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DRAGONFLIES

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.

In response to parent feedback, we did our best to set an 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!

Be sure to use (and print if needed) the Be Prepared Checklist when getting ready for each Explorers Club outing. Wild Whatcom Mottos guide much of our program so check them out. Many families find them a useful resource to print and refer to. 

Mentor Contact Info:


Dragonflies 2018-19 Schedule 

Outing #1: Sunday, September 16, 2018: 9:00-4:00 PM
EXPLORATION/SKILLS: Hike to Fragrance Lake
For our first outing of the season, the Dragonflies will stretch their legs for a brisk autumn hike! On our way up to Fragrance Lake, we'll learn about the 10 Essentials of hiking, practice our navigation skills, and catch up after a long summer away from the group. We highly encourage all Explorers to pack their own bags for this outing, making sure to include lots of warm layers and plenty of food. This is a seven-hour outing, so extra H2O and snacks are crucial.

Directions: Drop off and pick up will be at the first parking lot in Larrabee State Park. From Bellingham, drive south on Chuckanut Drive for 7 miles, Larrabee State Park entrance will be on your right-hand side. 

Outing #2: Saturday + Sunday, October 13-14, 2018: 4:00 PM- 11:00 AM 
EXPLORATION: Camp Out At Birch Bay State Park
It has become a tradition to have a sleepover during the girls' time with GEC. This is the day for the Dragonflies! We'll plan to gather and settle in, then collaboratively prepare dinner. After that, it's an evening and night exploration in the woods. We'll play plenty of games, bring materials to practice earth skills, and have several group bonding activities lined up. Though mentors will host this gathering, we'll follow the GEC motto Everyone Helps. We'll coordinate the meal, so let us know if your daughter has any food sensitivities or allergies!

Directions: Pick up and Drop off will be at Cascades Montessori Middle School, 2710 McKenzie Ave.

Outing #3: Sunday, November 4, 2018: 10:00-4:00 PM
EXPLORATION: Follow Whatcom Creek
As salmon swim upstream, so we will be walking upstream on this urban exploration of salmon habits and habitat, following Whatcom Creek through downtown and into Whatcom Falls Park on an urban hike. We'll begin near the creek's mouth at Maritime Heritage Park and follow it through the city, discussing this waterway's history and human interface, asking lots of questions and making observations along the way. We'll consider how salmon swim and struggle, taking note of the challenges they face (and likely see and discuss some human struggle as well); play new trail games; caretake the streamside by picking up litter; harvest rosehips for Vitamin C honey; drink cocoa and nettle/licorice tea, and learn about the totem fish of our region. The girls will be navigators this day, managing the map and figuring out how to travel the creek through downtown. We look forward to sharing the fascinating history of "Whatcoom" ("The place of noisy waters")!

Directions: ***Please note that drop off and pick up locations are different.*** Drop off at Maritime Heritage Park, in front of the environmental learning center: 514 W Holly St. Mentors will be waiting and waving. Pick up at Whatcom Falls Park entrance off Lakeway, near the playground and fish hatchery.

Outing #4: Sunday, January 6, 2019: 10:30-3:30 **RESCHEDULED FROM 12/8/18***
SERVICE: Animals for Natural Therapy & Highgate Senior Living 
Explore. Connect. Serve. These are the guiding tenants of Explorers Club. With this particular service project, the group will be delving in all three realms of EC. We will be partnering with the mobile unit of Animals As Natural Therapy to bring a few furry critters and holiday cheer to the elder community at Highgate Senior Living. Animals As Natural Therapy, or ANT, is a local non-profit that seeks to provide healing programs for at-risk youth, veterans, and elders through connection with animals, big and small. On this day, the Dragonflies will be fostering multi-generational engagement, connecting and working with animals, and serving a fellow non-profit in its mission. We will spend time at both the ANT farm and at Highgate, so please remember to dress in layers that are suitable for both the cold PNW winter and the warmth of a live-in facility. ANT also requires that all volunteers sign a one-time release form. Mentors will send this form to families via email. Please be sure to have it signed and ready at drop off.

Directions: ***Please note that drop off and pick up locations are different.*** Drop off will be at Cascades Montessori Middle School, 2710 McKenzie Avenue. Pick up will be at Highgate Senior Living, 155 E Kellog Road. 

