Woodcraft Rangers

Guiding young people as they explore pathways to purposeful lives.

LOS ANGELES, CA   |  https://www.woodcraftrangers.org

Mission

Guiding young people as they explore pathways to purposeful lives.

Ruling year info

1934

Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Julee Brooks

Main address

340 E 2ND ST STE 200 Suite 200

LOS ANGELES, CA 90012-4249 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

95-1729319

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Leadership Development (W70)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Environment Matters. Woodcraft Ranger youth reflect the challenges of the communities we serve - communities that manifest the results of underemployment, unemployment and the working poor -- neighborhoods scarred by years of housing instability, substandard environmental conditions, gangs, and violence and have the lowest rankings in the Human Development index in all of Los Angeles County. In these neighborhoods are the 13,409 kids we served in the last year who attend the 75 Title I schools we operate within - schools with the lowest state academic performance rankings and have minimal access to enrichment activities or technological resources. Within this setting, socioeconomic lines are drawn by race and reveal an even harsher reality of segregation in contrast to schools in wealthier neighborhoods just a few miles away. This is where Woodcraft Rangers has chosen to root itself. Without access to safe spaces, gangs and violence become a safe place. Without the support of men

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Expanded Learning

PHILOSOPHY

Through the Fourfold Woodcraft Way, a precursor to the modern whole child educational model, a young person develops an authentic and holistic sense of self through play the cultivation of body, mind, spirit and service. Believing that maturity, not scholarship, is the first aim of education, the Woodcraft Way builds character and equips youth with strength and resiliency, new skills, deeper understanding of their place in the world, and greater commitment to their community. The Woodcraft Way encourages individuals to find, test, and explore their strengths, in the company of friends and committed guides, who provide a sense of belonging and support so that they may grow confidently in many directions.

Woodcraft harnesses personal power that gives each participant the tools needed to be reflective and the inspiration to set and then strive towards personal goals. From Woodcraft’s inception, the central fire has served as its unifying symbol and has illustrated our commitment, for nearly a century, to cultivating an inclusive environment that has always welcomed and honored diverse participants and perspectives. Finally, nature is a critical element in this journey of self-discovery for Woodcrafters as it brings physical and mental restoration from our modern existence. Woodcrafters are eager to learn, inspired by vision, and willing to lead.

OUR WORK

Woodcraft Rangers programs are anchored in a holistic educational framework that encompasses all areas of a young person’s development. With student interests at the center of our program design, Woodcraft Rangers offers opportunities for youth to explore and develop themselves through various pathways, including Sports, Arts & Media, STEM, Dual Language Enrichment, Health & Wellness, and Youth Leadership.

Our longstanding delivery of service has enabled us to impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people over the years, ranging in age from 5 to 18 years. Our longevity is evidence that we have always been responsive to the changing needs of our communities and we continue to build and adapt around the current issues facing our youth.

Our cumulative demographics mirror the rich diversity of Woodcraft Rangers communities within the Greater Los Angeles area. This encompasses South Los Angeles, San Gabriel Valley, Vernon, Huntington Park, South Gate, and San Fernando Valley. Woodcraft participants identify as Hispanic (80%), African-American (10%), Asian/Pacific Islander (7%), and Caucasian (3%). They are 51% male and 49% female.

SIGNATURE PROGRAMS

By providing youth with a safe space and a variety of options to test and learn, coupled with active mentorship and the encouragement to try and win or fail, Woodcraft Rangers affords young people with the opportunity to grow. Our experience has shown that when youth are given agency to choose the subjects and activities that inspire and motivate them, not only can learning be fun, it can be transformational.

AFTERSCHOOL ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS
In 2020, our programs will serve approximately 15,000 students, equating to 7.5 million hours of learning and mentorship for LA’s youth in communities showing the greatest need. All aftershool opportunities are offered either outside of normal school hours or during holidays, enabling parents to maintain employment during out-of-school hours knowing their children are safe. Unique to Woodcraft’s program, students have access to over 100 different enrichment clubs, providing participants with the ability to explore their own interests and develop new skills. Clubs are organized into 6 main learning pathways: Arts & Media, Dual Language Enrichment, Egalitarian Sports, Health & Wellness, STEM, and Youth Leadership.

Woodcraft Rangers Club Leaders and Site Coordinators curate activities to meet the specific needs of the students at each site and dovetail with the unique dynamics of each neighborhood and community. Social and emotional learning and trauma informed practices are integrated in every facet of their learning and development. Because we hire exclusively from the communities that we serve, our guides are intimately familiar with the nuances of the community and can respond effectively to their needs.

WOODCRAFT RANGERS DAY CAMPS
The goal of the Woodcraft Day Camp experience is to help students stay on track academically during vacation periods, while still having fun.

