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OSPREYS

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:


Ospreys 2018-19 Schedule 

Outing #1: Sunday, September 23, 2018: 10:00-3:00 PM
SKILLS: Fire by Friction # 1 at North Galbraith
Of all the ways to start fire, fire by friction may be one of the most misrepresented in our media. It requires much more skill than rubbing sticks together! On this day, the group will begin to absorb the true skill and difficulty in making fire by using materials found in our natural environment. We will spend most of this outing harvesting materials and making bow drill kits. The Girls Explorers Club motto “Slow is Fast,” will be present for much of the day, as the Explorers learn the slow and steady nature of making their own tools. There may also be an opportunity to build a fire or have a stove on this day.

Driving Directions: From I-5, take the Lakeway Drive exit (253). Drive east on Lakeway for approximately 2 miles. Turn R on Birch St and continue to the end of the road 0.3 miles.

Outing #2: Saturday, October 20, 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 #3: Saturday, November 17, 2018: 10:00-3:00 PM
SERVICE: Agate Pond Preserve
Explorers Club is all about healthy mentorship across ages. On this day we're fortunate to experience mentoring from an extraordinary community member, Patricia Otto. Tricia has transformed her 100 acre property above Lake Whatcom into a nature preserve, focusing on creating habitat, enhancing wetlands, building nesting boxes, making brush piles, and restoring the forest to health. It has worked! Bear, opossum, chipmunk, wood duck, cougar and more – pretty much every bird and mammal native to this area – have visited her preserve. Tricia is a shining example of stewardship and volunteerism, and on this day we'll both learn from and help her as we head up the mountain behind her house and work on trail building and other restoration projects.

Directions: To respect Tricia's privacy, her address will be given out in the outing reminder email.

Outing #4: Saturday, December 1, 2018: 10:00-3:00 PM
SKILLS: Shelter Building and Art of Carving II in the 100 Acre Woods
This is a season for following GEC traditions! Every group learns how to construct a basic forest shelter while they're in GEC, which is part of learning basic earth skills to survive and thrive. We'll gather at the Hundred Acre Wood and talk about why shelter is so important, then spend the day learning techniques and skills, borrowing what the forest provides to construct debris huts. Dress warmly, but also expect to warm up during the building process.

Directions: From I-5, take exit 250 (Old Fairhaven Parkway) and head west. Turn left on 24th St at Fairhaven Veterinary Hospital. Proceed several blocks until you come to Willis St. (long uphill driveway on left, trailhead on right).

Outing #5: Sunday, January 27, 2019: 9:00-2:00 PM
SKILLS: Fire by Friction #2 at Larrabee State Park
For many thousands of years, the skill of fire building was passed on from elder to youth. Over time, the young people grew in skill to become masters themselves. While we won't achieve fire building mastery on this day, we will certainly continue to hone our skills. Working off of our two previous lessons on tinder bundle collection and fire-kit creation, we will take the knowledge that we have learned and see if we can't make some fire. We'll also do some leadership activities, play games, and leave lots of time for free exploration as well!

Directions: From I-5 N, take exit 250 for Old Fairhaven Pkwy and turn west onto Old Fairhaven Pkwy. Follow Old Fairhaven Parkway toward Fairhaven and turn L on 12th St./Chuckanut Drive. Drive south on Chuckanut Dr. for 5 miles. Turn R into Larrabee State Park. Follow the road to the left and meet in the day use parking. NOTE: WASHINGTON STATE REQUIRES A DISCOVERY PASS FOR PARKING. To avoid a ticket, stay with your car. Click here for the Google Map location.

**Saturday, February 9: Rocks, Talks, and the Geography of Life CANCELED AND RESCHEDULED**

Outing #6: Sunday, March 10, 2019: 10:00-2:00 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 #7: Saturday, April 13, 2019: 9:00-3:30 PM
EXPLORATION/SKILLS: Team Building at North Fork Nooksack Natural Research Area
For their penultimate outing, the Ospreys will be adventuring to one of Whatcom County's best-kept secrets. Right before mile marker 44 on the Mt Baker Highway stands a 1,400-acre forest that was set aside in 1937 and has never been logged. We will find ourselves in a cathedral of 700-plus-year-old western red cedars, Douglas firs, and western hemlocks, many of them with trunks 8 to 10 feet in diameter. While in this sacred place, we will spend time wandering amongst these ancient giants, learning about the different stages of forest growth, and talking about the role of logging in the history of Bellingham.

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

Outing #8: Sunday, May 5, 2019: 10:00-3:00 PM 
EXPLORATION: Squire's Lake
Spring has sprung at Squires Lake! The Ospreys will meet at this 80-acre park with a beautiful lake, stinky skunk cabbage, active beaver pond, and plenty of other wildlife. We’ll find out how this land was preserved for all to enjoy, search for signs of beaver, and learn about the wetland habitats that beavers create. We will also spend some time intentionally checking in together as a group, doing some team-bonding activities, and spending time in free exploration.

Directions: Head south on I-5 to exit 242 (Nulle Road). Turn left, heading east off the exit towards Old Highway 99 to the parking lot for the Squires Lake Trailhead. You'll find mentors waiting at waving at 170 Old Hwy 99 N.

Outing #9: Saturday, June 1, 2019: 10:00-4:00 PM **Rescheduled from Saturday, February 9th**
EXPLORATION/SKILLS: Rocks, Talks, and the Geography of Life at Semiahmoo
Semiahmoo is the northwest edge of Whatcom County and the United States. We'll spend the day practicing our fire building skills and exploring this site that has seen human habitation for thousands of years. This spit divides ocean currents of the Straits of Georgia and the calm waters of Drayton Harbor are where many fish, birds, and mammals meet. We’ll discover who has called Semiahmoo home in the past and present and take in spectacular views of East Whatcom’s wonders: the snow-capped North Cascades.

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