2005
Virginia

Chincoteague: Lighthouses, Wild Ponies and Pirates

Virginia's only inhabited barrier island and the national wildlife refuge and seashore have stunning vistas, wild ponies, wildlife, miles of trails and beaches and a memorable history.
Rating (4.83)
Program No. 2005RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
999
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation, History
Chincoteague , Va.
D
Island Resort Inn

Activity note: Motel check-in from 3:00 p.m. Getting on/off a bus.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00-4:30 p.m. After you have your room assignment, comwe to the motel conference room to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: We’ll take a bus to a local waterfront restaurant and have a plated meal with soft drinks, coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation: In the motel’s conference room, our Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. To close the evening, we’ll have a brief lecture on the unique history of Chincoteague Island by our Group Leader. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Assateague Seashore, Chincoteague Museum, Waterfront Cruise
Chincoteague , Va.
B,L,D
Island Resort Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off a school bus. Walking up to 1/4 mile; sandy beach terrain.

Breakfast: In the motel dining area, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as eggs, breakfast meats, waffles, hot or cold cereal, yogurt, fruit, baked goods, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We will hop aboard our bus and drive a short distance to Assateague National Seashore, the longest stretch of wild, undeveloped beach on the mid-Atlantic coast. As we walk along the sandy shore, our Group Leader will discuss dune ecology and explain the forces that affect the environment of a barrier island. We’ll then return to the Museum of Chincoteague.

Lunch: At the Museum, we’ll have boxed lunches.

Afternoon: We’ll be joined in the museum by a local artisan who spins wool from Hog Island sheep, the very breed of sheep that used to roam free on Assateague Island. This skilled artisan is the keeper of an important story: what life was like for women living on Assateague Island long ago. The practice of spinning wool and knitting is a window into their lives. Later in the afternoon, we'll take a bus to Merritt Harbor for a cruise along the Chincoteague waterfront and learn how the waterfront has changed over the time. We will also observe the remains of the historic Killick Shoals lighthouse and learn about Chincoteague's historic connections to the mainland.

Dinner: We'll have a small plates dinner featuring examples of native island cuisine prepared by a local chef using heirloom island recipes passed down from his grandmother; each course will be paired with specially selected wines; water included. As we enjoy dessert, we’ll socialize with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Wildlife Safari
Chincoteague , Va.
B,L
Island Resort Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus.

Breakfast: Motel buffet.

Morning: We will hop on the bus and go on a “safari” to explore the interior of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge to look for wild ponies, petite Sika elk, nesting terrapin, otters, bald eagles, Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel, and other wildlife. A local wildlife expert with more than 30 years of experience will be our instructor. We will be going into an area normally closed to the public and will stop often for wildlife sightings and photo opportunities as they appear. Bring your camera and binoculars if you have them.

Lunch: We will take the bus to a local restaurant where we’ll have a plated meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll travel to the Bateman Educational Center in the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge to learn about wildlife in this area and local and federal conservation efforts. The National Wildlife Refuge System, the most comprehensive in the world, is a vast network of lands and waters. The Chincoteague Refuge, established in 1943, includes more than 14,000 acres of beach, dunes, marsh, and maritime forest providing habitat for waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, song birds, and other species of wildlife and plants. The refuge is actually on Assateague Island.

Evening: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

DAY
4
Pontoon Boat Ride, Pirates, Lighthouse History
Chincoteague , Va.
B,L,D
Island Resort Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus; on/off a pontoon boat.

Breakfast: Motel buffet.

Morning: We’ll take the bus to the island harbor, climb aboard a pontoon boat, and head out to the oyster grounds and clam beds with our local experts, the boat captain, and his first mate. We’ll get the same close-up view of the Assateague Lighthouse from the water that seafarers of old experienced. We’ll also travel along waters thought to be frequented by 18th- and 19th-century pirates and hear the lore of shipwrecks and plunder. Our expert will point out evidence of the constantly changing topography of the Assateague and Chincoteague barrier islands. Keep an eye out for eagles, ospreys, and porpoises.

Lunch: We will take the bus to a local restaurant where we’ll have a plated meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll return to the motel conference room, where our Group Leader will discuss the history and legends of pirates who frequented the waterways around Chincoteague and Assateague as well as other areas of the mid-Atlantic coast. We’ll also learn about the surprising connection between piracy and a major, venerable Virginia institution.

Dinner: We will take the bus to a local restaurant where we’ll have a plated meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: In the motel conference room, Museum Director Emeritus Bill Borges will join us to illuminate the topic of lighthouse history. He will describe the history of lighthouses all over the world and focus in on Chincoteague and Assateague's stunning examples of lighthouse technology.

DAY
5
Wildlife Art & Artist, Free Time, Musical Entertainment
Chincoteague , Va.
B,L,D
Island Resort Inn

Breakfast: Resort buffet.

Morning: We will have a class to observe the techniques of local wildlife artist Nancy Richards West, who is internationally recognized for her sensitive interpretations of this beautiful coast and its wildlife and waterfowl. Through PowerPoint and an actual painting session, Nancy will demonstrate how she is inspired by nature and how she captures the subtle patterns of color, light, and movement distinctive to the waterways, creatures, and skies of Chincoteague.

Lunch: At the Resort, we’ll have a grab-and-go boxed lunch.

Afternoon: Free time. This time has been set aside for your personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: We will take the bus to a local restaurant where we’ll have a plated meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: We’ll be joined by 3 Sheets, a trio of seasoned singers/players who present energetic and eclectic performances of Celtic, nautical, traditional, and contemporary music. They will entertain us with witty banter while also teaching about their songs and instruments. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
6
Native Waterman, Program Concludes
Chincoteague , Va.
B

Activity note: Motel check-out 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Motel buffet.

Morning: A native island waterman will tell us how modern aquaculture is changing the age-old practices and traditions of raising and harvesting clams in Chincoteague waters. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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