2019-20 Season

Congratulations Chanterelles on completing your second season of Explorers Club (EC)! We appreciate your willingness to play and connect with each other and the natural world. As we move into our third year in Explorers Club, mentors look forward to the Chanterelles continuing to build on their team identity, their naturalist knowledge, and their connections with nature, each other, and self. The focus of our wilderness skills this season will be Collaborate and Compromise, Navigation and Traverse, Nettle Cordage, and Story Telling.

Please look over the schedule upon registration and give us as much advance notice as possible if there are any conflicts for your child attending. For more information, please visit our Missed Days and Make Up Policies. Please know that these dates are subject to change due to inevitable circumstances. We will update you if any dates do change!

Be sure to use the Be Prepared Checklist when getting ready for each Explorers Club outing. Wild Whatcom Mottos guide much of our program so please read them over with your Explorer.

Mentor Contact Info:

Chanterelle 2019-2020 Schedule

Outing #1: Sunday, September 29, 2019: 10:00-3:00PM

SKILLS: Nettle Cordage at Euclid Park

For our first outing of the, the group will head down to the shores of Lake Whatcom in search stinging nettle in her fall form: tall, strong, and regal, with strong stalks that make fiber and rope. We’ll gather the stalks, learn how to strip their outer fibers and dry them for cordage-making later. Other plants we may gather for cordage include cedar roots, thistle, willow, dock, and grasses. We'll also be exploring the changes autumn brings in nature and in our own lives as we wind our way through the forest and along the banks of the Lake Whatcom, the tear of the mountain. Please remember to have your explorer pack garden gloves!

Driving Directions: From I-5, drive east on Lakeway drive for 2.5 miles. Turn L onto Euclid Ave and the Euclid Park parking lot will be .3 miles down the road on the R. Click here for the Google Map location.

Outing #2: Saturday, October 19, 2020: TIME TBD


On this day, Explorers will be volunteering with the Bellingham's Chore Program. The Chore Program provides volunteers to help Whatcom county's elderly and adults with functional disabilities remain independent in their own homes. The Volunteer Chore Program serves as a safety net for some 200+ Whatcom residents, helping those with limited resources. Girls Explorers Club has been partnering with the Chore Program for many years and now it is the Moon Snails' turn to lend a helping hand. We'll talk about the importance of maintaining multi-generational communities and the EC service ethos. Please remember to have your Explorer pack garden gloves as this day will be spent doing lots of yard work!

Directions: To respect the privacy of the residents that we work with, driving directions will be given in pre-outing emails.

Outing #3: Sunday, November 17, 2019: 10:00-3:00PM

EXPLORATION: East Arroyo Salmon Journey

Exploring in Explorers Club means discovering new places and seldom-explored spots. On this day we'll meet parents in a different Arroyo park parking area and head east upstream, like the salmon, where few EC groups have gone before (summer explorers who have been this way can help guide our journey). Along the way, we'll remember our motto "It's The Journey, Not the Destination" as we discover nature's wonders along this hidden path. We'll consult our common sense, intuition, intentions, and the map as we learn about navigating trails, terrain, and group decision-making. This collaborative decision-making may even take us along a higher path to Chuckanut Falls, tucked away in the east canyon.

Directions: We'll meet at the North Chuckanut Trailhead. From Bellingham, take Chuckanut Drive southbound. You'll pass the Chuckanut Bay Art Gallery on your right and Old Samish Way on your left. Just past these landmarks, the trailhead will be on your left. Drive down into the parking lot, and you'll find mentors waiting and waving!

Outing #4: Saturday, December 7, 2019: 3:00-8:00PM

EXPLORATION: Stars and Stories at Sehome Arboretum

Get ready to embrace the night! The groups will explore and get to know the forest from dusk to dark, focusing our attention to the sky. We'll (weather depending) observe and identify constellations, reflect on the night sky and how people have related to it throughout time, and hear some stories from a variety of cultures about the infinite starry and planetary sphere above. Please have your Explorer bring a headlamp (though we likely won't need it) and prepare for connection with the magic, mystery, and meaning of the night.

Directions: Pick up and Drop off at the WWU Wade King Recreation Center, 1880 Bill McDonald Parkway. Parents are welcome to park for free after 5 pm in the WWU C-Lots, directly across the street from the Recreation Center. You'll see mentors waiting outside the front of the building!

Outing #5: Saturday, January 18, 2020: 10:00-3:00PM

EXPLORATION: Winter Games Day Cornwall Park

Get ready for games, games, games! One of the key skills we believe young children need is an activated imagination; today is a day to really focus on the Art of Play. We'll play common Girls Explorers Club nature-themed games, learn plenty of new ones, and perhaps come up with games as we go. As always, we'll practice leadership skills that build executive function, like active listening and collaborative decision-making (and play itself!) and finish our day tired, full of giggles, and more connected as a group.

