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Old 10-21-2009, 09:01 PM
 
31 posts, read 50,228 times
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Dh got a job at SWMC and we plan to move in the next few months. We like the Lacamas Lake/Camas area and also the Felida/Salmon Creek area.

Schools are super important with 2 kids and also area rec. centers and activities offered. We are looking at Lacamas Heights, Illahee, Felida, and Chinook elementaries.

It seems like the people who live in Camas think their area and schools are the best and the people that live on teh West side are very partial to Vancouver schools as well. It is hard to get a good gauge because everyone is pitted against each other.

We will most likely raise our family whereever we move to and want it to be a good community, with a good neighborhood feel and a place our kids will want to come home to when they eventually leave home. Close to SWMC is a bonus, but the area around there is a bit scary. My perfect tri-fecta for stores/shopping is Winco, Costco, and Target ( we don't have Walmart by us, but maybe I would consider it if it was close). Is there a Winco in Vancouver? What about Costco? I know there is one by the airport in OR.

Thanks!!
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Old 10-21-2009, 11:52 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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3 Winco's in Vancouver, One near Salmon Creek, (99th st & I-5) one East (134th Ave, just north of Mill Plain (across from Firstenburg Community Center), one central (Andreson & 4th Plain)

Target in similar 3 locations, as well as WalMarts.

Costco is 88th & Andreson (I-205) North Central or in Portland near Airport.

Both areas you have chosen are good for family / schools, and I wouldn't worry about folks being polarized. I think they can be objective if you can clearly state your goals. I have a friend who teaches elementary in Felida area / Salmon Creek, but they live in Camas (and their kids are very active in school there) They might give me some feedback if you have specific questions. I also have several friends in each area.

Salmon Creek has a High Tech HS (Skyview), but is generally more suburbanized than Camas. (I would wonder about elementary / middle schools). Sports are accessible in either area. There is more shopping in Salmon Creek, BUT you pay for it with worse traffic. It is the best area if you like milder weather and ez'r gardening (less wind, slightly warmer, (not necessarily drier) better soils, for the most part.) IF you think the kids will need to go to Vancouver Arts School or a Private School, Salmon Creek would be advantageous.

I have lived in both areas, but would lean towards Camas, as I like the Gorge (scenic and recreation and access), and the 'community' feel, and a bit less suburbia feel.

If the kids will end up in Home School, Camas may have an advantage, good info here
Clark County Home Educators The presentations by this group are superb, do go and see some to get an idea of how great they are !! They must have wonderful instruction, as they do many presentations / year. CYT Vancouver/Portland | Christian Youth Theater, Classes, Camps, in WA & OR

If kids choose Running Start / Free college instead of High school (a SUPERB option IMO), there is a new Branch Campus of Clark College just opened out east 164th, (near Camas) but main campus would be closer to Salmon Creek. Many kids from each area choose Running Start, but it becomes tough to go back and forth to HS if they want to do both. (My kids had 100 mi commute / day doing Running Start + CAM (Battleground) + sports in Washougal, and night classes back at Clark) Fortunately only during Soccer / Golf, and thank goodness for my fleet of 50 mpg cars.
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:55 AM
 
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We love Camas and its rumored we're getting our very own Costco soon...big news in little Camas

http://www.columbian.com/article/20090709/BIZ01/707099984 (broken link)

The schools are great here and the community is wonderful, really I've lived a ton of places and this is our favorite. It combines a small town atmosphere just a few miles from a big city and its beautiful to boot.

I'm sure Felida is nice but we love Camas.
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:59 AM
 
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Oh and you should note that while Illahee is in Camas, its technically a Vancouver school.
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:09 PM
 
Location: WA
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I looked at both areas and found what I wanted in north Salmon Creek...
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:23 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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I got a further report last eve from a former Salmon Creek elementary teacher (now in central Vancouver district). They chose Camas as home for their school aged kids.

You can PM me if you have specific questions. As mentioned in these posts, both areas have advantages, but if schools is your primary concern, you will want lots of data and personal contact with those who have experienced each area. The choice may weigh on your personal preferences. Have you looked at Hockinson? A bit out of the shopping area, but known for school quality, and a reasonable commute to SWMC.
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Old 10-23-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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I agree with StealthRabbit. Had we not chosen Camas, I would have picked Hockinson, in fact I think the schools may actually be better than Camas, or at least what I would term better. We liked living in a "town" though and my husband works in Fishers Landing so its really close. Hockinson is very nice if you don't mind a more rural feel.
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Old 10-23-2009, 04:51 PM
 
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Thanks for the help. Where is Hockinson? Solely based on schools, you think Camas is "better?" I know Skyview has an amazing auditorium which I have been to for concerts so it seems like there would be a good music program there? Is that Salmon Creek area?

The shopping thing is not nearly as important as schools and the community, I just like to do all my shopping errands at once on one day/afternoon and it helps if they are closeby. I realize that I am spoiled living where we do now where these stores and mroe are within a 10 min. drive of my home and less than 5 min. from each other....but we do have lots of traffic out here too.
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Old 10-23-2009, 04:56 PM
 
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Oh, one more thing. Which of these areas is closer for commuting to SWMC. If we were to choose a fisher's landing area It seems like the best route would be to take mill plain. If we were to choose a Camas home, is it fastest to take 14? What about teh Salmon Creek area. We want to avoid having to take I5 if we can.
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Old 10-23-2009, 06:19 PM
 
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From Camas to SWMC I would take 14 and get off at the first exit off of 205 at Mill Plain. We go to church right near the hospital and it takes 15min. I would probably take 14 home too but it would depend on the time of day, Mill Plain could be faster.

I don't think the schools in Camas are necessarily "better" than Illahee or Skyview, but its a smaller school system which we like, as is the Hockinson system. Best of luck with your decision!
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