How can you get involved?
If you attend high school in the Seattle area, you are welcome to meet our crew leadership and go on an event. During the school year, the crews meet weekly and there is an event on most weekends. Each month, we hold an all-call meeting. All the crews host the “sampler event” at the end of May, which will allow you to try out rock climbing, whitewater rafting and/or hiking. At the end of June, we have a weeklong camp for members with more in-depth skill development in raft guiding, climbing and backpacking.
Once you’ve become a member, you’ll join one of our Boy Scout Venture crews to focus on specific outdoor skills and will start leading events focused on the crew’s core skills: Rock & Alpine (mountaineering and rock climbing), Backcountry (backpacking and winter camping) and Watersports (rafting and kayaking). You may go on events planned and run by any of the crews and as the member of a specific crew, you’ll put on events for everyone.
Leave no trace, wilderness first aid, challenging outdoor personal development (high ropes course) and team building trainings are held periodically.
All the shorter events and trainings lay the basis for the summer expeditions. A usual summer includes a four-day raft trip on the Deschutes in Oregon, a week-long kayaking trip in the San Juans, beginning mountaineering seminars on Mt. Baker, Mt. Adams or Mt. Hood, an intermediate mountaineering seminar on Mt. Rainer, a week-long rock climbing school, and two to three week-long backpacking trips.
Additionally, our Explorer in Residence program supports truly epic expeditions, such as climbing in the Himalayas, kayaking in Haida Gwaii or rafting the Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories.
>How about risk?
Safety is our first priority. We carefully select activities, locations and weather conditions to match the skills and experience of crew members and change plans to match changing conditions.
Our technical advisors are highly trained in their disciplines and adults and youth take high-level skill building courses together, such as swift water rescue, AIRE avalanche training, Boy Scout climbing training, wilderness first aid, leave no trace, and challenging outdoor personal experience (COPE) training.
All our events are youth-led and adult-advised. As our membership is coed, so is our leadership—each trip has male and female adult and youth leaders. Our advisors and adult trip leaders maintain their youth protection training through the Boy Scouts of America.
But being safe out in the world is different from being safe by staying home. To learn to be actively safe, one needs to learn to responsibly engage risk. This takes skill and experience, which can be developed through action, not just observation.
Can parents be involved?
We need parents to be part of the volunteer group, keeping up with CLC news and bringing family, friends and colleagues to fundraisers and celebrations. If interested, parents can work on developing developing the same skills and abilities as their teens, such as learning how to be a paddle captain, to rock climb or to put on crampons.
Everyone has something to offer a teen. Teenagers are at a volatile time in their lives and our youth are no exception. Balancing adventure, education, social and home life is a challenge in itself, but facing challenges is what teens do best. They are resourceful and resilient, able to see things that adults can't. Despite this, they need strong adult role models and that's where you come in.
Adults who join CLC in support roles, such as transportation, fundraising, administration and organization, find themselves working with other interesting folks, all working to support kids do things that are always inspirational and sometimes mind-blowing.