Marine Science Consortium Trip

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Tuesday Sep 27, 2011 Under Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, National Parks, Travel

Cobey and I arrived to campus Sunday evening after braving the Chesapeake Bridge. If you recall from earlier post, I do not care for bridges and tunnels at all. I was not happy to discover AFTER I signed up for this field trip that the Chesapeake Bridge was part of my route. It took a weekend crop in Richmond with a great friend and a last minute visit to more friends in Virginia Beach to get up the courage. It actually was not as bad as I thought. There was not much traffic on the bridge which I think helped and it was at dusk. I really could not see the full effect. We will see how I manage tomorrow going back in the daylight.

They had left a key for us in a mailbox and finding our room was easy. We had time to get unpacked and then it was time for the bed. The next morning came early for me. Breakfast was at 7:30. In the morning, Cobey went on a nature hike and did a nature journal while I stayed back with the some moms and talked about homeschool issues. In the afternoon, we went to a field trip to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.  The talk by the ranger and movie was a little long. They did play one game where they got up and moved but for the most part  it was sit and listen.  We then rode through the refuge where we did not get to see much. This part of the camp was disappointing and I was beginning to worry.

After dinner, we had a Oceanographic Equipment Lecture. Lecture made me a little nervous because that usually equates to boring. This lecture was very informative and interesting and done quite well. We went over each station on the boat and what we would be doing the next day.

We woke to a thick fog which caused our day to be shifted around. We first went to Tom’s Cove Visitor Center. The center had a small touch tank and a bone identification exhibit.  After a short visit there, we headed to the intertidal where we walked out in knee deep water to the estuary. Once we hiked out the kids used nets, boxes, and seine nets to catch organisms  to take back to the lab.

After lunch, we got to go out on the research boat where we got to explore the estuary more. The kids loved being scientist on the boat and doing the different experiments. Tonight, the kids had to use Dichotomous keys, field guides and microscopes to help identify what they found. They also learned about zooplankton and phytoplankton. It was a great day and I think Cobey learned a lot.

The food was not great. It is what I think of when I think of bad cafeteria food but edible. The accommodations were very clean and the mattress was better than a typical camp mattress. I slept great!  Daniel was our naturalist and he was awesome. He was passionate about marine life and it showed. He kept a room of boys entertained and interested. Overall, we had a great experience and we would return again. Now I just have to make it back over the bridge.



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