Course Descriptions

Day Classes


Estuary Studies:
This class focuses on the concept of the bay and salt marsh as the nursery of the Gulf of Mexico. Students will visit the marsh of Wolf Bay, examine plankton samples under a viewer, study the food web, and learn about various plants and animals that are specially adapted to live in an estuarine environment including marsh grasses, migratory birds, crabs and the bottlenose dolphin. Students will have a basic introduction to marine life identification through the hands-on experience of seining and netting. **Students must wear closed toe shoes for this class

Wildlife Explorations:
Explore the forest ground, trees, and a number of other animal habitats to gain an understanding of animals’ amazing physical and behavioral adaptations. This class will include searching for evidence of animals on a hike, hands-on examination of pelts and skulls, bird watching, an introductory encounter with amphibians and reptiles, and interactive games to help students grasp the concepts of defensive mechanisms and population dynamics.


Happenin’ Herps:
Students will observe, touch, and learn about live and preserved reptile and amphibian specimens. Many of the misconceptions about these often misunderstood animals will be dispelled when students learn about their specific characteristics and adaptations. Students will also learn through participation in relevant, educational games in this lab-based class.

Coastal Forest Studies:
Students will investigate the importance of coastal forests while enjoying a hike. Activities focus on the basic structural and functional characteristics of trees in order to help students see every tree as a unique living organism. Through using dichotomous keys, students will learn to identify common tree species. By exploring the forest layers, students understand the important role forests play in the cycle of life from the soils beneath their feet to the canopy above.


Orienteering:
Apply math concepts and teamwork in a real-life situation. Students will learn basic orienteering skills (maps, compass use and pacing). Students will test their skills on a camp-wide scavenger hunt by working in small groups to navigate from one site to another using only a compass and map.

Team Initiatives & Elements:
Students will learn with cooperation, teamwork and creative problem-solving techniques that they can overcome physical or mental challenges by working through a progression of field based initiatives and low elements. The team challenges offer a valuable lesson in community and helps make the students aware of their important place within it. These teambuilding skills travel back to the classroom to strengthen the school community. Students must wear closed-toe shoes on the Challenge Course – no ‘crocs’ please.

Group Recreation:
Students take a break from academic classes and engage in recreational activities in the gym or at the pavilion area under supervision of the Estuary Life staff. Teachers and chaperones enjoy this time ‘off’ to relax and enjoy the grounds and facilities.

Recreational Swimming:
Cool off in our 3’ to 4’ deep swimming pool by the pavilion near the bay. Students, teachers and chaperones relax together by the pool and enjoy the bay breeze. Feel safe in the knowledge that your students are being watched by a Red-Cross certified lifeguard. Swimming is weather dependant; please choose a back-up class in case of inclement conditions.


Evening Classes


Campfire:

Enjoy an evening relaxing around a roaring fire at our waterside fire ring. Our instructors will enthusiastically lead students in storytelling, songs, and skits. Students get the opportunity to socialize and display theatrical talents. School-led campfire available upon request.


Night Mysteries:

During a walk through the night-time forest, without a flashlight, students learn to use their senses in a nocturnal setting. Topics such as night-vision, sensory awareness, nocturnal wildlife, and comfort with the darkness are discussed and explored during this activity.


Movie Night
Bring a pillow and relax in front of the “Big Screen”. Students, teachers and chaperones enjoy spending time together while watching a PG-rated movie of the organizing teacher’s choice. Recommended as a break from academic classes for groups staying longer than 3 days.

Happenin’ Herps
Students will observe, touch, and learn about live and preserved reptile and amphibian specimens. Many of the misconceptions about these often misunderstood animals will be dispelled when students learn about their specific characteristics and adaptations.