22788
Virginia
Misty and the Chincoteague Island Ponies: A Family Adventure
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
999
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
DAY
1
Registration, Orientation, Local History
Chincoteague , Va.
D
Best Western Chincoteague Island

Afternoon: After checking in at the motel, walk over to the museum, next door, between 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to sign in, meet your Group Leader, pick up your badges and other program material.

Dinner: Dinner will be a plated meal at a local restaurant. Note: During the program you will be dining at different island restaurants where wine, beer or cocktails may be ordered individually. You will be billed separately at the end of each meal for alcoholic beverages.

Evening: This evening's activities include introductions, orientation and a review of the week's schedule followed by a brief history of Chincoteague and Assateague Islands by your Group Leader.

DAY
2
Beebe Ranch Visit, Beach Time, Island Cruise
Chincoteague , Va.
B,L
Best Western Chincoteague Island

Breakfast: Enjoy a full, hot breakfast buffet at the Best Western.

Morning: We'll explore Chincoteague Island by bus with a stop at Beebe Ranch, home of some of Misty's descendants, and where we'll meet a member of the Beebe family who will tell us what it was like growing up with Misty. We'll arrive at the pristine Assateague National Seashore, at 37 miles the longest stretch of wild undeveloped beach on the mid-Atlantic coast. Bring a swimsuit and towel as there will be plenty of time to go in the water. As you walk on the sandy shore, look for shells and listen to your Group Leader discuss dune ecology. Then we head to Merritt Harbor for an Island cruise.

Lunch: We'll have a boxed lunch on board the boat. The Group Leader and first mate will help us.

Afternoon: On our afternoon cruise, we will observe the NASA rocket launch sites at Wallops Island, look for eagles, ospreys and other waterfowl and aquatic wildlife, and view Assateague Island as it appeared to mariners and pirates of long ago.We will look for wild ponies who roam the areas and marshes surrounding the historic Assateague lighthouse - often a major photo opportunity. We will learn about about island aquaculture and see how clams are grown and harvested.

Dinner: Dinner is at your leisure. Our staff will be glad to discuss island dining options with you.

Evening: Explore Chincoteague's picturesque water-side village on your own, or relax by the motel pool.

DAY
3
Assateague WIldlife Safari, Bateman Center Visit, Lighthouse
Chincoteague , Va.
B,L,D
Best Western Chincoteague Island

Activity note: When we visit the historic Assateague Lighthouse, you will have the option of climbing the 180+ steps to the top to enjoy the spectacular view, weather permitting. It is not necessary to make the climb to learn about the lighthouse and the vanished village that once surrounded its base.

Breakfast: Enjoy a full, hot breakfast buffet at the Best Western.

Morning: We'll travel by bus to explore areas of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge not generally open to the public to observe wild pony herds, waterfowl and other island wildlife up close. Learn from a seasoned expert on native and migrating wildlife and about the varied island habitats.

Lunch: We'll stop for a plated lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We'll visit the Bateman Center at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, and explore the hand-on exhibits to lean about barrier island ecology and wildlife. We will visit the historic Assateague Lighthouse, and weather permitting, have the option of climbing to the top to enjoy the spectacular views.

Dinner: We will have a plated dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: Our Group Leader will tell us all about the Chincoteague wild pony herds - their origins and how they have survived storms and hurricanes. We will learn more about Misty, the most famous Chincoteague pony, and hear stories about other remarkable ponies

DAY
4
Visit NASA, the Refuge's Bateman Center and the Lighthouse
Chincoteague , Va.
B,L,D
Best Western Chincoteague Island

Breakfast: Enjoy a full, hot breakfast buffet at the Best Western.

Morning: We'll travel by bus to NASA's Wallops Island Visitor Center and learn about space exploration, the types of rockets launched there and details of the mission payloads. We will explore hands-on exhibits, and learn how rockets are propelled, launched and controlled.

Lunch: We'll have a plated lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We're heading to the marsh for mud-mucking! We're going to get wet, so wear clothes that can get dirty and old shoes that won't come off in the mud...no bare feet or flip flops allowed. A park ranger will describe the animals that live in the marsh and the adjacent waters. We will use buckets, nets and shovels to collect specimens of fish, shrimp, snails and crabs. We'll observe, identify and learn about them, and then release them back into their habitats.

Dinner: Adults will have a plated dinner at a local restaurant. Kids will have a pizza party at the Museum, and become familiar with the Museum exhibits.

Evening: When the adults return to the Museum after dinner, the kids,acting as docents, will lead them through the Museum pointing out and explaining their favorite exhibits, highlighting those they found most interesting or relevant to them. Kids will team up with their adults to complete the Museum scavenger hunt.

DAY
5
Misty Movie at Island Theater, Bike Ride, Crab Feast
Chincoteague , Va.
B,L,D
Best Western Chincoteague Island

Activity note: Participants in the bike ride of about 5 miles should have an appropriate level of biking skills.

Breakfast: Enjoy a full, hot breakfast buffet at the Best Western.

Morning: We'll go to the bike depot to get fitted for bikes and take them to the Museum. Then we'll relax and enjoy watching the original movie of Misty of Chincoteague at the Island Theater where it premiered. See Misty's hoof prints in the sidewalk outside the newly restored theater.

Lunch: We'll have a plated lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Enjoy an afternoon bicycle exploration of Assateague Island with experts on the refuge environment and ecology. This might include back trails or secluded beaches. For those not interested in the bike ride, our staff will help you arrange alternative activities.

Dinner: We'll enjoy a traditional island crab feast at the Museum. Local experts will teach you how to shell crabs and pick the delicious crab meat. (Alternate choices are available for those who are not "crabbers.") Following dinner we'll enjoy a performance by a local musician who will entertain you with songs of the sea and the island, and lead you in kid-favorite sing-alongs.

DAY
6
Meet a Saltwater Cowboy, Program Concludes
Chincoteague , Va.
B

Breakfast: Enjoy a full, hot breakfast buffet at the Best Western.

Morning: We'll learn about the Saltwater Cowboys, who lead the pony round-ups, from a member of the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, one of group of experts who manage the wild pony herds. Hear how the Fire Company cares for the herds, the purpose and details of the three annual pony round-ups, and how, in turn, the community benefits from the pony herds. Our program concludes at the end of this activity.






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