Services for seniors on Camano began long before Camano Senior Services Association (CSSA) was formed.
In the fall of 1972, the problem of services for the seniors of Camano Island became acute. At that time, the Camwood Senior Center (now known as the Stanwood Senior Center) was organized for Camano and Stanwood seniors. Few services were available; in fact the nearest meal site was in Arlington. Many Camano seniors objected to the long trip to take advantage of the Nutrition Program and other services. Snohomish County and Island County Commissioners endeavored to pool their efforts to help solve this problem. A grant was written and, in January of 1973, Senior Services of Island County (SSIC) began providing the Nutrition Program at Camwood. The meals were prepared at the Camano Inn located on SR 532 on Camano (later known as the Shipwreck Bar and Grill, which has since been torn down). Meals were delivered (by the former Director and volunteers) to the Camwood Senior Center and the Camano City Fire Hall on Wednesdays, to the Camano Country Club Fire Station and Camano Lutheran Church on Tuesdays and the Utsalady Ladies Aid Hall on Thursdays.
The history of the Camano Center is woven in a common theme of neighbors realizing that there were unmet basic needs in the community and finding ways to meet those needs. Here is a quick summary of milestones from the Center’s past.
1972, The nearest meal service for seniors is in Arlington. The Camwood Senior Center (now known as the Stanwood Senior Center) is organized to provide meals for Camano and Stanwood seniors.
1973, Senior Services of Island County (SSIC) begins providing the Nutrition Program, delivering meals to several locations on the island.
1974 The nutrition program moves to Camano Island occupying a rented space in the Camano Plaza.
1978 The “Blue Building”, currently the Camano Multi-Purpose Center, opens. The building housed not only the nutrition program, but other agencies that provided health and human services.
1982 The Camano Senior Services Association (CSSA) is incorporated to ‘provide social, economic, educational, recreational and other activities for the benefit of retired persons residing on Camano Island’. It provided 100% of the Center’s operating costs.
1982 The 2nd Chance Thrift Shop opens in the current Camano Yacht Club building.
1985 2nd Chance moves to its current site on Highway 532.
1987 A committee is appointed to study the feasibility of expansion.
1987 CSSA purchases an 18.2-acre parcel of land on Arrowhead Rd.
1989 The Center extends hours to five days a week in response to growing demand.
1989 A strategic plan calls for the creation of an independent senior center by 2005.
1999 CSSA sells 13 acres of the Arrowhead property to the Stanwood-Camano School District.
2000 Construction begins on the new Senior and Community Center.
2001 The new building is opened to the public.
2008 The Center extends its hours to 8PM four days a week.
2011 The Camano Senior and Community Center is renamed the Camano Center to attract younger members of the community.
2013 A major gift from the estate of Patricia Hartley allows the Center to pay off its mortgage.
2014 The Center adds Saturday hours and the Legacy garden is created to honor donors.
2015 Island County funding ends. The center is 100% self-funded for the second time.
2015 A capital campaign is launched to expand the thrift shop.
2016 The Board of Directors begins a many-month strategic planning process which includes the creation of a new mission statement.
2017 The 2nd Chance Thrift shop moves into its new building.
2018 The Center expands its major giving program with the creation of an endowment fund.
606 Arrowhead Road
Camano Island, WA 98282
Monday - Friday 8am - 5pm
Monday - Saturday: 10am - 4pm
Tuesday - Thursday: 10 am - 3 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 3 pm