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FIDDLEHEADS

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:

Fiddleheads 2018-19 Schedule 

Outing #1: Sunday, September 16, 2018: 10:00-3:00 PM
EXPLORATION: Medicine Club Traverse at N. Chuckanut Trailhead
Welcome back to Explorers Club mighty fifth graders! Our season will start out at the North Chuckanut trailhead, where the group will reorient themselves to each other and to the many trails of Chuckanut Mountain. We will continue to learn the basics of forest navigation, practice the EC mottoes of Collaborate and Compromise and Its About the Journey, Not the Destination, and learn a lot about the most powerful plant in our region, Medicine Club. 

Directions: **Drop off and pick up locations are different.*** Drop off at North Chuckanut Mountain trailhead (just south of the Old Samish Highway turnoff & Chuckanut Bay Gallery, on the left side of Chuckanut Drive). Pick up at Arroyo Park. Arroyo Park is located on Old Samish Highway between 32nd Street and Chuckanut Drive. There are two small parking areas along Old Samish Highway. The group will be waiting and waving at the westernmost parking area closest to Chuckanut Drive on Old Samish Highway.

Outing #2: Sunday, October 14, 2018: 10:00-3:00 PM
SKILLS: Medicinal Plants in the 100 Acre Woods
Explorers girls know that plants give many gifts, providing food, clothing, tools, and medicine. As we ramble and roam throughout this south side forest learning lab, we'll discover some of the powers of plants to heal (& harm). Part of our time will be spent making a simple, yet ancient skin salve called the Balm of Gilead and perhaps also some forest tea! Each explorer will come home with their own small jar of salve that can be used as chapstick, lotion, or sunburn cream. Please make sure that your Explorer packs a mug for this 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). Pull to the right side of the road just before Willis and look for mentors waiting and waving.

Outing #3: Sunday, November 4, 2018: 10:00-3:00 PM
EXPLORATION: Team Building and Games Day at Whatcom Falls
In Explorers Club, we learn and practice many different types of skills. On this day, the group will work to deepen their intra and interpersonal skills by playing games designed to enhance communication, teamwork, and connection with self, the group, and nature. We'll also refresh our knowledge of the history of Bellingham by learning about the long story of Whatcom Creek. 

Directions: Drop off and pick up will be in Whatcom Falls Park. Please drive to the parking lot near the lower playground south of the fish hatchery, just above the trail to the stone bridge (Lakeway entrance, into the park on Silver Beach Rd).

Outing #4: Sunday, December 2, 2018: 10:00-2:00 PM
SERVICE: Blue Skies For Children @ Bellingham Waldorf School
The Explorers' cups will overflow this day to help Blue Skies for Children grant "little wishes" to local children in foster care. We'll help get these wishes fulfilled by assisting with Blue Sky's newsletter mailing which gets sent out to over one thousand local supporters. This is a project for older girls who can take on the challenge of lots of repetitive activity, folding, stamping, and stuffing hundreds of envelopes. We know these gals are capable of the challenge!

Directions: **Please note that the location has been changed from BSFC to Bellingham Waldorf, 941, Austin St.** From I-5, take the Lakeway Exit and head East on Lakeway Dr, away from the City Center. Continue on Lakeway for approx. 3.7 miles. Lakeway will turn into Terrace Ave N and a short distance later, Terrace Ave will become Cable St. Turn Right onto Austin St and Waldorf will be on your righthand side, 941 Austin St.

Outing #5: Sunday, January 6, 2019: 10:00-3:00 PM
SKILLS: Art of Carving at Cornwall Park
The time has come for the group to learn the ancient Art of Carving. We will begin this journey with a lot of conversation about knife safety, etiquette, and carving technique. Every Explorer is expected to Come Prepared by watching the two short knife safety videos provided on the EC Resources page. Once the mentors have laid the foundation for knife skills awareness, we'll begin the process of learning to carve. This will be a skill that we practice for many outings to come and one that we will use as the bedrock for many future skills. Mentors will provide carving knives for this outing, so please do not send your Explorer with their own knife.

