Road Scholar Keeps the Light Burning Bright on Chincoteague Island

When it comes to preserving the natural and cultural heritage of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, there’s a bright light shining among the sand dunes, salt marsh grass and legendary wild horses of Chincoteague Island.

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For many years, Road Scholar has organized learning adventures to Chincoteague through the Museum of Chincoteague, bringing thousands of participants to learn about the progression of nature and human history in this fragile environment. The vast majority of the tuition we charge for our programs on Chincoteague goes to the museum. This dependable source of income literally keeps the lights on and has even enabled the museum to expand. Through the revenue they receive through Road Scholar, the Museum of Chincoteague was able to build an addition to house an antique Fresnel lens that had been laying abandoned in a field for more than 50 years.

The First-order Fresnel lens (the largest type ever made) was once the lens from the Assateague Island Lighthouse, and after it was restored it has become the centerpiece of the museum and can now be enjoyed by Road Scholar participants and other island visitors. The Museum of Chincoteague is just one among thousands of places where Road Scholar plays an important part in helping to preserve the character and heritage of local communities around the world.

To learn more about Road Scholar’s impact, visit

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