Our History

Distinctly defined by our core values of inclusion
and access for almost 100 years.

For nearly 100 years, Woodcraft Rangers has been at the forefront of expanded learning opportunities in the Greater Los Angeles area.

The Woodcraft league was founded in 1902 by Ernest Thompson Seton, whose youth development model was the forerunner for other well-known programs, such as the Boy Scouts and Campfire Girls. However, Woodcraft was always distinctly defined by its core values of inclusion and access.

In 1922, when Woodcraft Rangers first opened its doors to Los Angeles youth, it welcomed all interested participants to carry out the mission of guiding young people as they explore pathways to purposeful lives. They were embraced with the progressive belief that every child is innately good, deserves the opportunity to realize their full potential, and that youth should be active participants in defining their own paths.

students learning during original Woodcraft Rangers activities

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. With a seed gift from the James Irvine Foundation in the early 90’s, Woodcraft Rangers expanded its offerings to include afterschool programs which now serves approximately 14,000 students every year.

Ultimately, this long-standing delivery of service has enabled us to impact the lives of more than 500,000 young people, ranging in age from 5 to 18 years. Our longevity is evidence that we have always been responsive to the needs of our communities.

girls performing in cultural dance with beautiful colorful dresses

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