Seabeck Conference Center Programs
Seabeck Conference Center hosts innovative retreats for a diversity of people each year, including individuals from L’Arche Tahoma Hope, The Good Shepherd Mission, and Kitsap Foster Care Association. Seabeck has hosted the Lighthouse for the Blind’s internationally-recognized Deaf-Blind Retreat for nearly thirty years and has partnered with Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. to add railings to our boardwalk, wall lighting, accessible restrooms, paved walkways, permanent Braille signage on buildings, and tactile maps so that attendees can navigate and exit buildings safely.
Seabeck also sponsors public meetings and a variety free and low-cost community events, including the annual Kitsap County Historical Society’s Milltown Family Christmas, and the Celtic Arts Foundation’s Mastery of Scottish Arts Concert which features world-renown bagpipers, Scottish drummers, fiddlers and Highland dancers. As well, we sponsor a touring performance of Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre so that local schools can book performances at a free or reduced rate. Since the closure of Seabeck Elementary school, Seabeck Conference Center has also hosted a free community Halloween party. Children and their families can trick-or-treat in the several historic houses on campus, and enjoy traditional Halloween games in the Pavilion and the historic Inn. Last year nearly 800 community members attended.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Seabeck Conference Center maintains an historic and ecologically complex campus with several buildings and a cemetery dating from the 1850’s, a lagoon, beach and seasonal stream, an old mill bridge and about 70 acres of forested trails. We are continually in the process of restoring our facilities and protecting our natural environment. In accordance with our Master Plan (2009), we are also working to remove physical barriers for our guests and meet contemporary program needs. Our Centennial Campaign, which began its public phase in 2011, is an investment in Seabeck’s next 100 years to ensure that the Center remains physically, ecologically and financially sustainable.
Since 2011, we have raised 1.2 million dollars and completed 3 high-priority projects, including the removal of two outmoded lodges, and the building of an amphitheater and two new guest houses. These houses--Huckleberry and Salal--offer accessible and energy-efficient lodging for over 30 guests while retaining the historic look and feel of the campus.
We are presently seeking support for our next high-priority project--rebuilding Juniper, a central but currently vacant building in the heart of Seabeck’s campus. Juniper is adjacent to Seabeck’s historic Inn, one of the oldest operating inns in Washington State. A reconstructed Juniper will increase much-needed meeting space for our nonprofit groups, increase revenue for the Center, and make the Inn and Juniper more accessible for those with limited mobility.