Black-Tailed Deer

For Explorers and Families:


Greetings Black-Tailed Deer Families. What a powerful first fall season. Thank you, Explorers, for your growth, courage, play, and skill building. You have answered the call to Stretch you Edge and grow into the wider world of exploration with us. We're excited to continue the journey with you! Before we look ahead, let's look behind and see where we've been. Take a moment and revisit the Black-Tailed Deers' Blog Posts to refresh your memory.

Fall 2015 was the first season for the Black-Tailed Deer as an Explorer group...and what a season it was! The boys were getting to know each other, learning Explorers Club culture and traditions, and spending sustained quality time in the outdoors all the while dealing with rain and cold that illustrates the truth in the old maxim, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. And stronger they got, in ways physical, emotional and psychological.

We'll open our Spring 2016 season with an exploration at Lake Padden. Padden's trails and valleys wind through mature groves of Hemlock, Spruce, Cedar, and Douglas Fir and holds abundant places to find solitude and play games! Wait ‘til your Explorer learns how much more there is to this close-in jewel.


For our second outing we'll venture out to North Lake Whatcom Trailhead. Walking along the railroad grade on the north shore we'll pass by towering Douglas Fir as we explore the many creek drainages that run up the flanks Stewart Mountain. Weather permitting, we'll explore near the lake and make rafts out of the dirftwood that collects on its shore.

For our third outing, we'll join with the larger EC community by continuing service at our adopted Connelly Creek Service Site. This is a great opportunity to connect to the land and to our community by putting our energy into restoring balance to the plant-life in the area and creating suitable salmon habitat. Please, take a moment to track the history and view photos of this amazing site. 
We will bring our season to a close with a exploration to Whatcom Falls Park. The group will have a chance to venture Bellingham's famous and prized watershed of Whatcom Creek and find some excellent spots to play games along the way. 

The Black-Tailed Deer's skill will be The Art of Harvest: Plants. Don't forget to check out our newly developed Boys EC Skills Progression. This progression will lead the Explorers on a Earth Skills Journey that will lay a firm foundation of craftsmanship, wilderness living, and deep naturalist connection. To read more about our new Boys EC Skills Progression please click hereBeing Prepared is also a vital skill. Click here for a link to the EC Equipment List.

Black-Tailed Deer Spring 2016 Schedule

Lead Mentors: Steve & Bobby

Sunday, March 13th, 10:00am-3:00pm
EXPLORATION: Lake Padden (Dog Park Entrance)

Padden is a local gem with all kinds of mysteries hidden in its sandstone folds: giant cedars in a secret sanctuary, trillium, oyster mushrooms, raptors, crayfish, and much more. It's a great spot to play some epic games and enjoy the waning of Summer.

Directions: Drive south on S. Samish Way for 2.4 miles. Turn right onto Lakeshore Dr (golf course entrance). Continue to the end of the road. We will meet at the south end of the lake near the dog park. Click here for the Google Map Destination.


Saturday, April 16th: 10:00am-3:00pm
EXPLORATION: North Lake Whatcom Trailhead


Situated between the base of Stewart Mountain and the shore of Lake Whatcom, this trail winds through wetlands, waterfalls, and large Douglas Fir. Offering abundant swimming holes and creek drainages to follow up into Mt. Steward's watershed. This land is a living example of how, with some careful preservation and stewardship, an ecosystem can recover from being logged a century ago.

Driving Directions: Take exit 255 for WA-542 E/Sunset Dr. toward Mt Baker. Take the 1st right onto Barkley Blvd for 2.5 miles. Turn right on Britton Rd for 0.2 of a mile. Then turn left onto Northshore Dr. for 6.4 miles. Please note that the road name changes to Northshore Rd. Turn left to stay on Northshore Rd. for 0.6 of a mile eventually arriving at the destination, North Lake Whatcom Trailhead. Click here for the Google Map Destination.

Saturday, April 30th, 10:30am-2:30pm
Service: Boys E.C. Connelly Creek Restoration Site, Happy Valley Park

Our Official Explorers Club Restoration Site has changed dramatically in the last two and a half years. 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 (including large car parts and a jungle gym); a 6-foot cedar fence was “discovered” and liberated from the blackberries; 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. The most exciting news is that, for the first time in about 80 years, the salmon have returned. Now those returning salmon are really going to need our help if they are going to lay eggs. We'll focus on providing just the right environment for a vibrant and happy northwest stream. With the help of Bellingham City Parks and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, we are making a real positive impact on our land.

New this Season! Drop-off and Pick-up will now be at the Bellingham Park & Ride (WSDOT) Westside as per the request for the residents on Wilson Street. We apologize for the inconvenience. 

Driving Directions: From I-5 drive west on Old Fairhaven Parkway for 0.1 of a mile. Turn right onto 30th Street and drive for 0.3 of a mile. Turn right on Donovan Ave. and drive for .1 of a mile. Turn right onto 32nd Ave. and drive for .2 of a mile. Turn left into Bellingham Park & Ride (WSDOT) Westside. Click here for the Google Map Destination.

Saturday, June 11th, 10:00am-3:00pm
EXPLORATION: Whatcom Falls Park

We'll explore Bellingham's famous and prized watershed of Whatcom Creek. Depending on how much it has rained (or is raining!), it is likely that we'll spend time at the old bridge and the falls. There are also some little nooks and corners of this park in which we can find shelter or play games. Explorers may learn another backbone Explorers game, Spider's Web. The forest is as inspiring as it is dark this time of year.

Directions: From Fred Meyer, drive east on Lakeway. Turn left on Silver Beach Road at the traffic signal. Follow the road to the parking lot in front of the playground, picnic shelter, and fish ponds. Click here for the Google Map Destination.