GVP students had a special field trip this month. We spent two nights at the Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island to learn about the ecosystem of barrier islands. We observed a huge osprey nest where the parents share the job of sitting on the eggs to keep them warm and safe. We studied marine invertebrates like sea whips, hermit crabs, sea stars, and sponges. We used a seine net to find tiny fish that live in the surf. We also learned about the importance of sand dunes and the sea oats that keep them in place.
We also had lots of fun – playing in the surf, making s’mores around the campfire, playing games in the recreational spaces, and hanging around the dormitory. This was the first opportunity for many of our students to see the ocean, feel the sea breezes, and play on the beach. As you can imagine, there was lots of jumping around in the surf and squealing.
The 4-H learning centers are a wonderful resource that help GVP provide in-depth experiential learning for our science, environmental, and social studies curriculum. Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island and Georgia 4-H at Camp Jekyll give us a place to study coastal biomes, while Wahsega 4-H Center near Dahlonega supplies a place to study mountain habitats. Historically, we have attended one camp each school year, alternating between coastal and mountain centers. Next year, we are scheduled to take the students to Wahsega for the chance to learn and experience new firsts all over again!