawn to 11 p.m.

  • American Camp Visitor Center on Winter Schedule

    The American Camp visitor center is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from September 2 to June 6, 2015. Grounds remain open daily from dawn to 11 p.m. Telephone 360-378-2240, ext. 2227 or 2226 for information. More »

Park Fun

girls with flags
Young park visitors proudly display the flags they earned by taking the Great Royal Marine and U.S. Army Quiz during the annual Encampment at English Camp. Children also are invited to participate in 19th century games during the event.
Mike Vouri Photo
boy with weaving creation

A happy boy displays a creation he made on Weaving weekend.

Mike Vouri Photo

Here are just a few examples of Kids' Fun at San Juan island National Historical Park:

Weaving weekend: Cowlitz Nation weaver Judy Bridges, Fort Nisqually interpreter and storyteller Karen Haas along with San Juan island's Roger Ellison and Anita Barreca demonstrate weaving with all-natural fibers, including wild reeds, usually the first weekend in August. Visitors are invited to try their hands at created mattes, toys and art objects.

Tide Pool Walks: Visitors learn about plant and animal life, from algae to invertebrate animals, during tide pool walks with biologist Bob Lemon and naturalist Annie Prevost. Bring your rubber boots and look but don't touch!

Encampment: Park staff, volunteers and re-enactors from throughout the region gather at English Camp to recreate life on San Juan Island at mid-19th century. The annual event commemorates the peaceful joint occupation of San Juan Island by British and American forces from 1859 to 1872, and the final, peaceful settlement of the Northwest Boundary dispute. Throughout the joint occupation the garrisons regularly exchanged visits to celebrate holidays that included Christmas, the Fourth of July and Queen Victoria’s birthday. Typically the men would participate in athletic contests, imbibe in spirits and other refreshments and usually host a dance to which the community was invited.

The modern Encampment (the next scheduled July 26-27, 2014) includes camp life, blacksmithing, cookery, woodworking and drilling. Children participate in soldier games, learn sailors knots, how to plunk a fiddle, saw a log and dance the Grand March. The highlight of the weekend is Saturday’s Candlelight Ball, an evening of dancing and refreshments from 8 to 10 p.m.

Did You Know?


Orca whales are far and away the biggest attraction in the San Juan Islands and most especially on San Juan Island's western shore, from Lime Kiln Point State Park to American Camp. More...