Welcome- Fall 2015


Greetings Boys Explorers Club and Four Shields Families


Fall Season 2015 - On behalf of the Boys Explorers Club Mentoring Team we welcome you to the fall 2015 season. We hope you have been having a wonderful summer! Whether you enjoyed time in the garden, played in the park, paddled, biked, hiked, or spent time in town or the backcountry, chances are you maximized your time outside. We certainly celebrated the abundance of the season all summer long with a packed schedule!

Our Cup Overflows as a mentoring community and we are grateful and humbled to have so much enthusiasm and support from parents and the greater local community. Your support is what enables us to help guide our Explorers in their journey towards becoming connected and caring males individually, socially, and ecologically.

We look forward to continuing our mentoring relationships with Explorers. Indeed the mentor/mentee bond takes time to form. Boys and mentors test each other in various ways throughout the seasons, and a boys personal growth, pro-social growth, and connection to the natural world deepens like the roots of trees. Thanks again for supporting this program. Together we are creating a generation of compassionate, communicative, and connected boys while offering them many examples of what it means to be a healthy, caring, and whole male in the world.

Boys Explorers Club (Boys EC) News:

The warm days will grow shorter soon and at night we'll start to feel the chill in the air. The ripeness of the mountain huckleberries and return of the Chinook, Sockeye, and Coho salmon reminds us to start our preparations for the winter. Now is the time of harvest, for the abundance of fall brings venison, elk, salmon, hazelnuts, tubers, roots, berries, and so much more. We are nearing the time to start making nettle cordage and begin the construction of our Earth Shelters. That also means it's time for Fall Season at Boys EC!

As we experience this change in season there, too, are changes a foot in the Boys EC. We are all set to add three new groups of Explorers this fall, bringing our numbers to nearly 180 Explorers. The Boys EC Mentoring team would like to welcome the Black-Tailed Deer, Jumping Mice, and the Short-Tailed Weasels into our community. We also welcome all new Explorers who are joining established groups!

Fall Season Info:

Save the date! After the success of our last fall gathering, we will open our season with a Fall Season Gathering, TBA, from 5-7PM at Lake Padden (shelter near dog park & baseball field). We'll use those two hours to introduce all of the Mentors and some of our adult volunteers who will be available to share expectations for the season. We'll also make some time to introduce new and veteran families to the Boys EC culture. With a united and dedicated community, our boys will thrive this Fall. It is exciting to think about so many caring and curious boys in all corners of Bellingham and Whatcom County. Come with questions, ideas, and goodies to share if you feel inspired. :) You can also meet other Explorers Club families and strengthen our community by making new friends. Click here for more details!

This fall our Explorers will start on our newly developed Boys EC Skills Progression. This progression will lead the Explorers on a seven year Earth Skills Journey that will lay a firm foundation of craftsmanship, wilderness living, and deep naturalist connection culminating in a overnight survival trip at the age of 14. To read more about our new Boys EC Skills Progression please visit this page.

Each Explorer will also have the opportunity to serve the land for our third consecutive year at the Connelly Creek Service Site. With over 3,000 combined service hours and 560 last spring alone, we are transforming the land and it is transforming us. Please take a moment to track the history and view photos of this amazing site.

Our Explorations this season will take us from the foothills of the North Cascades, through the forested lowlands and rivers of Whatcom County's wildlands, and eventually lead us down to sandstone and wind swept coastline of the Chuckanut Mountains. Our Four Shielders and eldest Explorers will have the opportunity venture into the snow free mountain meadows and alpine environments of the Mt. Baker foothills. Soaking up the last of the autumn weather, the younger Explorers will head for locations like North Lake Whatcom Trailhead, where we'll swim and explore Bellingham's expansive watershed. As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, the boys will stretch their edges and venture in Arroyo Park and Squires Lake following the journey of the salmon and amphibians. We'll also be sure to visit some of the Explorers' favorite locations like North Galbraith Mountain Trailhead, Whatcom Falls, and Sehome Arboretum to name a few. Needless to say, the Mentors are looking forward to the Fall!

Registration Info:

Fall registration is now open for returning Boys EC participants. This priority window for returning participants runs through Friday, July 31st. After that, space will open to the standby list. Please let us know ASAP if your child won't be returning to Explorers Club this fall.

Fall programming starts August 29th! Cost for fall season is $215 (*Level A: base rate) with the option to pay $265 (Level B: 90% of actual cost). To register, click here!

If you are having trouble finding your Explorers Club group page, please contact us and we can help. For registration questions or help, please email Administrative Coordinator, Lisa Meucci at lisa@wildwhatcom.org.