As a participant in a Woodcraft Day camp, youth receive academic reinforcement, in addition to participation in sports, STEM, field trips, and arts experiences that are culturally relevant. Youth are engaged with popular activities such as dance and art, but also get to experience cutting-edge clubs like skateboarding, stop motion animation, robotics, yoga and more. Each day offers campers a well-balanced experience that infuses enrichment, STEM and academic pursuits that are driven by their own interests. Woodcraft offers over 100 different special subjects and incorporates a wide variety of interests in its summer curriculum, including academic support.

Woodcraft Day Camp programs offer 7 hours of core programming with optional extended day options, providing quality learning and care from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. With Woodcraft’s commitment to accessibility, our programs operate on a sliding scale model to enable a wide range of attendance across the communities we serve. Day Camps provide parents with the ability to continue employment without disruption, leading to greater economic stability for the communities that we serve. The program for each summer camp site is unique as it is designed to reflect the interests of the students being served.

SUMMER RESIDENTIAL CAMP
Located three hours from Los Angeles in the San Jacinto Mountains near Idyllwild, Woodcraft residential camp provides 600 campers from diverse backgrounds with a transformative week-long experience. At camp, youth are be exposed to the wonders of nature and create deep connections to their peers and adult allies. The setting and programs are mentally, emotionally, socially and physically stimulating, creating an intense and lasting imprint of positive experiences and memories. Campers also discover new interests, learn new skills, and develop greater independence, self-confidence and resilience. They explore their creativity and develop a deeper appreciation of themselves, one another, and the natural environment. These transformative experiences are unique to residential camp, which is otherwise unavailable to underserved youth.

Nature is a critical element in this journey of self-discovery for Woodcrafters as it brings physical and mental restoration and a respite from our modern existence. Research also shows that this immersive nature experience helps young people to recalibrate in a world of digital overload. Woodcraft Rangers has stayed true to the founding principles of access and inclusion, and our intentionally diverse camps create a unique opportunity as a laboratory for social cohesion.

In partnership with mental health professionals from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Camp Woodcraft’s innovative, trauma-informed program provides a rich and healing experience for our camp community.

LIFECRAFT COLLEGE AND CAREER ACCELERATOR
Woodcraft Rangers is a reliable employer within high-need communities, providing first or second jobs to many early career professionals. A recent career interest survey showed that only 14% of staff hold bachelor’s degrees even though 56% are over age 24. Forty-three percent of respondents said they had previously been enrolled in a degree program – indicating a will, but inability, to finish college. Scheduling conflicts inherent in low-wage jobs force many young people to choose between school and work.

In response, Woodcraft created the Lifecraft College and Career Accelerator and its pilot program is underway in 2020 thanks to a seed gift from Kaiser Permanente. The program will help talented Woodcraft staff currently employed as afterschool educators to access to higher wage, long-term employment and greater lifetime income through degree attainment and access to social capital.

LEARNING PATHWAYS
In alignment to Woodcraft Rangers philosophy, the “Woodcraft Way,” each program encourages youth to explore, discover, test, and explore their strengths. Each Woodcraft Rangers Program draws from a wellspring of knowledge and experience that stems from nearly 100 years of experience that the organization has serving youth in Los Angeles. Our approach is also inspired by the present-day expertise of our guides, and subject matter experts that are organized into six main learning pathways: Arts & Media, Dual Language Enrichment, Egalitarian Sports, Health & Wellness, STEM, and Youth Leadership.

ARTS & MEDIA
We recognize the importance of art in all forms as an expression of culture, identity and individuality. Performing arts offerings include modern dance, classical dance and Baile Folklorico, drum line, guitar, keyboard, Mariachi, drama, color guard, cheer and drill. We extend the arts to vocational options which include cosmetology, graphic design, and arts management. Woodcraft Club Leaders craft programs specific to the students at each site, to ensure that opportunities remain relevant and students stay engaged.

DUAL LANGUAGE ENRICHMENT
Our Dual Language Enrichment programs make English, Spanish, Armenian, and Mandarin Chinese an everyday part of learning and play. Our Armenian Language Club, is just one example – where academic support and all activities are conducted in Armenian and English. This program has empowered first generation young Armenian speakers with the ability to learn English and has exposed older youth to their native tongue. Similar clubs exist for Spanish and Mandarin Chinese languages, and are led by experienced, bilingual staff.

EGALITARIAN SPORTS
We believe that even within structured play programs, when every interested child is included and encouraged, the tide of equity and inclusiveness rises for all. Additionally, we believe children should be given the opportunity to explore many options so, our sports programs include a wide range of popular and non-traditional offerings – basketball, skateboarding, bicycling, lacrosse, martial arts, rugby, soccer, swimming, tennis, volleyball, and yoga – and are targeted to all abilities and genders.

HEALTH & WELLNESS
All programs include elements focused on wellness including teaching healthy eating habits, providing healthy meals and snacks that comply with California health standards and conducting non-competitive, game-based fitness activities that allow for all children to participate. Furthermore, through our integrated Gardening and Culinary Arts programs, students learn about whole foods, from raised bed to table.

