Group Schedules‎ > ‎

BANANA SLUGS

Mentor Contact Info:

  • Aimee Frazier | (360) 305-5632 | aimee@wildwhatcom.org
  • Laurel Peak | (203) 470-2710 | laurel@wildwhatcom.org

Please look over the schedule upon registration and give us as much advance notice as possible if there are any conflicts for your child attending. Last minute requests often cannot be met.

BE SURE to use the Be Prepared Checklist when getting ready for each Explorers day. You may go here to download and print a copy of the checklist (we recommend doing this so it's available for easy reference). The mottos that guide much of our program are also on this page - many families find them a useful resource to print, post and refer to in their homes. 


2017-18 OUTING DATES 
In response to parent feedback, we did our best to set a entire year of Explorers Club outings months earlier than previous years. Please know that these dates are subject to change due to inevitable circumstances. We will update you if any dates do change!

Sunday, October 1, 2017: 10:30-3:30 EARTH SKILLS Emergency Awareness at Fairhaven Park


Having a basic knowledge of first aid is one of the most important tools we can carry into any outdoor pursuit. On this skills’ day, we’ll learn how to be aware and support caregivers who provide basic medical care in an emergency. We’ll learn the triangle of safety, practice assisting others in realistic scenarios, and understand more fully what Safety First really means. Girls should dress appropriately for the weather, in clothes that can get dirty (and fake bloody). Please note that this is not a comprehensive wilderness first aid course, nor is it a substitute for a formal wilderness first aid course.


Directions: Meet near the upper shelter at Fairhaven Park. Drive into the park and straight up the hill, then veer to the right. You'll see mentors waiting and waving near the shelter.


Saturday, October 21, 2017: 9:30-1:30 pm: SERVICE with Boys Explorers Club at Connelley Creek

The GEC will team up with the Boys Explorers Club for a chance to engage in work at their service site. Based along Connelley Creek, the BEC site has experienced a large amount of changes throughout the years. Boys have spent hundreds of hours removing invasive Blackberry and Reed Canary grass, planting native species, and enjoying the wonders of this special Bellingham creek. The Girls Explorers Club staff are excited to pair up with groups from the BEC and experience their service culture and special place! All explorers should come prepared on these days with a pair of work gloves.

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.


Sunday, November 12, 2017: 10:00-3:00 pm - All About Apples!
On this service day, we'll engage in the age-old activity of gleaning: utilizing resources from farm and field that would otherwise go to waste. Then we'll distribute these resources to neighbors in need. Another GEC family has generously donated the leftover apples in their large orchard - we will drive there in the bus, pick the remaining apples on the tree, then take some of our harvest to make and back apple crisps for the Lighthouse Mission. We'll end the day by delivering the crisps, then send boxes of apples home with some of the Slugs to deliver to the Bellingham Food Bank on a weekday (volunteers needed for this). As usual, conversations about the focus of our service (food security, hunger, using available resources, the benefits of fresh whole foods) will weave through our day.

Drop off and pick up at Cascades Montessori Middle School, 2710 McKenzie Avenue.


Saturday, December 9, 2017: 10:00-3:00 - Games Games Games in the 100 Acre Wood
The Banana Slugs have collaborated on this Choose Your Own Adventure day and decided to recapture their 8 year old selves in favorite games they've played in their time in GEC, as well as some new advanced outdoor strategy games to learn. We've always utilized games to teach nature concepts and connections - on this day we'll let these older girls in behind the scenes to deconstruct the games too, understanding what skills these activities are aiming to strengthen. We'll also give time to discuss our spring culminating service project, which will be for an organization of the Banana Slug's choosing.

Drop off and pick up at the 100 Acre Woods. From I-5, take the Fairhaven Parkway exit. Go left (south) on 24th (Fairhaven Veterinary Hospital on right). Follow this road for the equivalent of 2-3 blocks until you come to Willis St. (long uphill driveway on left, trailhead on right). GEC leaders will be waiting and waving!

Sunday, February 25, 2018: 10:30am-3:30: Birding and Being Day

There is a motto we seldom touch on, but it's among our most important ones: Be Here Now. Present moment presence allows us to experience the fullness of life, and we'll be practicing that throughout this exploration. On this Whatcom-Skagit road trip, our first stop will be Larrabee State Park's campground, to begin our outing with a midwinter check in around a fire. Then we'll head southwest to the Skagit flats, which host magnificent migrations of myriad birds each winter. We'll observe and learn from these winged ones about the cycle and circle of life, seasons, initiative, balance. Our day will end on a Samish Island beach, with an extended Peaceful Place, witnessing what's happening within and around us. On the way home we'll stop by Smith & Vallee Gallery in Edison for their exhibit Winter Song, featuring over PNW artists making artful beauty about birds. The Samish Flats are somewhat marshy, muddy, and mucky, so please wear boots that can endure water and mud!


Directions: Drop off and pick up at Cascades Montessori Middle School, 2710 McKenzie Avenue.


Saturday, April 14, 2018: 9:00-3:30: Final Service Project with Camp Korey
Camp Korey is a camp named for Korey Rose, a vivacious teen who lost his battle with bone cancer at age eighteen. His father, Tim Rose, founded Camp Korey in 2005 with his family to honor Korey’s memory and create a safe haven for other families dealing with childhood illness and serious medical conditions. Camp Korey's mission is to to honor the courage, strength and determination of children and their families living with life-altering medical conditions by providing them with a transformational experience in a fun, safe camp environment with specialized medical support. Our service day, near Mount Vernon, will be spent preparing the 200 acre camp for its summer participants by doing a variety of outdoor projects - we'll also get a chance to hear more about its mission. Please bring work gloves! 

Directions: Drop off and pick up at Cascades Montessori Middle School, 2710 McKenzie Avenue. It's about a 50 minute drive each way. Be sure to pack plenty of food/water and appropriate layers + work gloves!

Friday, May 11 - Sunday, May 13, 2018: Graduation Weekend + Ceremony
This Explorers Club graduation milestone is greeted with gratitude, and some grief, as we wrap our years of shared exploring, serving, connecting. Friday: We'll leave as early in the afternoon as possible to a special 50 acre property along the wild Cascade River near Marblemount. If a Friday departure isn't feasible, we'll aim to leave first thing Saturday morning. The weekend is richer and more spacious - we do a lot! - if we can arrive Friday. Saturday-Sunday: A conscientious, thoughtful retrospective of our shared time in EC, and how we'll carry the mottoes, memories, connections, and values forward into high school and beyond. The weekend is also woven with play and deeper sharing. Sunday: Around 3:30, parents can expect to gather for a potluck, slideshow of the Banana Slugs through the years, and a graduation ceremony where we mentors acknowledge each participant, and each participant speaks briefly about what the experience has meant for her.