Kids at Camp Firwood know about the island. So do boaters on Lake Whatcom.
But for many people, Reveille Island remains a three-acre gem tucked out of sight south of Sudden Valley.
According to a story in "Whatcom Scenes," a 1981 collection of writings and artwork, the forested island got its name from a homesteader whose brother owned The Reveille, an early Bellingham newspaper. In 1955, The Firs, a Christian conference center in Geneva, bought 80 acres of lakeside property adjacent to the island for a youth camp, then acquired the island more than a decade later.
Reveille is the only island in Lake Whatcom and one of only a few lake islands in the state, says Rob Lee, Firwood's director. These days, boys and girls at Firwood take turns on the island building fires, cooking meals and spending the night under tarps or the stars.
"We use it for our outpost camping program," Lee says. "Sleeping under the stars ... you feel like you can reach up and touch them."
Kids aren't the only ones who enjoy the island. Female deer go there to give birth without fear of predators.
"They'll swim across," Lee says. "When the newborns are steady enough, the mothers swim them back across the channel."
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