Coastal Expeditions Field Trips

Hello, Adventurers! Welcome to the Coastal Expeditions blog! If you love outdoor activities such as hiking, paddling, exploring nature and learning about wildlife, you’ve come to the right place! Here on the Coastal Expeditions blog we dive deep into different habitats, excursions, conservation efforts and nature programs. To our return readers, thank you for your support! We commend you for being committed to learning. Our site is filled with interactive maps, destination guides, and educational resources. Speaking of educational resources, The Outdoor School consists of afterschool programs, weekly camps, school field trips and more! We offer hands-on workshops taught by highly-trained guides on wilderness skills, birding, identifying native plants, sustainability, kayaking, and camping. Basically anything you want to learn about, we teach! If you haven’t already, we encourage you to take a look around our site to learn more about our offerings. If you are an educator interested in planning a fun trip for the students at your school, do not hesitate to reach out to us!

 

Today, we’re discussing another one of the programs offered here at Coastal Expeditions: field trips! If you were lucky enough to attend a field trip as a child, then you understand how valuable these learning experiences outside of the classroom can be. Field trips are capable of creating a lasting impact in a child’s life and fostering an increased sense of curiosity. We want to give you a comprehensive overview of the benefits associated with field trips in nature, before detailing the trips offered by Coastal Expeditions. There are scholarships available to eligible middle schools and we’ll discuss those in greater detail further on. If you’re interested in enriching the mental lives of children and perhaps even learning something yourself, give this article a read and reach out to us for more information!

 

The Effect of Nature Field Trips

 

Field trips are first and foremost a learning opportunity for those students privileged enough to attend. Since the late 90s, both the National Science Teachers Association and the National Research Council have upheld the importance of field trips as a means of deepening and enhancing classroom study. According to research, field trips most commonly result in three outcomes. Those outcomes are: exposing students to novel experiences while simultaneously increasing their engagement in science (regardless of an established interest in the subject); stimulate positive emotions towards a particular topic; form memories which can be recalled and used long after the initial experience.

 

Think about when you go on vacation. It’s almost like another part of your brain wakes up, right? It’s because you’re exposed to brand-new stimuli, each of which requires your brain to slow down and process. In our normal day-to-day routines, for the most part, we know exactly what to expect. When we venture into an unfamiliar space, we must contend with the unexpected and, in doing so, unlock a part of ourselves we rarely use. The same is true for students when they attend a field trip. Not only do field trips break up the monotony of the classroom, they are also a shared experience, facilitating group learning and the development of interpersonal skills.

 

According to research, when the goal of a field trip is entirely educational, the best format includes a bit of structured learning but not too much. For example, you might prepare the students by giving them a general sense of what to expect from the trip and asking a few preliminary questions (which you hope will be answered through the experience). When the field trip is over, upon returning to these questions, students have an opportunity to gauge just how much they’ve absorbed during the experience. Another key aspect of developing an educational trip is “joint productive activity,” which is characterized by students being challenged, given the space to explore their curiosity, and engaged by adults in bidirectional communication (or conversation which flows both ways).

 

An article in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, titled ‘Do Experiences With Nature Promote Learning? Converging Evidence of a Cause-and-Effect Relationship,’ the link between learning in nature is made starkly clear. The study referred to was broad in its inquiry, including plants in the classroom as well as actual excursions into nature in its determination. The results of the study showed an increased ability to concentrate, an increased interest in the material being taught, and a greater degree of self-discipline were evident when students learned in conjunction with nature. Further, nature-based learning was proven to have a greater impact on disadvantaged students. “Nature-based learning may sometimes even erase race- and income-related gaps… [Nature] is equigenic, giving low-performing students a chance to succeed and even shine.” Nature-based learning was associated with certain skills and attitudes which are essential for a child’s long-term success, such as resiliency, leadership, and effective communication. The study recommended bringing nature and “nature-based pedagogy into formal education.”

 

Our Trips

 

We offer a field trip called the Crab Bank Quest for middle school and highschool students. This trip involves sea kayaking to a seabird rookery island at the edge of Charleston harbor. Class scholarships are available and this includes a bus stipend. With our trained instructors and safety measures, no prior kayaking or swimming experience is necessary. The trip lasts approximately three hours (including on-water instruction). We would depart from Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant. This is a great trip for learning about wildlife, as the rookery islands off the coast of Charleston are home to dozens of species of sea and shorebirds, from pelicans to black skimmers. You can read more about this trip here.

