Wild Whatcom

2017, 2018, 2019, 2021 Grant Recipient of $5,000

About Wild Whatcom

Wild Whatcom inspires girls and young women to walk through life with wonder, confidence, and compassion for each other and the wild spaces around them. With an inquiry-based curriculum, Wild Whatcom connects girls to nature in lasting and meaningful ways, catalyzing engaged young women who care about the earth and know how to lead collaboratively towards positive change. Through its programs, girls embrace the outdoors to discover the Pacific Northwest, gaining naturalist knowledge, depth of character, and resilience – all while having a blast outside.

“Receiving support from The Cairn Project feels like lying back on a sun-warmed granite slab alongside an alpine lake after a long hike -- restorative and exciting. We are stoked by your vision for girls and the outdoors.”

Emily Highleyman

Executive Director, Wild Whatcom

Expanding Access

Girls Explorer Club is Wild Whatcom’s flagship program: a year-round, outdoor exploration and mentoring program led by a seasoned group of instructors. Explorers get outdoors, stretch their edge, and become confident leaders. Through outreach and partnerships with schools, social service agencies, and family centers, Wild Whatcom works to reduce barriers for girls from under-resourced circumstances. Support from The Cairn Project will amplify these efforts, increasing scholarship availability for girls of Color to participate in this program. This funding will complement expanded efforts by Wild Whatcom to reach those girls “furthest from opportunity” in Bellingham, including English Language Learners and daughters of migrant families, low-income households, and those currently or formerly houseless. More than 12 languages are spoken in many of Wild Whatcom’s programs!

Want to learn more about Wild Whatcom?