*While we recognize that our program fees can seem like a lot, the truth is that they don't cover the full costs of running the program and sustaining Wild Whatcom as an organization. We rely on donations to cover the remaining 25% of expenses. We do this because it is a priority for us to make our programs as affordable and accessible as possible and to offer financial assistance to those in need. If you find that the $215 fee is easily accommodated in your own budgets, please consider adding in a bit more. An additional $50 is closer to our true costs, though any size donation is utterly appreciated. Deep thanks for your support and for being part of Wild Whatcom!

Parent Resources:

Please be sure to check out the Mottos, Skills, Parent and Participant Resources, and the EC Mentoring Community Resources pages on the sidebar.

We are using the mottos more and more in our programs and encourage families to print out and discuss these mottos at home if you feel the inspiration.

We would like to make sure that every Explorer ages 9 and up watches the Knife Safety and Usage video on the skills page. Not all groups will be involved in the Art of Carving, but it's still good to see the basics. For veterans, it's always good to review safety and practice using your knife mindfully.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about our program or feedback you have for making it better. We are always learning and look forward to anything you think will help strengthen our community!

You should also receiving a roster for carpooling and extra get togethers. If you do not wish to be on the roster list, or if you do not receive a roster one week before your son's first outing, please email boysprogram@wildwhatcom.org.

Important! Parent Info:
  • Please be sure to read through all of the fall program content. There is important information for you and your son. 
  • Please read over the equipment list with your Explorer and have them pack their own backpack.
  • We do strive to be right on time for pickup, but explorations can get the best of us and make us a few minutes late. Please allow for a little wiggle room in this regard.
  • Also, please remember that explorations can be DIRTY! It's a great idea to throw an old towel and a sheet of plastic in the car before you pick up your Explorer.
  • Please BE PREPARED! Proper rain gear and clothing, enough food and water, and a big enough backpack to go a long way in make for a fun and safe outing.
  • Please check who your lead Mentor(s) are so that you have their contact information stored. It's good to have other Mentors information. Lead Mentors can be found on your group specific web pages.
  • Mentors may have new cell phone numbers. Please note the mentors for your group and have ALL of their numbers. Occasionally we have substitute mentors fill in and if you want to get in touch with us, it's important to have our contact information, not just one mentor! You will find these numbers at the bottom of this introductory letter. 
Missed & Make Up Days:

Explorers Club groups with boys who prioritize attendance offer a much richer experience. We certainly understand the competing commitments boys have in their lives and know that sometimes EC days must be missed. We design schedules with this in mind, carefully doing our best to plan and choose dates around other activities to minimize absences. If your child cannot attend a scheduled day with his group due to illness or family vacation, you may arrange with staff for him to join another group on another day as a make-up (note that we can no longer arrange make-up days for other activities, such as soccer). There are only four EC days/season and the many lessons learned and experiences shared are carried over outing to outing, season to season.

Please look over the schedule at the beginning of the season and give us as much advance notice as possible if your son needs to shift days. Last minute requests often cannot be met.

If your son needs to miss a day with short notice, please take the time to let us know, via an email or phone call. Last minute or unknown absences affect our commitments to service providers and to one another. We expect your son will be at an outing unless we hear otherwise! 

Opportunities:

Get Involved – Board, Committees, and Volunteer: Wild Whatcom has always been a participatory, collaborative organization. We welcome your input and involvement. Our dynamic board would benefit from more bright minds and willing hearts, as would all of our executive committees, including fundraising, risk management, communications and more. Please join us! Sign up on our volunteer interest form here.

We put up an Equipment Swap List a few seasons ago, but alas, it is not being used. If you think something like this would be helpful and have a vision for how to make it more accessible, please let us know. We'll keep it on the website for one more season, just to see if it catches on. Don't be shy-- be the first to put something on there if you've got it!

Mentor Contact information for Fall 2015:

***NON-EMERGENCY INFO***
Email: boysprogram@wildwhatcom.org

Steve's cell: 206.359.1627

Tim's cell: 360.393.0230

Peter's cell: 360.813.2802

Brian's cell: 360.715.1969

Greg's cell: 206.422.5051

Joey's Cell: 425.281.8255

Finn's Cell: 360.920.7975

Jake's Cell: 503.415.0089

EMERGENCY ON-CALL PARENT VOLUNTEER: 360.441.9276

Thanks so much for all your efforts. You and your sons are the program! We’re looking forward to exploring!

On Behalf of the Boys EC Mentoring Team:


Steve, Tim, Peter, Brian, Greg, Joey, Finn, and Jake
Comments