 

Our next trip is called the Island Quest and includes both an ecotour aboard a ferry boat and a quick jaunt on Bulls Island beach. This trip is led by our knowledgeable naturalists and presents a unique opportunity to learn about the natural ecosystem of one of our barrier islands. Bulls Island is part of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge and is home to bald eagles, dolphins, and more! Twenty students is the minimum to book this trip and up to two chaperones will receive their attendance free-of-charge. Per student, the cost is $32. We offer this trip for students between grades two and twelve. We offer bagged lunches for an added fee and custom itineraries! The Advanced Island Quest is an in-depth learning experience for advanced science, social studies, and ecology classes. This trip is also open to college-level courses. The prize per student for the Advanced Island Quest is $42. To learn more about both the Island Quest and the Advanced Island Quest, visit this page!

 

Our Fossil Quest is the ideal field trip for students between first and fifth grade. The Fossil Quest includes a scenic boat ride to Morris Island and an exciting hunt for fossils. During the trip, students will learn about the barrier island’s local history and ecology. The field trip lasts about three hours, is open to groups of fifteen students or more, and is $40 per student. To read more about the safety qualifications of our staff and this trip, go here!

 

Finally, our South Carolina Outdoor Education Program takes students on a kayaking adventure along the Black River. This trip is ideal for middle school students and involves the rich history of the Lowcountry. We give priority to schools within Georgetown, Williamsburg, and Charleston counties. Class scholarships are available for this trip and, similar to the Crab Bank Quest, no prior kayaking or swimming experience is required. You’ll definitely want to take advantage of this one! Read more about the Outdoor Education Program here!

 

 

There’s no better time to instill a spirit of adventure, wonder, and curiosity than when students are young. As evidenced by the research quoted above, there’s no question adding nature to the learning process is beneficial for students and teachers alike. We hope you’ll take advantage of our offerings. If you visit any of the pages linked above, you can submit an inquiry form, which will help us set up the perfect trip for your students! We look forward to going on an adventure with you!

 

Our last article was dedicated to our Veterans Sea Kayak Resilience Program, which strives to help veterans with PTSD improve their mental and physical health while building interpersonal skills. We looked at some of the scientific research supporting the use of group outdoor recreational activities for veterans with PTSD, depression, and anxiety. We also gave an overview of the program, with specifics on how often the Coastal Warriors meet to explore the saltwater and blackwater ecosystems of Charleston and how long the program lasts. We partnered with Boeing to be able to offer this program at no cost to veterans. There are no prerequisites which exclude those without a certain amount of military experience or above a certain age. The program is open to all veterans! There is a waitlist and we explained just how to add your name and be alerted as soon as a new course opens. Definitely give our last article a quick read if you or someone you know might be interested! Until next time, readers. Get out there and explore! Adventure awaits!

Explore. Chat. Visit. And come on back, y’all.
@coastalexpeditions

St. Phillips Island & Beaufort Rentals

Offering

Take in the stunning beauty of local creeks and waters from one of our . Walk-ups are welcome or call / text to book and we’ll be ready when you are. All gear and instruction provided.

Call or text 843.884.7684 to book.

Outpost Location

Need A Guide?

If you really want to get a feel for the local history, identify the native wildlife, and get to special places, you'll need someone experienced to show you the way. We'll get you there.

Check out our St. Phillips Island & Beaufort tours.

Rent a Click to Book via Text

Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant Rentals

Offering Kayaks and Paddleboards

Take in the stunning beauty of local creeks and waters from one of our kayaks or SUPs. Walk-ups are welcome or call / text to book and we’ll be ready when you are. All gear and instruction provided.

Call or text 843.884.7684 to book.

Outpost Location

Need A Guide?

If you really want to get a feel for the local history, identify the native wildlife, and get to special places, you'll need someone experienced to show you the way. We'll get you there.

Check out our Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant tours.

Rent a Kayak or Paddleboard Click to Book via Text

Isle of Palms Rentals

Offering Kayaks and Paddleboards

Take in the stunning beauty of local creeks and waters from one of our kayaks or SUPs. Walk-ups are welcome or call / text to book and we’ll be ready when you are. All gear and instruction provided.

Call or text 843.884.7684 to book.

Outpost Location

Need A Guide?

If you really want to get a feel for the local history, identify the native wildlife, and get to special places, you'll need someone experienced to show you the way. We'll get you there.

Check out our Isle of Palms tours.

Rent a Kayak or Paddleboard Click to Book via Text