Park on Winter Schedule
The American Camp Visitor Center is closed Thanksgiving Day, re-opening Friday. Winter hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday. The English Camp Visitor Center is closed for the winter. Grounds at both units are open from dawn to 11 p.m. daily. More »
There are several options for your class during your field trip to San Juan Island NHP
Ranger Programs: Introductory Talk with Ranger: We request that all school groups listen to this ten minute talk that includes a short introduction to the San Juan Island National Historical Park story and the National Park Service, and guidelines for safety and protection of park resources.
The Pig War: Conflict and Consensus: Using the Pig War Story as background, a ranger discusses the importance of arbitration and mediation in solving disagreements at school and home. Depending on grade level, the program also includes exhibition and discussions of 19th century objects used by the soldiers and marines, including food, cooking utensils, clothing and tools. May include demonstration of 19th century tools.
The Pig War Teachers' Resource Guide and Traveling Trunk: This activity provides an outstanding pre-visit activity. Many schools send for the trunk, use it in the classroom and then return it along on the field trip.
Archaeology Programs at English and American camps: A ranger discusses the ancient cultures that once inhabited the grounds at English Camp and the meanings of what they left behind. About 30 minutes, either outdoors or in the Royal Marine barracks in case of inclement weather. A ranger also utilizes the collections on display at American Camp to talk about the importance of safeguarding archaeological resources. About 15 minutes. The latter program may be tacked onto the end of the Pig War or Jakle's Lagoon programs. Habitats at Jakle's Lagoon Nature Walk.
Fourth Grade Field Day: Each year the fourth grade classes from Friday Harbor Elementary gather at English Camp for a morning of activities that include the archaeology talk, a hands-on pioneer woodworking skills demonstration and field games played by the Royal Marines and U.S. Army soldiers. With plenty of notice the program is available to off-island schools as well. (Two hours)
Did You Know?
Camas bulbs were so highly prized by Northwest Indians for their creamy potato/baked pear taste that groups sometimes fought over the best growing areas, and people traveled great distances to harvest the bulbs and prepare them into thin, dry cakes. To ensure future harvests, the Indians burned the prairie regularly.