Outing #5: Saturday, February 2: 10:00-3:30 PM
SKILLS: Birding and Being on the Samish Flats
There is a motto we seldom touch on, but it's among our most important ones: Be Here Now. Present moment awareness allows us to experience the fullness of life, and we'll be practicing that throughout this exploration. On this Whatcom-Skagit road trip, we'll begin by heading southwest to the Samish flats. The Samish flats host magnificent migrations of myriad birds each winter and spring. We'll observe and learn from these winged ones about the cycle and circle of life, seasons, initiative, balance. Our day will end at Larrabee State Park's campground, where we'll have a vernal equinox check in around a fire and an extended Peaceful Place. 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.

Outing #6: Sunday, March 17, 2019: 9:00-3:00 PM 
SERVICE: Washington Trails Association on Fragrance Lake Trail
For many years, Girls Explorers Club has partnered with Washington Trails Association to help keep up on improvements and maintenance on some of Bellingham's most popular trails. We will be focusing on trail realignment, pruning overgrown vegetation, and digging new paths for water to flow off the trail. All explorers should come prepared on these days with a pair of work gloves, hiking boots and lots of snacks! Additionally, Washington Trails Association also requires all minor to come with a signed Parental Release Form. Mentors will send this in the outing reminder email, please print, sign, and bring it with you upon drop off.

Directions: Lost Lake Parking Lot.
From I-5 Southbound: Take exit #250, and turn right onto Fairhaven Pkwy. Go to the second stoplight. Turn left on SR 11/Chuckanut Dr. Stay left at next stoplight, and drive six miles to park entrance. About 1/4 of a mile South of the main entrance is the Lost Lake Parking Area, (formerly the Clayton Beach Parking Area)where we'll be meeting and heading out to various trails from there. From I-5 northbound: Take exit #231. Turn right onto SR 11/Chuckanut Dr., and drive north about 14 miles to the Lost Lake Parking Area. 

Outing #7: Saturday, April 20: 10:00-3:00 PM
SKILLS: Create Your Own Skill- Edible Plants in the SE 100 Acre Wood
Which skill will the Dragonflies choose to review, practice, or learn brand new? They will have seven outings to Collaborate and Compromise about what skill to focus on and to come up with a plan for the day. Mentors will provide inspiration and materials and will help to facilitate this CYOS outing!

Directions: 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!

Outing #8: Saturday, May 11, 2019: 10:00-3:00 PM **RESCHEDULED FROM 1/6/19***
SKILLS: Powers of Observation at Fairhaven Park
On this skills' day, we'll explore the importance of observation and the myriad ways we can deepen our awareness of ourselves, one another, our bodies, and the natural world. Guiding questions will help us delve into our culture's emphasis on going and doing rather than presence and being; what emerges when we pause to notice; how technology impacts opportunities for observation; how people in the past practiced observation and what skills that strengthened. Activities will include a self-awareness questionnaire and guided meditation (intrapersonal awareness); active listening exercises (interpersonal awareness); observing nature, creating art (nature awareness); yoga and other activities (body awareness). 

Directions: Meet at Fairhaven Park. Take Chuckanut Drive South for approximately 0.1 miles. Take a left into Fairhaven Park. We'll meet by the upper picnic shelter where you'll see mentors waiting and waving!

Outing #9: Sunday, June 2, 2019: 9:00-4:00 PM 
EXPLORATION/SKILLS: Hike to Pine and Cedar Lakes
For our last outing, the group will hike one of Bellingham's most iconic trails, Pine and Cedar Lake. On this day, we will stretch our legs for an early summer hike, a great prep for any Explorer that plans to do some summer backpacking! We'll review the Ten Essentials of hiking before departing, but spend most of this outing seeing where our interest takes us. We encourage each explorer to pack their own bags for this day and in doing so, include as many of the 10 Essentials as they think they'll need. We have lots of extra gear at the Wild Whatcom office, so let us know if you'd like to borrow anything specific.

Driving Directions: Drop off and pick up are at the Pine and Cedar Lakes Trailhead. From I-5, take exit 250 for Old Fairhaven Pkwy and turn west onto Old Fairhaven Pkwy. Follow Old Fairhaven Parkway toward Fairhaven and turn left on 12th St./Chuckanut Drive. Drive 1.2 miles south on Chuckanut Drive. Veer left onto Old Samish Rd and continue for about 1.9 miles to the trailhead parking area on the right.