Explorers Club

BEC Members - Group Schedules

GEC Members - Group Schedules

Note: Barnacles Explorers Club. Click on either link above to see your group schedule.

Explorers Club is our signature outdoor, youth mentoring program. Explorers Club kids embrace the outdoors to discover the Pacific Northwest, gaining naturalist knowledge, leadership skills, and lasting connection to nature and community – all while having a blast outside!

What Happens at Explorers Club?

We clamber over rocks (and look under them), plant trees, wonder at the habits of fungi, share leadership roles, mud gush, follow streams, spend quiet time on our own, hike, bike, create poetry and sculptures, play lots of cooperative games, build shelters, share stories, help our community, make friends, and get dirty!

  • Participants build confidence and competence in every area of their lives through our unique process of discovery of our region's natural places.
  • Kids explore and learn about ecosystems and along the way gather lessons that carry over into life beyond Explorers Club.
  • Explorers learn vital collaborative leadership skills and are respected as learners and leaders.
  • Youth discover the impact they can have in their community through service projects.
  • Many Explorers stay with the program for years to form strong bonds with their cohort.

Learn Life-Changing Skills

Naturalist Skills

  • Identification of plants, trees, rocks, fungi, tracks, and anything else nature reveals
  • Outdoor safety and preparedness
  • Understanding of patterns and process in nature
  • Discovery of the myriad connections that exist between all things
  • Shelter building, fire by friction, basket weaving, and more

Life Skills

  • Self-confidence
  • Effective communication
  • Empathy and trust building
  • Collaborative leadership
  • Self-challenge and self-knowledge
  • Problem solving
  • Awareness of community needs

About our Outings

  • Groups meet nine times per year during the academic year.
  • Each cohort (~13 kids) typically meets once a month for four to six hours.
  • Outings may be an exploration, service project, or skills-building session. Schedules vary season-to-season, year-to-year, with the curriculum deepening as Explorers grow.
  • Explorers Club is for kids in grades 2-8.

Cost - 2017-18 Season

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.


We do not want cost to be a barrier for participation. Financial assistance is available for families who need it.  Please fill out the brief financial assistance form during registration.    

Explorers Club - GROUP Schedules

Cancellations, refunds, and other policies.

Current Explorers Club members, please click REGISTER below. If you are not a current Explorers Club member, please sign up on our Interest List below. We will contact you when space is available.


Contact Boys Explorers Club Coordinator, Joey Christianson: boysprogram@wildwhatcom.org

Contact Girls Explorers Club Coordinator, Stormie Romero: stormie@wildwhatcom.org

Interest List

Thank you for your interest in Explorers Club (EC). We appreciate it! Please know that we are doing our best to meet demand for the early grades and often have space in older-grade groups.

Interested in joining Explorers Club? Please signup on our Interest List.

If you would like to join an EC group, please complete our Interest List Signup form. Because of robust interest among younger grades, we are switching to a randomized selection process to fill groups (aka: drawing names from a hat on June 1 of each year) rather than a sequential list.

In order to confront societal inequity and to advance access and racial diversity within the outdoor education field, we will prioritize participation for young people of color and provide financial assistance for participants from low-income situations. To support family cohesion, we also give priority to siblings of current participants. Please let us know if these priorities represent your situation by emailing info@wildwhatcom.org or leaving a voicemail message at (360) 389-3414.

To be eligible for placement in a group, please submit the form prior to June 1 of any given year to have your name included in the randomized selection for the following September-June program year. Remember, the specific date of your submission will not be a factor – we just need it by June 1 in order to formulate groups for the following fall.

Already on the Interest List?

Participants who will be in 2nd grade or higher in September 2018:

  • We will be working from this list to fill spots and form new groups in 2018-19. You do not need to resubmit a form. We thank you for your patience.

Participants who will be starting 2nd grade in 2018:

  • We will include your name in the randomized selection process for 2018-19.  Thank you for your understanding.

Stay in touch! Sign up for our seasonal e-newsletter, Wild Connections and monthly Outings newsletter for information about other programs and events.

Other opportunities

We encourage you to explore our other programs for kids, including our after-school program, Neighborhood Nature, other school programs, and seasonal family-friendly Nature Outings.

Summer Adventures, including day camps, day camps with an overnight, and multi-day backcountry trips are open to all kids in grade 1+ (some age restrictions apply).

Explorers Mentor Apprentice

For Explorers Club participants grades 6+ who are interested in working with younger Explorers.

Explorers Mentor Apprentices (EMAs) help mentor younger groups and, in turn, rediscover the fun of 2nd-4th graders. EMAs learn new skills from staff, and those staff learn techniques from the EMAs too. Everyone benefits from this circle-within-circle mentoring exchange!

EMAs are introduced to mentoring techniques such as:

  • Coyote mentoring
  • Risk assessment
  • Skill sharing
  • Game facilitation
  • Group leadership
  • Interpreting needs

Additional information about the Boys Explorers Club EMA program is here.

For questions about the Girls Explorers Club EMA program, contact stormie@wildwhatcom.org

For questions about the Boys Explorers Club EMA program, contact boysprogram@wildwhatcom.org.