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Virginia

Chincoteague Service Learning: Preserving Barrier Island Environments

Program No. 2637RJ
Help preserve and maintain the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge — home to the wild Chincoteague ponies — as you learn about the island’s unique music, culture and lore.
Length
6 days
Rating (5)
Activity Level
Starts at
949

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 30 - May 5, 2023
Starting at
949
Oct 22 - Oct 27, 2023
Starting at
949
Mar 17 - Mar 22, 2024
Starting at
1,499
Apr 28 - May 3, 2024
Starting at
1,499
Oct 27 - Nov 1, 2024
Starting at
1,499
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 30 - May 5, 2023
Starting at
1,309
Oct 22 - Oct 27, 2023
Starting at
1,309
Mar 17 - Mar 22, 2024
Starting at
1,889
Apr 28 - May 3, 2024
Starting at
1,889
Oct 27 - Nov 1, 2024
Starting at
1,889

At a Glance

Spend a week on the beautiful barrier islands of Chincoteague and Assateague working at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and with the Museum of Chincoteague Island, Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, or Beebe Ranch to help conserve the islands’ wildlife habitats, medical facilities, history and culture. Under the supervision of experts, assist with a variety of projects ranging from repairing and clearing woodland trails and walkways, to cleaning up undeveloped beaches, preserving historic sites, or working among the Museum’s collection of artifacts and records. You will have opportunities to observe barrier island waterfowl and other wildlife up close, including the herds of wild Chincoteague ponies. Discover the unique culture of this treasured natural barrier island paradise with local experts.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to one half mile at a time over level ground. Some groups may walk up to a mile at a time through sand or marsh terrain. Projects may involve physical labor.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Work outdoors on the Refuge among the wild ponies and waterfowl, at pony care properties, the Beebe Ranch, island historic sites, or at the Museum of Chincoteague Island, helping to manage its expanding collection of local artifacts.
  • Walk along our pristine beaches helping to clean up cast-off fishing nets and debris deposited by ocean storms, learn or refresh your carpentry skills while building or repairing walkways and structures throughout the refuge, or participate in one of many other projects to help preserve the island and care for the wild ponies.
  • Enjoy an evening of entertainment by local musicians featuring sea shanties and local lore.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Cindy Faith
Cindy Faith has been a Group Leader and lecturer at the Museum of Chincoteague Island’s Road Scholar programs for many years. Raised on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, her knowledge of the region’s natural and local history is encyclopedic. Her expertise runs the gamut from horseshoe crabs and wild ponies to pirates and the Civil War’s impact on the Chincoteague region. Combined with her warm sense of humor, Cindy’s vast knowledge assures Road Scholar participants of an informative and interesting experience.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Cindy Faith
Cindy Faith View biography
Cindy Faith has been a Group Leader and lecturer at the Museum of Chincoteague Island’s Road Scholar programs for many years. Raised on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, her knowledge of the region’s natural and local history is encyclopedic. Her expertise runs the gamut from horseshoe crabs and wild ponies to pirates and the Civil War’s impact on the Chincoteague region. Combined with her warm sense of humor, Cindy’s vast knowledge assures Road Scholar participants of an informative and interesting experience.
Profile Image of Beth Scheeley
Beth Scheeley View biography
Beth Scheeley was born and raised on Chincoteague Island. She has many family ties to the island, which makes her a true "teaguer." Beth has an extensive knowledge for Chincoteague's history. Her childhood memories of Chincoteague's past looks, restaurants and people will call for endless conversations and stories during your time with her. Her go-getter personality and friendliness will surely make you feel right at home on Chincoteague Island.
Profile Image of Mark Drager
Mark Drager View biography
Mark has been a part of Chincoteague Island for 40 years, first as an annual visitor and now as a permanent resident. Mark is a member of the Museum of Chincoteague Board of Directors and brings past experience as a civilian naval contract expert and teacher. His love of history, reading, running, travel and remodeling serves him well as a team leader on the two annual Service projects.
Profile Image of Darcy Cole
Darcy Cole View biography
Darcy has lived on the island for over 15 years. In her early encounters with the wild horses of Assateague, she became fascinated with the idea that each horse had a name and a personality. In those 15 years, she has become a regional expert on the horses, publishing books on the horses and conducting workshops and talks related to the horses. In addition to her many lectures at the Museum of Chincoteague, Darcy serves as a Team Leader on the two annual Service Projects.
Profile Image of Eastern Shore of VA Master Gardeners
Eastern Shore of VA Master Gardeners View biography
Master Gardeners provide volunteer leadership and service to their community in gardening activities. Among the services provided are responding to gardening questions, sponsoring public events, conducting plant clinics, beautifying the community, building/maintaining demonstration gardens and other related activities that educate the public on horticulture and improve the quality of horticultural projects. Master Gardener programs are available in all 50 states and Canada.
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.
The Assateague Ponies
by Ronald Keiper
A factual book about these fascinating animals revealing all you would want to know about their social structure, diet, range and interaction with humans. Available on Chincoteague at Sundial Books (www.sundialbooks.net).
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.
Assateague Island 2nd Edition
by William H. Wroten Jr.
This pamphlet documents much of the unwritten history of Assateague. It gathers previously undocumented stories about the inhabitants activities and their thoughts from writings and interviews. 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.
Watermen and Wild Ponies, A Chincoteague Waterman Remembers Life on Chincoteague and Assateague
by Robert H. Mears and Lorna Gagneux
An informative and touching chronicle of the life-long friendship of two business partners who catch and sell fish, oysters and clams for over 30 years until the early 1960's. It reflects the flavor of living and making a livelihood on Chincoteague and the early settlement of Assateague. Available on Chincoteague at Sundial Books (www.sundialbooks.com)
A Naturalist Guide to the Virginia Coast
by Curtis J. Badger
This book covers the beaches and tidal flats of the Virginia coasts and expands the experience of the natural diversity of the areas around Chincoteague, Back Bay and Cape Henry Trail. Good for the weekend birder, experienced naturalist or just plain interested observer. Available on Chincoteague at Sundial Books (www.sundiabooks.net).
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)
The Sea is a Thief
by David Parmalee
A century and a half after it was fought, we have come to know the War Between the States as series of debates, campaigns, and battles won or lost. The Sea is a Thief offers a new perspective from the dusty lanes and muddy channels of Chincoteague, an oystering island in Virginia, chronicling its effects on a captivating crew of hardy watermen, rogue hunters, moonshiners and merchants. At the center of the storm stand an unlikely young couple who desire only to love each other in peace. Of course, the beloved wild ponies of Chincoteague play a central role. Available on Chincoteague at Sundial Books (www.sundialbooks.net).





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