Boys Explorers Club
On behalf of the Boys Explorers Club (BEC) Mentoring Team, welcome! Our Cup Overflows and we are humbled to have so much enthusiasm and support from our Explorers Club families and the greater local community. Your support is what enables us to help guide our Explorers in their journey towards becoming connected and caring community members - individually, socially, and ecologically.
Snapshot of a Boys Explorers Club Year:
Our Explorers Club year begins in September. For many of our groups that means: games at locations like Lake Padden and the Hundred Acre Wood, low tide explorations along the Salish Sea, rambles through the Chuckanut Mountains, and alpine ventures in the Mt. Baker Wilderness.
As autumn transitions into fall, Explorers are tested both in mind and body to weather the elements and learn to work as a group. Through their experiences, they learn to recognize the gifts that this transition of seasons brings: an abundance of flowing water, vibrant shades of yellow and red returning to the land, mysterious mushrooms and moss, and spawning chum, humpback, and coho salmon.
As daylight dwindles and the cold of late fall settles in, our groups hunker down to work on a variety of outdoor living skills via our BEC Skills Progression. We also continue our restoration work at Connelly Creek. Our groups will spend the rest of the chilly winter months searching for migratory shorebirds, keeping warm with traverses and campfires, and even venture up near Mt. Baker to build snow caves.
With the arrival of spring, Indian plum (Osoberry) and salmonberry flowers decorate the forest. Celebrating the abundance of this season, Explorers learn to make nettle tea, collect cottonwood buds for salves, and harvest cedar and alder for carving wood. Much like late fall, the start to this season is wet and cold and will test Explorer’s preparedness.
As temperatures begin to warm, mid-spring is the perfect time to listen to bird language and get to know many of our native plants. Encounters with trillium and hummingbirds at Lookout Mountain, oyster Mushrooms and migrating salamanders at Squires Lake, and budding big leaf maple in Sehome Arboretum are just a few of the discoveries that await Explorers. Then it's back to our Connelly Creek service site to pick-up where we left off with restoration work in the fall.
Our year closes in June with a month of fantastic intertidal exploration, berries ripe for the picking, and expansive time spent out on the land. Our eldest groups will attend campouts and extended outings which provide an excellent container for reflections and debriefing of our year.
Feel free to contact us with any program questions or feedback. We are always learning and look forward to anything you think will help strengthen our community!
Boys Explorers Club Mentoring Team
Steve, Joey, Conor, Tim, Brian, Greg, Jedidiah
2017-18 Season Info
Registration is now open for our 2017-18 season which runs September-June and includes nine outings over the course of the academic year! This year, BEC will grow to 19 groups, including Barnacles, our new gender-inclusive group. Groups meet about once per month typically on a weekend day although some of our new groups will be meeting on Thursday afternoons.
Two Price Options: Our voluntary, two-tier tuition structure allows families to choose a tuition level that more accurately reflects our true costs. The additional funds support essential expenses such as scholarships, gear, transportation, staff training, program management, and insurance. Your choice of tuition fee level will be treated confidentially. We thank you in advance for your registration at whatever tuition level feels right for you.
Level A: $500/season utilizes donations to fill the gap to cover program operating costs.
Level B: $585/season helps us cover the full cost of operating our programs, including expenses such as gear, training, scholarships, staff development, insurance, and sustaining the organization.
Payment Schedule (if needed):
- $50 deposit at time of registration ($100 deposit if registering after August 10).
- Minimum 50% of program cost paid by October 1.
- Final program payments due February 1.
Payment reminders are emailed monthly. Please review our Cancellation and Refund Policy as needed.
Financial assistance is available for families who need it. Please fill out the brief financial assistance form during registration.
- Our annual fall gathering is Sunday, August 27, 2017 from 3:30-6:30PM. Join us at Lake Padden Park (East Entrance) near the playground/ball fields.
Service Sites - Connelly Creek & Woodstock Farms
Twice each year, Explorers will roll up their sleeves and give back to their community through environmental stewardship, habitat restoration, and place-based education at the official Explorers Club service site along Connelly Creek at Happy Valley Park and at Woodstock Farms. The site has changed dramatically in the last three and a half years as Explorers have worked hard to restore the balance of native plant-life in the area while creating suitable salmon habitat.
Take a moment to track the history and view photos of this amazing site. With the help of Bellingham City Parks (COB) and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) we are making a real positive impact on the land.
Mentor Contact Information
Group mentors can be found on your group's webpage (see group list in sidebar). Please note your mentor's contact info. Occasionally, we have substitute mentors on outings, but will notify you about staffing changes in advance if possible.
- Steve Keller: (206) 359-1627 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Black-Tailed Deer, Branch Hoppers
- Tim Massey: (360) 393-0230 / email@example.com
- Barnacles, Gray Wolf Pups, Roosevelt Elk Calves, Storm Wolves, Townsend's Chipmunks
- Brian Mulligan: (360) 715-1969 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Barred Owls, Cave Dwellers, Jumping Mice
- Greg Schayes: (206) 422-5051 / email@example.com
- Four Shields
- Conor Lough: (360) 220-1518 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mountain Goats, Sculpins, Short-Tailed Weasels
- Joey Christianson: (425) 281-8255 / email@example.com
- Kingfishers, Pacific Chorus Frogs, Pine Martens, Red-Tailed Eyas, Woodland Caribou
- Jedidiah Forsyth: (360) 393-1888 / firstname.lastname@example.org
General contact: email@example.com
Reminders - IMPORTANT!
- Please read through all of this season’s program content on your group's page. It contains important information for you and your child.
- Please read over the Be Prepared Checklist with your explorer. Proper rain gear and clothing, enough food and water, and a big enough backpack go a long way in make for a fun and safe outing. Have them pack their own backpack!
- We strive to be on time for pick-up, but explorations can get the best of us. Please allow for a little wiggle room if we are a few minutes late.
- Explorations can be DIRTY! Consider having an old towel and a sheet of plastic in the car.
Missed and Make Up Days
From experience, we know that Explorers Club groups who prioritize attendance offer a much richer experience for each participant. We hope that, amidst the busy schedules of today, you will help your child prioritize getting outside with Explorers Club!
We also understand that life is unpredictable and family emergencies, illness, and other critical events occur. If your child cannot attend an outing with their group, you can try to schedule a make-up day with another group by contacting the BEC Coordinator. With nearly all of our groups running at capacity, make-ups are often difficult to arrange. We cannot guarantee an alternative spot and we will prioritize those needed due to sickness and emergencies. Typically we aren't able to grant make-up days for conflicts with other extracurricular or social activities.
If your child will be missing an outing, please take the time to let your group coordinator know via email or phone as soon as possible. Unanticipated absences affect our commitments to service providers and to one another and it is super helpful to know in advance. Thank you!
Read more on our Policies page.
- Be Prepared Checklist
- Skills Progression
- Knife Safety & Usage. Explorers 9+ should watch this video. 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.
- Parent and Participant Resources
- EC Mentoring Community Resources
- Loaner gear and/or clothing may be available. Email Steve Keller, firstname.lastname@example.org if you have clothing or gear needs. Have items to donate? Feel free to give to a mentor at any outing. Your contributions benefit others – thank you!