STEM
From robotics to gardening – regardless of subject – all opportunities integrate lessons in art, science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In this way, students intuitively learn that STEM concepts influence everything they do and experience in the world.

YOUTH LEADERSHIP
Although all Woodcraft Ranger programs allow for our youth to be heard, it is our Youth Advisory Board which empowers participating young people to grow into leaders by informing the planning, implementation and evaluation of Woodcraft programs. In this all-age leadership program, participants help identify events and program design while developing critical thinking, analysis and communication skills.

The Youth Advisory Board provides intentional opportunities for young people to influence and create change within their schools, neighborhoods, and communities in an ongoing and systematic manner.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Students

Our Residential Summer Camp, comprised of one week stays in Big Bear, California, is the heart of Woodcraft Rangers. We believe that children learn through play and should have the opportunity to take developmentally appropriate risks that build resiliency and independence. This sense of autonomy is nurtured through mentoring by trained instructors and counselors who are equipped to support the social, emotional, and physical development of every child. In each week-long session, over 100 young people engage in nature-based activities designed to build and enhance confidence, conflict resolution skills, communication, teamwork, and perhaps most importantly, connectedness to one another and to nature. Nature is a critical element in this journey of self-discovery for Woodcrafters as it brings physical and mental restoration and a respite from our modern existence. Research also shows that this immersive nature experience helps young people to recalibrate in a world of digital overload. Woodcraft Rangers has stayed true to the founding principles of access and inclusion, and our intentionally diverse camps create a unique opportunity as a laboratory for social cohesion.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Students

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our current goals are informed by the needs of young people navigating through a rapidly changing world. We define success by seeing the following improvements in our Woodcraft Ranger youth – improved school attendance and behavior and attitudes towards school, increased participant attendance through improved recruitment, club development, and expanded partnerships with school-day staff, enhanced academic performance and language development, stronger social and emotional skills, and a reduction in or abstention from high risk behaviors.

Woodcraft Rangers integrates the “Woodcraft Way” – an educational framework that encompasses all areas of a young person’s development - mind, body, spirit, and service. This holistic approach still defines Woodcraft Rangers’ eight signature programs – Residential Summer Camp, Summer Learning Camp, Sports, Arts & Media, STEM, Dual Language Enrichment, Health & Wellness, and Youth Leadership.

For nearly 100 years, Woodcraft Rangers has been at the forefront of expanded learning opportunities in the Greater Los Angeles area. Believing that communities themselves are best equipped to determine their own needs, as early as the 1950s Woodcraft Rangers identified the need for parent participation and created neighborhood Advisory Boards to complement its city-wide neighborhood programs. In the 1960s, we developed pre-delinquent youth development and work training programs in response to President Johnson’s “War on Poverty”. In the 1980s, our reach expanded with the creation of our Youth Employment Education program. Ultimately, this long-standing delivery of service has enabled us to impact the lives of 500,000 young people, ranging in age from 5 to 18 years. Our longevity is evidence that we have always been responsive to the changing needs of our communities and we continue to build and adapt around the current issues facing our youth.

We are pleased to share the following measurable outcomes garnered from ERC data, the leading state after school program 3rd party evaluator, as tangible evidence of our success –
• 96.6 % of students responded positively to the engagement of the program. (ERC, 2018)
• 92% of students responded positively to their input influencing what activities are offered by Woodcraft. (ERC, 2018)
• 94.9% of students trust the adults working for Woodcraft (ERC, 2018)
• 96.6 % of students responded positively to the engagement of the program. (ERC, 2018)
• 92% of students responded positively to their input influencing what activities are offered by Woodcraft. (ERC, 2018)
• 94.9% of students trust the adults working for Woodcraft (ERC, 2018)
1. 47.3% of High Attenders met or exceeded the standard in ELA, 8.5% higher than non-attenders (ERC, 2015)

Financials

Woodcraft Rangers
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Woodcraft Rangers

Board of directors
as of 02/17/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Will Adams

Newmark Knight Frank

Term: 2021 - 2024

Kenneth Korman

Retired Architect

Peter Anderson

Pete Anderson Consulting

Ellen Chiang

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Wayne Mack

LA County District Attorney

Jonathan Sweet

Womack Wealth Management

Rick Korenthal

Will Adams

Steve Canup

Bank of Hope

Celeste Ahl

Alston & Bird, LLP

Kimberly Issac

Kathleen Laub

Mt. San Antonio College

Eric Derrington

Whittier Trust

Ivy Draughan

Brilliant Corners

Brandi Jordan

The Cradle Company, LLC

Que-Lam Huynh

California State University

Francisco Lozano

Marie Pavlich

Spool Marketing

Courtney Smith

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/16/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data