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22788
Virginia

Misty of Chincoteague: An Island Adventure With Your Family

Discover the real-world setting of Marguerite Henry’s “Misty of Chincoteague” with your family and explore the island habitats where wild ponies roam with other wildlife.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22788RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,099
Virginia

Misty of Chincoteague: An Island Adventure With Your Family

Discover the real-world setting of Marguerite Henry’s “Misty of Chincoteague” with your family and explore the island habitats where wild ponies roam with other wildlife.
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,099
Program No. 22788 RJ
climate
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At a Glance

Chincoteague is a magical island, where herds of wild ponies run free, bottlenose dolphins play in quiet coves nearby and eagles soar over marshes teaming with marine critters. Chincoteague has fascinated children for generations, thanks to the island’s most famous resident in history: Misty the wild pony and the main character in a famous children’s book (and movie). Learn Misty’s story as you and your family visit her home, and get up close to the wild ponies of today. Visit restricted areas of Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, and explore the back trails on a leisurely paced bicycle ride. Play and swim at one of the longest undeveloped shorelines on the Atlantic coast, and meet park rangers as you collect marsh specimens. Plus, visit the NASA Visitor Center on Wallops Island to find out about the rockets that launch there!
Family Programs
Family Programs
Share your love of learning with your family. These programs are designed for any combination of generations: grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents and children.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Visit the Beebe Ranch, once home to Misty, the iconic Chincoteague pony, and spend time with a “Saltwater Cowboy” firefighter to learn how the wild ponies have survived.
  • Get close to wild ponies, bald eagles, terrapin, deer, elk and animals as your group leaders brings you to exclusive spots in the wildlife refuge that nobody else gets to see and normally are restricted.
  • Ride the island waters by pontoon boat to watch for porpoises, and hear pirate lore as you sail past Assateague Lighthouse.

General Notes

Program is for children ages 8 and up accompanied by family adults. For a comparable intergenerational adventure for just grandparents and grandchildren only, check out "Misty of Chincoteague: An Island Adventure With Your Grandchild" (#18685)!
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Stormy, Misty's Foal
by Marguerite Henry
This sequel to "Misty" describes the events on Chincoteague during the Ash Wednesday storm in 1962. Misty is about to give birth and the book details the actions the Beebe's take to ensure a safe birth. It also covers the role Misty and her foal play in raising donations to restore the island after the storm. Available on Chincoteague at the Museum.
Chincoteague and Assateague Islands (MD and VA) (images of America)
by Nan Devincent-Hays
This book provides a short pictorial and narrative description of these two barrier islands, their history and relationship. One is a small town community catering to thousands of tourists who come almost year-round to enjoy the beach and view the wildlife on the other. Available on Chincoteague at the Museum.
A Natural History of Quiet Waters
by Curtis J. Badger
This is a wonderfully well-written, easy to understand description of the swamps and wetlands of the East Coast and their importance to our environment, history and culture. It is written from the perspective of someone who has experienced them first hand. Available on Chincoteague at Sundial Books (www.sundialbooks.net)
A Walk on the Beach: Into the Field Guide
by Laurie Goldman
For the kids; a portable easy to use guide to beach critters designed to get kids excited about exploring waterfront life. Available on Chincoteague at Sundial Books (www.sundialbooks.net).
Seeds of Evidence
by Linda J. White
This recently published novel involves an FBI Special Agent on leave at her Grandmother's home on Chincoteague, who becomes involved in the investigation of the murder of a young Latino boy. Available at Sundial Books on Chincoteague (www.sundialbooks.net).
Treasure on Chincoteague Island
by Karen Simpson-Tweedie
This book for the kids is a sequel to the "Hidden Key" taking place on Chincoteague. It introduces two new characters, Brian and Ashley, as they discover new things about the island and its secrets. Available on Chincoteague at Sundial Books (www.sundialbooks.net)
Misty of Chincoteague
by Marguerite Henry
A Newberry Honor book, for children 8 - 12 years old. This is the story of Paul and Maureen Beebe and their quest to buy the elusive Phantom, a wild Chincoteague pony. On Pony Penning Day, they not only bring in the Phantom, but also her colt, Misty. It is a wonderful heart-warming tale of the efforts of two children to achieve their dream. Available on Chincoteague at the Museum.
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Chincoteague , Va.
D
Best Western Plus Chincoteague Island

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. After you have your room assignment, walk next door to the Museum of Chincoteague Island’s pavilion and the Road Scholar table inside 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 where we’ll have a plated meal with beverage choices of soft drinks, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation: 7:00 p.m. Back in the museum pavilion, the 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. This is a Road Scholar Family program. Adults are responsible for their minor children. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Minors are never to be left unsupervised. 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. We will end the evening with an ice cream social prepared by a local ice cream shop, to ease the nerves of children and adults getting to know each other.

