Plan your Own Trip to the Chincoteague Bay Field Station

Plan your trip

Plan your trip

Looking for a unique fun educational experience that feels like a vacation? Check out the Chincoteague Bay Field Station’s upcoming adventures. They have programs all year long. There programs are not just for homeschoolers. CBFS has programs for EVERYONE! They offer courses and field trips for college students, grades schools, families, and the community. You can do everything from building your own kayak to photography. The list of hands-on feet wet adventures is incredible. They also have summer camps for families and groups like the Boy Scouts.

This is an amazing family vacation because all you need to do is bring your love of fun and sense of adventure. No cooking – all  meals are provided for you. No planning- everyday is jam packed with activities. No extra cost – everything is included in the program fee. But the best part is that it is educational! Everyone will learn something!

So down to the nitty gritty details. Let’s talk about the rooms. The rooms at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station are clean and spacious. They are dorm style rooms complete with single beds and very clean. I was surprised to find out that my group of 3 had two rooms and our own bathroom assigned to us. The bathroom had two separate shower stalls and two toilet stalls so our mixed gender family could all get ready at the same time which saved us time so we could sleep later. After all the activities everyday we were tired and needed all the sleep we could get.

The food was good and there was plenty of it. The meals were served cafeteria style. Breakfast choices included hot items like bacon and eggs but there were also cold choices such as fresh fruits, yogurt, and cereal. The best lunch was a cook out at Pocomoke River State Park. The staff made hamburgers, hot dogs, and even veggie burgers. The hands down winner for dinner was a traditional Chesapeake Bay boil done Chincoteague Bay Field Station style – in the lab. The staff boiled up blue crab, shrimp, corn, potatoes, and sausage then poured it out onto the lab tables which were covered in plastic and newspaper. We all had mallets and dug in. It was so delicious and a ton of fun. They taught us the best way to crack open a crab and get to the tasty meat inside. Don’t worry the staff at CBFS did not forget the Old Bay seasoning and drawn butter!
Chincoteague Bay Field Station What about the cost? Well for $195 per person we stayed 3 nights and 4 days in clean comfortable rooms. We had 7 meals total. As far as included activities, well the list is exhausting and also unique to each program. Just a few of the things we did include kayaking, canoeing, trawling for organisms aboard a flat bottom research vessel, shelling on a restricted access beach, and hiking. We had expert guides the entire time and not only were the guides well educated the were also entertaining. All the educators had a great sense of humor and made the trip fun for the whole family. We will be going back  to the Chincoteague Bay Field Station back again and again!

 

Visit the Chincoteague Bay Field Station website to get started planning your trip and check out  our  Chincoteague Bay Field Station Adventure slideshow and Day 2 and Day 3 of our trip.

Summer Coastal Ecology Photos

 

 

 

 

Find out what we did each day – Summer Coastal Ecology Day 1, Summer Coastal Ecology Day 2 , Summer Coastal Ecology Day 3

 

Summer Coastal Ecology Course Day 3

Today we traveled to Pocomoke River State Park. Pocomoke is located in Southern Maryland and is famous for its stands of Loblolly pine and Cypress swamps.  At the park we canoed on the river. We got to take a close look at the roots of many cypress trees and we saw mistletoe growing in tree branches. We also saw lichen. The river is 40ft deep at its deepest point and is second only to the Nile River in depth when accounting for the width of the river.

After our paddle we went for an easy hike on the Trail of Change.  Thebtrail is approx 1 mile long and winds through an old growth forest and cypress swamp areas. Our guide pointed out many species of interesting plants including sassafrass trees, sweet gum, several varieties of ferns, and many more. We also learned about the change in the forest over time and which parts of the forest had reached a climax and which parts were still expanding and growing. It was a very enjoyable hike.

After lunch we spent several hours swimming and relaxing at the pool. It was a gorgeous day and we were thrilled to soak up some rays after the soggy start yesteday. When we returned to campus we had a traditional Chesepeake Bay Seafood Boil Feast. We learned the best way to break open and eat blue crabs. Dinner was delicious.

Tomorrow we head home..sad to go but I will be so happy to see my husband and youngest son who did not come on this trip with us.

 

Did you miss Day 1 and Day2?  Check out our other summer coastal ecology activities on day 1  and day 2.

Summer Coastal Ecology Course Day 2

Well we had a fantastic day! Our morning activity was definitely a hands on feet wet education. We went out onto the Chincoteague Bay in or should I say on a flat bottomed skiff boat. We learned how to capture organisms using an otter trowler we pulled the net back in we sorted throug the catch to determine which organisms to keep and which to throw back in.  We captured quite a variety of creatures including blue crabs, flounder, oyster toad fish, red algae, squid, hogchokers, and sea squirts just to name a few.  After the boat returned us to the dock we came back to campus for lunch and to get ready for our next adventure. After lunch we went to Wallops Island proper where we were  given access to a restricted beach. We went crabbing and shelling. Of course if you get kids that close to water of course they are going to get in so the kids had a blast wading in the surf. I found a great big horshoe crab exoskeleton that I am bringing home. I will use it in the marine biology course I am teaching at our homeschool co-op.

Unfortunately I am having some technical difficulties so I am unable to share pictures of today’s adventure. When we get home from this vacation (yep, I have decided it really is a vacation since I don’t have to cook or clean and someone else is providing all the entertainment ahem I mean educatial activitis for the kids) I will post a slideshoe so you can see for yourself what we did.

Oh I almost forgot, after dinner we went into the lab for some more hands on fun. We had to sort all the organisms captured today into the appropriate Phyla. Then we got to touch and examine all of the organisma as we learned more about their habitats, adaptations, and behaviors. I was shocked to see my son working so diligently taking notes (4 pages of notes!) and drawing pictures of his favorite organisms. For a very active boy who does not particularly love writing or drawing this was simply wonderful to see. All the hands on feet wet learning inspired him to work harder.

Tune in tomorrow to find out what happens on day 3 of our trip.

Summer Coastal Ecology Course

Tonight we arrived at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station in Wallops Island, VA. Vacation? Maybe. Educational home school field trip? Absolutely! For the next few days we will be experiencing hands-on feet wet learning. The camp style bonfire meet and greet tonight was so much fun. The counselors were full of energy and really got the whole group actively participating in the silliness. Watch for updates and pictures tomorrow! I am so excited! I may not be able to sleep.