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2579
Virginia

Ocean Science Adventures on Chincoteague Bay With Your Grandchild

Learn all about the ocean and the animals that live in it with your grandchild as you study prehistoric horseshoe crabs, explore a salt marsh, collect sea critters and more!
Rating (5)
Program No. 2579RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
749
Virginia

Ocean Science Adventures on Chincoteague Bay With Your Grandchild

Learn all about the ocean and the animals that live in it with your grandchild as you study prehistoric horseshoe crabs, explore a salt marsh, collect sea critters and more!
Length
6 days
Starts at
749
Program No. 2579 RJ
climate
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At a Glance

Why is the ocean blue? Is a sponge actually alive? We know your grandkids have a lot of questions, and our expert instructors are here to answer them all during a week of fun and exploration with your grandchild on Virginia’s Atlantic islands. Get your hands wet as you examine creek water, pull in a net full of wriggling critters and examine all the life that survives inside a single drop of sea water!

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Enjoy an exclusive visit to Wallops Island NASA base, usually closed to the public, to learn about the sandy dunes and collect shells to take home!
  • Learn the art of crabbing as you get hands-on with the Mid-Atlantic's famous blue crabs.
  • Get up close to prehistoric horseshoe crabs and find out how they have saved millions of human lives.

General Notes

Program is for grandchildren ages 5-8 or 9-13, depending on the date. ATTENTION FOREIGN NATIONALS: Part of this program takes place on Wallops Island, which is a restricted access NASA base. In order to participate in the Wallops Island activities, all foreign nationals must complete additional paperwork at least 6 weeks in advance to be allowed access onto the base. Access is then subject to approval by NASA Wallops Island base. If you are a foreign national enrolled in this program, please contact the program provider directly at julie@cbfieldstation.org to request the required forms.
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.
Off 13: The Eastern Shore of Virginia Guidebook
by Kirk Mariner
Kirk Mariner's book "Off 13 - The Eastern Shore of Virginia Guidebook" offers a highly informative and entertaining guide to an overlooked but tranquil peninsula bounded by the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean, not far from the Nation's Capital. Many people know of Chincoteague but may not be aware that the rest of the Virginia eastern shore is well worth exploring. "Off 13" is full of interesting anecdotes and historical information about the area and its many little towns as well as useful and practical information for travellers.
A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore: From the Bay of Fundy to Cape Hatteras
by Kenneth L. Gosner
More than 1,000 illustrations, arranged according to visual similarities, show plant and animal species of the Atlantic Coast from the Bay of Fundy to Cape Hatteras. This guide includes information on how to locate each species by geographic range, tidal range, tidal level, season, topography, and climate.
Misty of Chincoteague
by Marguerite Henry
On an island off the coasts of Virginia and Maryland lives a centuries-old band of wild ponies. Among them is the most mysterious of all, Phantom, a rarely seen mare that eludes all efforts to capture her--that is, until a young boy and girl lay eyes on her and determine that they can't live without her. The frenzied roundup that follows on the next "Pony Penning Day" does indeed bring Phantom into their lives, in a way they never would have suspected. Phantom would forever be a creature of the wild. But her gentle, loyal colt Misty is another story altogether. Marguerite Henry's Newbery Honor Book has captivated generations of boys and girls both with its thrilling descriptions of true incidents from the tiny island of Chincoteague, and its realistic yet wonderfully magical atmosphere. This story of an animal brought into captivity poignantly reveals the powerful opposing forces of humans and nature. Wesley Dennis's pen-and-ink ponies are masterfully depicted with rippling muscles, shaggy coats, and free spirits.
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge: An Ecological Treasure
by Irene Hinke-Sacilotto
Beautiful photos of Chincoteague National Wildlife: birds, ponies, sunsets. Not a lot of detailed information but it is a photography book primarily and nice to look at and dream of being there.
Assateague: Island of Wild Ponies
by Andrea Jauck and Larry Points
Children's Book- In a nature tour format, the authors portray the seasons of this famous island. They present facts about the area's ecology while focusing on the ponies. The tone is conversational, written in an informal style and defining equine terms in context. One or two full-color photos on each page show the animals in their habitat. Scenes show both the natural beauty of the island and the ponies in action, sometimes in humorous poses. Photos and text promote Assateague's wildness while cautioning readers about humankind's effects on the fragile environment. Suggest this as background for readers of Marguerite Henry's books, and as a supplement to Jack Scott's Island of Wild Horses
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Wallops Island
D
Chincoteague Bay Field Station

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

Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Come to the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your room assignment, name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to confirm when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please contact the Chincoteague Bay Field Station for instructions on where to meet the group.

Dinner: Dinner will be served cafeteria style in the Field Station Dining Hall with options ranging from hot meals to a salad bar, plus coffee, tea, water, and a variety of soft drinks.

Evening: Orientation. 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 Grandparent program. Grandparents are responsible for their grandchildren. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Minors are never to be left unsupervised. Periods in the daily 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.