DAY
2
Wildlife Refuge, Ponies, History Experience
Chincoteague , Va.
B,L,D
Best Western Plus Chincoteague Island

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Driving 7-10 miles, about 2 hours. Walking under 1 mile.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as eggs, breakfast meats, Belgian waffles, oatmeal, cereal, fruit, biscuits, bagels, Danish pastries, muffins, and toast, plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We will board a motorcoach and ride to the Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge on Assateague to look for and learn about wild ponies, petite Sika elk, nesting terrapin, otters, bald eagles, Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel, and other wildlife. A local wildlife expert with years of experience will be our instructor. We will be going into an area closed to vehicle access to the public, so be sure to bring your camera for this trip since it is a rare treat.

Lunch: By bus, we’ll head 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 will explore the island via bus and hear about the local history from a local expert who will point out important places in the community, which will help to illuminate what makes the island so special. We’ll hear about the Beebe Ranch, the birthplace of Misty of Chincoteague. Then, we will head over to the museum pavilion where we will hear from a local expert all about the events that occur during Chincoteague’s Annual Pony Penning Week and explain why the ponies are so valued by the community and visitors to the island.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have plated meals with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Beach Time, Island Study Cruise
Chincoteague , Va.
B,L,D
Best Western Plus Chincoteague Island

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus; driving 5 miles, about 15 minutes. Getting on/off a pontoon boat; riding about 2 hours. Minimal walking during group activities. Elective swimming and/or beach walking according to personal preference.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will hop aboard our motorcoach and head to the beach! Children as well as adults will be given the opportunity to get in the ocean, as long as it is marked safe by the lifeguards. Children must be watched over by their adults. If participants are not up for swimming, they are more than welcome to search for shells, build sand castles, or relax next to the calming waves.

Lunch: Back at the museum pavilion, we’ll have boxed lunches.

Afternoon: Taking the bus to Curtis Merritt Harbor, we’ll board a pontoon boat to cruise along island waters as we look for ponies, eagles, migrating birds, porpoises, and other marine life. Our boat captain and first mate will explain the marsh and shoreline habitats and regale us with stories of life on the water. We'll pass clam beds, learn about aquaculture, and see the site of the Annual Pony Swim, which we will learn about from various experts throughout our trip.

Dinner: 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.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Tom's Cove, Misty of Chincoteague, Crabbing
Chincoteague , Va.
B,L,D
Best Western Plus Chincoteague Island

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus; driving 4 miles, about 15 minutes. Walking under 1 mile on wet sand. Working in wet/muddy conditions. Standing on docks crabbing.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will put on old shoes and clothes we don’t mind getting wet and take a field trip to Tom's Cove on Assateague, where National Park Service rangers will lead us on an exploration of the cove waters as we look for clams, oysters, crabs, shrimp, and other shoreline critters.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have plated meals with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will return to the hotel and tidy up before heading out by bus to the Island Theater’s Annex on Main Street. Here we will watch “Misty” — the classic movie based on Marguerite Henry’s beloved book “Misty of Chincoteague” that was inspired by real life. The movie premiered here in 1961. Misty left her hoof prints in cement on the sidewalk and Marguerite Henry herself wrote Misty’s name. Be sure to snap a photo of this iconic landmark! After, we will head over to the docks at Memorial Park where we will all experience crabbing with a local expert. We will learn the different ways to catch crabs, how to safely handle them, how to identify whether the crab is male or female, and how to determine if it is a “keeper.”

Dinner: Kids will have pizza at the Museum of Chincoteague, while adults will take the bus to a local waterfront restaurant for a plated meal with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: While at the museum, kids will learn about the exhibits with a scavenger hunt, complete a small craft project, and answer island trivia questions, with the help of two Road Scholars assistants. After dinner, adults will return to the museum by bus, where the children will have the opportunity to show their family what they learned at the museum.

DAY
5
NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Chincoteague Picnic, Free Time
Chincoteague , Va.
B,L,D
Best Western Plus Chincoteague Island

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus, driving 13 miles roundtrip, under 1 hour. Walking 2 miles total on flat surfaces.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will board the bus and ride to the NASA Wallops Flight Facility Visitor Center on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Established in 1945, Wallops is now NASA's principal suborbital research facility. We will have the opportunity to enjoy a self-led exploration of the visitor center’s featured exhibits about the history of the facility, aeronautics, rockets, scientific balloons, and current missions. Be sure to check out the viewing platform on the rooftop with great views of the runway.

Lunch: We will pick up to-go lunches from the museum pavilion and enjoy our meal where we please. The Group Leader will offer suggestions.

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: Regrouping at the museum, we will have a traditional island picnic in the pavilion featuring regional favorites with live music.

Evening: During dinner, we will be entertained by a local musician. The rest of the evening is at leisure. Prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

DAY
6
Assateague Lighthouse, Program Concludes
Chincoteague , Va.
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Setting out by bus, we will visit the Assateague Lighthouse and, upon arrival, you may wish to climb the 175 stairs up to the top where we will learn from Group Leader about the village of Assateague that used to exist at the base of the lighthouse. We’ll then return to the hotel. 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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