Directions: Though there are three entrances to Cornwall Park please use the entrance on Meridian at the light at Squalicum Parkway to access the North Picnic Shelter. From I-5 N, take the Meridian exit (256B), go L at the end of the ramp and go under the highway. Go south 3 blocks and turn L at the Squalicum Parkway entrance (at the light).

Outing #6: Sunday, February 9, 2020: 10:00-3:00PM

SKILLS: Art of Navigation II to Chuckanut Falls

Navigation is an essential skill to master when exploring. Whether you are out for a day or a week, on or off the trail, far away or close to home, knowing where you are and where you are going is essential. Eventually, the Explorers will be backpacking, and having a good grasp on the basic map and compass skills can make the difference between a great backcountry trip and a challenging one. But what happens when your map gets wet? Or your compass breaks? The skill of navigating without these aids is a practice in tracking the land and learning to use other tools. As the group winds its way to the Chuckanut Falls, the Art of Navigation will help us see the trail with fresh eyes and will lead us safely back again.

Directions: Drop off at North Chuckanut Mountain trailhead (just south of the Old Samish Highway turnoff & Chuckanut Bay Gallery, on the left side of Chuckanut Drive).

Outing #7: Saturday, March 7, 2020: 10:00-2:00PM

SERVICE: Restoration Sites: Connelly Creek Nature Area and Happy Valley Park

Our official EC restoration sites have changed dramatically since we started working on them. Blackberries that were once well over head-high have been chopped down to nothing and many of their persistent roots have been dug out. Hundreds of pounds of trash has been removed, the reed canary grass has been covered with bark mulch, native species are beginning to be planted on the banks of the creek, and the alder are growing markedly faster than our Explorers.

With the help of Bellingham City Parks and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA), we are contributing to the very important work of salmon habitat restoration. Salmon are keystone species of the Northwest, playing important roles in every ecosystem and community they interact with. They are economically, culturally, and spiritually significant to Indigenous peoples, including our Lummi and Nooksack neighbors. Our restoration work creates a positive ripple effect that is felt in communities beyond just salmon, and gives us an incredible opportunity to be part of a legacy of stewardship and protection.

Directions: From I-5 drive west on Old Fairhaven Parkway for 0.1 of a mile. Turn right onto 30th St. and drive for 0.3 of a mile. Turn right on Donovan Ave. and drive for 0.1 of a mile. Turn right onto 32nd Ave. and drive for 0.2 of a mile. Turn left into Bellingham Park & Ride (WSDOT) Westside. Map.

Outing #8: Sunday, April 19, 2020: 10:00-3:00PM

SKILLS: Art of Nature/Nature of Art at North Lake Whatcom II

Following in the footsteps of the great natural artist Andy Goldsworthy, the team will be spending this glorious spring day envisioning natural art installations in the forest and on the beach. We will gather dead, down, or brown leaves, flowers, branches, stones, and other natural materials along the trail, talk about concepts of beauty, perspective, and art, and each make our own, unique work of art. Some Explorers may choose to make mandalas, while others may build sculptures, and some may even use nettle cordage to create floating flower wreaths. There will be no wrongs or rights as we work together to create pieces of ephemeral, natural art.

Directions: Head east on Alabama St. to North Shore Drive. Take a left onto Northshore Drive. Continue on Northshore Drive 7.2 miles, until it becomes Northshore Road. Drive .05 mile until you reach the North Lake Whatcom trailhead entrance on your left. This is a bit of a drive, so carpooling is suggested. Plan on driving 25 minutes from downtown Bellingham.

Outing #9: Saturday, May 30, 2020: 10:00-3:00PM

EXPLORATION/SKILLS: Larrabee Clayton Connector (via Lost Lake Parking Lot)

Again, we'll put our motto "It's About the Journey, not the Destination" into practice as we wander from Larrabee Park to Clayton Beach on a little-known connector trail. We'll pass an area that Explorers girls have worked on for years, freeing native plants from invasive ivy and then revegetating with native plants; get great views of the Salish Sea from the rocky bluff; discover hidden waterfalls and more. We're not even likely to make it to Clayton Beach as we travel in the EC way, with naturalist's eyes.

Directions: **Please note that pick up and drop off are at different locations.** Drop off at the Larrabee State Park main parking area (near the amphitheater). Pick up at the Lost Lake parking lot (about .25 mile down the road from the Larrabee entrance, large parking lot on the left). Note that a Discover Pass is required if you park for any longer than a quick drop off.