Student Stories

We interviewed former students in our School Overnight Program, now in their teens and twenties, to hear what IslandWood was like for them and what they are doing today. We learned that although the students return home on day four, the exhilaration and sense of possibility stay with them into adulthood.



Kari Adamski
“Wow!” Kari remembers thinking as she entered the Great Hall at IslandWood as part of the School Overnight Program. “We were so small, and it was so big. I don’t think I’d ever been in a space that big.”
Read her story...

Rico Jose
The cart trail from the parking lot to the lodges isn’t much more than 300 yards, but to Rico Jose, a sixth-grader at Pinecrest Elementary in Bremerton, it felt like a long hike.
Read his story...

Zainab Mohammed, Zaidaan and Ilham Shibuya
Sending a child on an overnight school experience is hard for many parents. But for some families, religious or cultural considerations make the decision that much more difficult.
Read their story...

Nick Balera
Nick Balera
The container was not much bigger than a tuna fish can, recalls Nick Balera. It was metal and rusted shut.
Read his story...

Tiffany Chan
The first time Tiffany Chan came to IslandWood she was a ten-year-old girl from Wing Luke Elementary taking part in the School Overnight Program (SOP).
Read her story...

Keiko Budech
If you look at the leaves of the salmonberry, a plant that thrives in the forests of IslandWood, you’ll notice the serrated edge of the leaves.
Read her story...


Andy Tran
“Engineering is all imagination,” says Andy Tran. “I had a lot of it as a kid growing up.
Read his story...

Carter Erickson
The fifth graders from Crown Hill Elementary in Bremerton were on a mushroom hunt.
Read his story...