Girls Explorers Club
Welcome to Girls Explorers Club! We are excited for another beautiful, bountiful year.
We are working to craft outings that match participants' developmental stages, group needs, and much more. We've designed explorations and service projects for our 18 groups that meet our mission of connecting girls with themselves, one another, the community, and the natural world, with an on-going mentorship model that ensures caring and conscientious guidance of each participant. Know that we're committed to growth that is steady, rooted, and sustainable, retaining the breadth and depth of authentic connections and joyful explorations we've been facilitating since 2004.
We embrace and endeavor to embody the Wild Whatcom mottos in our lives each day. We're honored to mentor and be mentored by your daughters! Thank you for supporting our mission of meaningful, authentic connection between people and planet. YOU are the program!
Girls Explorers Club Mentoring Team
Stormie, Aimee, Hannah N, Hannah T-P, Holly, Laura, Laurel, Lauren, Nicole, and Sammy
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, GEC will grow to 17 groups, plus 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 - Woodstock Farm & Connelly Creek
For years, the Girls Explorers Club has been interested in adopting a service site with the hopes that each girl will get to watch an outdoor space grow, change, and improve over her years in GEC. We have kindly been granted Woodstock Farm as our space for service - a quintessential Bellingham landmark, full of a rich human and non-human history! Thanks to the City of Bellingham Parks & Recreation Department, GEC is now a part of Woodstock Farm's story, too.
Additionally, we'll be collaborating with the Boys Explorers Club in assisting at their site on Connelly Creek. Expect your explorer to get to know both sites throughout their time in our program.
Just as nature ebbs and flows, always changing, so do GEC mentors' lives, with their on-going commitment to personal and professional exploration. We'll be seeing Explorers Club staff shift this year. We wish Rebecca Carson well as she adventures back to a life in sunny Colorado! Lauren Ridder will be moving down to Seattle to expand her horizons and explore the city, but fear not! She'll be continuing to mentor with her groups throughout the year. Laura Jackson will mentor through December, spearheading our pilot Thursday afternoon Explorers Club. After 13 deeply fulfilling years, Aimee Frazier is moving on to new explorations after she completes this year mentoring GEC's oldest group. She transitions to other adventures with deep gratitude for all that Wild Whatcom has taught and brought her. Stormie Romero is cultivating deeper roots in Bellingham, both in gardens and with GEC. Laurel Peak will continue to mentor our eldest group through graduation, while continuing to teach full time at Squalicum High School. Holly Roger continues to be a Wild Whatcom rockstar, working across more programs than any other staff! We'll appreciate her stepping into a larger light with GEC this year. Hannah Thomas Plant will continue to hold down the fort as the GEC Coordinator, happily supporting the growth and development of the program. We'd love to welcome three new GEC mentors-- Nicole Niese, Hannah Newell, and Sammy Jolly. They come to us from all over the country and are so excited to start connecting with the explorers through GEC!
Mentor Contact Information
Mentor contact information is below as well as on each group's page. Expect to hear from your group mentor(s) and the GEC Coordinator throughout the year!
- Stormie Romero: email@example.com / (215) 494-6062
- Chantrelles, Chickadees, Dragonflies, Silverwing Bats
- Aimee Frazier: firstname.lastname@example.org / (360) 305-5632
- Banana Slugs
- Hannah Newell: email@example.com / (480) 766-2937
- Chanterelles, Coyotes, Moon Snails, Silver Salmon/Spotted Owls
- Hannah (Thomas) Plant: firstname.lastname@example.org / (425) 765-2007
- Ospreys, Pikas, Sea Stars, Swallowtails
- Holly Roger: email@example.com / (360) 393-7827
- Fiddleheads, Salish Seals, Silver Salmon/Spotted Owls
- Laura Jackson: firstname.lastname@example.org / (802) 734-6323
- Coyotes, Red Foxes, Stinging Nettles, Trilliums
- Laurel Peak: email@example.com / (203) 470-2710
- Banana Slugs
- Lauren Ridder: firstname.lastname@example.org / (615) 545-6801
- Chickadees, Dragonflies, Swallowtails
- Nicole Niese: email@example.com / (206) 341-7947
- Dragonflies, Pikas, Stinging Nettles, Silverwing Bats, Trillium
- Sammy Jolly: firstname.lastname@example.org / (815) 451-0766
- Barnacles, Fiddleheads, Salish Seals, Red Foxes
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. Have them pack their own backpack!
- Be Prepared! 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.
- 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 GEC 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
- Again this season, there will be a requirement for both parent and child to read through the checklist and let us know you've done so. Please email your group's mentor as soon as you have read and reviewed the checklist!
- Loaner gear and/or clothing may be available. Email Stormie Romero: email@example.com 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!