Directions: Drop off and pick up will be at the Cornwall Ave cultisak. Take Cornwall Ave North all the way until it deadends at the cultisak at the south end of Cornwall Park, near the Cornwall Rose Gardens.

Outing #6: Sunday, February 3: 10:00-3:00 PM
SKILLS: Kindling Bundle Creation at Lookout Mountain
The art of making and tending fires is a true ancient skill of survival. The group has progressed through GEC Earth Skills handily, and we look forward to sharing this art with the girls. We will start the day by reviewing our knowledge of tree and plant identification, reconnecting very specifically with the Western Hemlock. As we hike up Lookout Mtn, we will begin to gather materials and learn how to create kindling bundles. Lessons of 'Leave No Trace,' and fire safety will be intentionally woven throughout the day. Hopefully, the group will leave this outing with an appreciation of the intricate art of fire making and a firm knowledge of fire safety.

Directions: Drop off and pick up will be at the Lookout Mountain Trailhead. From Bellingham, take Lakeway Drive East for 3 miles. Continue for another .5 miles as it turns into Terrace Ave and then Cable Street. Take a right on Austin Street, Austin becomes Lake Louise Rd follow for 3.3 miles. Destination will be on the right. 

Outing #7: Sunday, March 10, 2019: 9:00-1:00 PM
SERVICE: Connelley Creek 
**Please note that the pick up/drop off for this outing has been changed to Connelley Creek Park & Ride**
This official EC restoration site has changed dramatically in the last four and a half years. Blackberries that were once well over head-high have been chopped down to nothing and many of their persistent roots have been dug out. Hundreds of pounds of trash have been removed, the reed canary grass has been covered with bark mulch, native species are beginning to be planted on the banks of the creek, and the alders are growing markedly faster than our Explorers. 
The most exciting news is that, for the first time in about 80 years, the salmon have returned. Now those returning salmon are really going to need our help if they are going to lay eggs. We'll focus on providing just the right environment for a vibrant and happy northwest stream. With the help of Bellingham City Parks and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA), we are making a real positive impact on our land. Please take a moment to track the history and view photos of this amazing site.

Directions: From I-5 drive west on Old Fairhaven Parkway for 0.1 of a mile. Turn right onto 30th St. 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. Map.

Outing #8: Saturday, April 20: 9:00-3:30 PM
EXPLORATION: Point Whitehorn
We'll head north this day to experience a marine preserve in northern Whatcom County. Point Whitehorn was saved for future generations of heron, otter, herring, and people to enjoy because of many groups collaborating and compromising. We'll learn about how it came to be a preserve, discover the unique plants and trees in the coastal Sitka Spruce forest that lines its trail, and understand the geologic forces that shaped the beach and the human impacts around it. But mostly, we'll run arms wide and feet flying into expanses of sand and sea, driftwood and round rock, exploring our way around this beautiful beach! Be sure to bring or wear water shoes and a small towel.

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

Outing #9: Sunday, June 2, 2019: 9:00-3:00 PM
EXPLORATION: Larrabee Coast Traverse
**Please note the scheduled time is due to the timing of high/low tides.**
Every EC group makes this trek from "Spirit Falls" near Clayton Beach along the coastline to Larrabee State Park. After a season of skills, we are ready to take on the navigational challenges of this trek. This is a perfect outing to delve further into the earth skill of navigation, particularly regarding tides. We'll use landmarks, maps, compass, and common sense to find our way, and also introduce the concept of Multiple Intelligence Theory to help us all understand the many different "kinds of smart". Be sure to wear long pants and sleeves, regardless of the weather, and shoes with good tread. 

Directions: ***Please note that drop off and pick up locations are different*** Drop off is at the Lost Lake Trailhead. Follow Chuckanut Drive from Fairhaven, driving south. The parking lot for the Lost Lake trailhead is a short distance (approximately 1/4 mile) past the main Larrabee State Park entrance, on the left-hand side. Pick Up is at Larrabee State Park, at the parking lot near the amphitheater.