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Woodcraft Rangers

Guiding young people as they explore pathways to purposeful lives.

Focus: school-day and after school enrichment 

History:

Formally established in Los Angeles in 1922, Woodcraft Rangers grew out of a movement started by author-artist-naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton in 1902 when a group of boys vandalized his home. Rather than prosecute, Seton decided to invite the boys to his property for a weekend of storytelling and nature experiences. This action triggered the formation of an on-going youth development program. Over the decades Woodcraft Rangers has modified Seton’s original emphasis on outdoor life to incorporate activities that meet the needs of an increasingly urban population, but the goal of changing behavior and encouraging positive outcomes through interaction and education remains central to what we do today. By providing structured activities, a safe environment, and adult guidance, Woodcraft Rangers offers a positive alternative to the boredom and negative peer pressures that can lead to juvenile delinquency.

activities

Offerings include: drama, fine arts, dance (from Folklorico to Hip-Hop), team sports (soccer, softball, basketball, etc.), individual fitness activities (e.g., low-rider bicycling, martial arts and yoga), and technology-based clubs (e.g., Photography, Videography, Animation, Robotics, Multimedia, etc.)

Field trip destinations:

Museums, parks, fairs, community events, etc.

program highlights

Woodcraft Rangers' Nvision Afterschool Program engages students (ages 6-18 years) in fun and stimulating group activities that measurably enhance their educational success now and benefit them well into the future.

The program also provides constructive alternatives for children during their non-school hours, when too many would otherwise be roaming the streets, engaging in behavior that puts them, their families and neighbors at risk.

The program serves more than 18,000 students from over 60 public schools in high-need neighborhoods of Los Angeles County including the San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, Central Los Angeles, South Central/Watts, and Southeast (e.g., Huntington Park and South Gate).

The year-round program meets on school campuses five days a week, immediately after dismissal until 6:00 p.m.

The program begins with a 45-minute homework clinic, where students are separated according to grade level and/or homework subject area, and receive personal support from staff and volunteers.

The next segment is a brief fitness period with snacks, followed by engaging activities, chosen to appeal to students at each specific site. Rather than relying on a static menu of activities, Woodcraft develops options that capture the imaginations of students locally, based on popular trends and their stated interests. Activities are designed not only to support academic progress, but also to be fun and engaging (rather than just an extension of the school day).

All clubs incorporate a variety of participatory "disguised learning" experiences. These exercises may not be recognizable to students as educational assistance, but are rich in academic content and aligned with the California Content Standards for Literacy & Language Arts, Math, Physical Education and Visual/Performing Arts. Clubs are implemented in 8-week cycles, and typically meet 3 to 5 days a week. Students are encouraged to join two different clubs each cycle in order to expose them to diverse experiences. Students work on specific skills or techniques each time the club meets, and achieve mastery by working on projects that span all 8 weeks.