South Carolina Outdoor Education Program

Teaching Students to Have An Appreciation for the Natural World

Take your students on an adventure that they won’t be able to stop talking about.  Our kayaking field trip combines Lowcountry history, environmental education, physical education and team building for a day new experiences, unmatched views and hands-on learning.  Offering trips on Shem Creek (Mount Pleasant, SC) and Black River (Andrews, SC), nearly 20,000 middle school students have participated in this world-class program!

Eric Mills, an original leader of the South Carolina Outdoor Education Program, preps students on how to steer the expedition sea kayaks before they set out on their field trip.  Photo:  David Quick

Things to Know

Your Class May Qualify for a Scholarship
Every year, we’re able to offer this program for free for up to 2,000 students, covering the cost of the field trip and transportation through a grant from the Black River Foundation.  If you’re a teacher in Georgetown, Williamsburg or Charleston counties, get in touch to see if you qualify.

Designed for Middle School Curriculum
Grades 6-8

Student Qualifications
Our guides teach them everything they need to have a safe and enjoyable time on the water, so no previous kayaking experience is needed. Also, the ability to swim is not necessary, and many students have gone on this field trip that are non-swimmers.

All trip leaders are Coastal Expeditions guides with certifications in lifeguarding, first aid, CPR and ACA kayaking.  The sea kayaks, paddles and PFD’s are expedition-level and allow students to be in very stable tandem kayaks.  We keep a low ratio of guides to kayaks- 1:6 – to make sure that your students are carefully watched during their adventure.

What Kind of Impact Does This Program Have on Students?
Frequently, we take students out that have never seen the ocean, never been on a boat or do not not know how to swim.  The accomplishment of overcoming their fears and kayaking out into a river or the Charleston Harbor is something that they carry with them for a lifetime.’

With a nature-based experienced like this, students are made aware of the fragile ecosystems and their eyes are opened to the world around them. For example, students from Moultrie Middle School raised money to help re-build Crab Bank Seabird Sanctuary when they learned that this important rookery- a part of their outdoor classroom- was no longer supporting nests.

They discover the sport of sea kayaking,  a lifetime activity that gets them into nature and allows them to unplug and be present.

Read more about the program

If you would like to contribute directly to this program, you can make a donation here.  Each $50 donation allows a student to participate for free.