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Monday, June 6, 2011

Tippy Canoe & 3rd Grade Oysters Too!

When you teach at a Maryland "green" school, and it's the end of the year and you go camping over Memorial Day weekend...you get backlogged with "not enough time" and too many things to write about...especially if you're writing an environmental blog!!

More than a week ago now, our Eagle Cove School 3rd graders went on a great field trip.  Traditionally, it's an AWESOME trip, where the Chesapeake Bay Foundation comes to our school dock, picks up our 3rd graders (and our oyster spat) via boat, and we head down the Magothy River with kids questing as to where the oysters should go based on certain parameters.  It rocks and is THE best trip ever (see http://greenteamgazette.blogspot.com/2010/03/world-is-our-oyster.html).

This year, based on circumstances and scheduling beyond our control, that didn't happen.  But, we were not about to let that happen.  We have canoes...shall travel!  We can get to the oyster sanctuary, no problemo...with the little help of some paddles and oars, and 3rd grade willpower!!

So being a fan of the Letterman "Top 10" countdown, I thought this might be the way to share our experience:

Top 10 things you learn while embarking on a Magothy River, Maryland canoe trip with ten 3rd graders, 2 adults, 2 adult-seated kayaks, 3 kid-seated canoes, 12 life jackets, and 5 buckets of oyster spat we've been raising all year with the intention to return to the "oyster bar" in the middle of the Magothy:

#10.  Oyster filter the river.  By raising oyster spat all year with the plan to return them to a designated oyster sanctuary, we are ultimately helping to clean the Chesapeake Bay!!

#9. "Canoeing is harder than it looks, but loads of fun!" as quoted by the 3rd graders.

#8.  Ospreys feeding their wee ones on their nest atop a nearby nesting pole (and closer to your oyster drop) are pretty darn cool!

#7.  It was a different trip than our "regular," but an equally neat and sweet trip when you go by canoe versus go by chartered Chesapeake Bay Foundation boat.

#6.  All that being said...don't rock your boat, bay-be!!

#5.  Canoe transport in a short-bed truck is wayyyyy stressful for the adults, and it's nowhere near being on the kids' radar screens!

#4.  There's a big difference in one's ability to row a canoe in a sheltered cove (especially if you are in 3rd grade) than there is out on an open river where the wind and waves can rock you 'till tomorrow and double the intensity of the task at hand.

#3. Teamwork (especially with partners of 3 and 4 kids) is a key to canoeing and propelling your vessel forward in the right direction!!

#2.  A trip like this rates as "the best field trip ever" for 9 year olds!

and #1:
Never, and I mean never EVER, underestimate the strength of a group of 9 year olds eager to be part of the .canoe crew."  This is especially true when they are pushing their aqua-transport into the back of a short-bed truck to take it out into the world....you might, just might, hear the sound of broken glass!

Pics from my (yes dry!) camera!!

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