The Chesapeake Bay; Bugs, Barf and Botany

1108230891 327937e41a The Chesapeake Bay; Bugs, Barf and Botany

The field trip I looked forward to the most in the sixth grade was a dawn to dusk outdoor education course on the Chesapeake Bay. I knew that field trips requiring parental wavers or signatures were always the most fun, and this particular trip required both and a mandatory change of clothes, which seemed like gift wrapped by the recess gods to me! The big yellow slip I presented to my mom had bold faced type on the bottom declaring “Sneakers may be lost in the swamp, wear an old pair that you do not mind leaving behind.” And on the day of the trip I’m pretty sure I half-heartedly tied my shoes, in the hopes that although I had given them a sporting chance, my sneakers would catch a hint and allow themselves to be lost in the bogs and Oyster beds.

My class and I packed on the school buses at around 6am, and headed off for morning nature walks and ecology sessions with park rangers.  In the afternoon we trolled the bay for fish and crabs, and studied each creature in a holding tank on the boat before returning it to the wild. I remember that although I was disappointed when my sneakers made it though the knee high mud in the tributary habitat, my mood quickly improved when I was skipped over for a live oyster eating contest that ended up sending a few of the participants running for the rails, hurling their lunches up over the sides of the boat.

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