DAY
2
National Wildlife Refuge, Island Visit, Campfire
Wallops Island
B,L,D
Chincoteague Bay Field Station

Activity note: Getting on/off field station buses, walking less than a quarter mile over wet, muddy, and/or sandy terrain. Possible high temperatures on the beach with no shade.

Breakfast: Breakfast will be served cafeteria style in the Dining Hall with the choice of fruits, hot and cold cereals, meats, breads, biscuits, eggs, and French toast or pancakes, plus coffee, tea, water, and a variety of soft drinks.

Morning: We will hear one of Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge's educational staff talk about the refuge system and the unique qualities of the refuge at the impressive Bateman Visitor Center.

Lunch: We will enjoy a cookout on the beach, including grilled burgers and hot dogs.

Afternoon: From the refuge center, we will take a ride by field station bus up the refuge's Service Road, a restricted access road that goes north, to the home of the majority of the wild ponies living on the island and where spectacular views await. We’ll spend the afternoon searching for ponies and the birds of the island, including the piping plover and the brown pelican.

Dinner: In the cafeteria.

Evening: Especially for kids: We’ll enjoy an evening of traditional campfire fare with a variety of fun skits from field station staff and camp songs we can all participate in. We’ll top off the night with delicious s'mores!

DAY
3
Intertidal Class & Trip, Saltmarsh Ecology
Wallops Island
B,L,D
Chincoteague Bay Field Station

Activity note: Getting on/off buses, walking less than a quarter mile over wet, muddy, and/or sandy terrain.

Breakfast: In the cafeteria.

Morning: At the field station with our group leader, we will learn about the tides, the changes that occur in the Intertidal Zone, and the effects on the critters who live in these environments. We’ll then travel out to Assateague Island by field station bus for a field trip to collect creatures using seine nets and sieve boxes. We will then return to the field station.

Lunch: In the cafeteria.

Afternoon: We’ll learn how wetlands function and why they are so important to the environment during an in-lab discussion led by a Chincoteague Bay Field Station ecologist. Following this, we’ll travel out to the salt marsh to experience and learn about this environment first hand. Especially for kids: We will experience the productivity of the saltmarsh by taking a dip in the mud. We’ll then return to the field station.

Dinner: In the cafeteria.

Evening: We’ll settle in for movie night at the field station.

DAY
4
Crabbing, Free Time, Social
Wallops Island
B,L,D
Chincoteague Bay Field Station

Activity note: Getting on/off buses. Walking less than a quarter mile over wet, muddy, and/or sandy terrain.

Breakfast: In the cafeteria.

Morning: Learn the art of crabbing as we get hands-on with our famous Blue Crabs! We will head to the dock on Wallops Island and catch as many as we can. Your Educator will teach you all about this very important animal.

Lunch: In the cafeteria.

Afternoon: Free time. This block of 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: In the cafeteria.

Evening: Grandparents will enjoy some adult time with an evening social. We’ll have cheese, crackers, cookies, coffee, and tea available; feel free to bring your own wine. Especially for Kids: Grandchildren will practice with staff for the upcoming talent show.

DAY
5
Dune Ecology Lecture & Field Trip, Organism Lab, Talent Show
Wallops Island
B,L,D
Chincoteague Bay Field Station

Activity note: Getting on/off buses. Walking less than a quarter mile over wet, muddy, and/or sandy terrain.

Breakfast: In the cafeteria.

Morning: We will enjoy an in-lab discussion about barrier island formation and the unique pattern of life found on these islands, led by a Chincoteague Bay Field Station ecologist. We’ll then go on a field trip to the pristine environment of the sand dunes of Wallops Island NASA base. This island is closed to the public, so this opportunity, exclusive to Chincoteague Bay Field Station, is a chance to see a natural beach ecosystem. While in the field, we’ll learn about dune succession and collect shells. Afterwards, we’ll return to the field station for lunch.

Lunch: In the cafeteria.

Afternoon: Especially for Kids: We’ll get a closer look at the organisms collected all week during our organism lab to help identify them and learn more about their interesting characteristics.

Dinner: Get ready for a seafood feast! In the cafeteria, we will sample local crabs and shrimp, or, if you choose, chicken or roasted vegetables. It’s a traditional Chesapeake boil! Beverage options include coffee, tea, water, and a variety of soft drinks.

Evening: Talent show and skit night! Bring along a guitar or your favorite song to teach the group. Especially for Kids: We’ll perform lively skits taught by camp staff.

DAY
6
Photo Slideshow, Crafts, Program Concludes
Wallops Island
B

Activity note: Field station check-out 9:00 a.m.

Breakfast: In the cafeteria.

Morning: After breakfast and check-out, we’ll hear from fellow participants and share what we've learned and our favorite activity. We’ll watch a slideshow of pictures from the week. Especially for Kids: We will create a craft project to remember our week at CBFS. 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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