A couple of weeks ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Assateague Island. It was my second time visiting the island, and I had a great time. What was different about my trip from last year’s was that we had the opportunity to camp on the island this year, which was an interesting experience for me since I’ve never gone camping until then. After setting up our tents, Ryan showed us how to make a bonfire with natural materials he brought, such as juniper, oak wood, and nesting. I thought this was cool because it put into perspective about using natural materials around you. In other words, we didn’t need a lighter.
Once the materials burned enough, we were able to roast marshmallows to make s’mores and even roast some bananas! After everyone has had their s’mores, we did a late night walk to the beach before we headed to bed. It was the most relaxing thing I’ve ever experienced. Also, when we got to the beach, we turned our flashlights off so that we’d allow our eyes to adjust to the darkness that was reminiscent of Dr. Tom Wood’s night walks: we relied on our other senses to guide us around the beach.
The next day, we began our sand dune fencing project. Like last year, Ranger Adam told us some information of the island and also about himself. Then, we began the project right away. This time, however, the returning students to show the new students how to properly build the fences while Ranger Adam was there to make sure everything was done right. This is why we started off a bit slow, but, once people got the hang of it, we were able to finish the fences in time.
The second half of the day involved the salt march. We were instructed to try and catch some marine organisms and put them in the display tank so that Ranger Adam can talk about them afterwards. Also, some people (me included) had the chance to go paddle-boarding, which was a lot of fun for me.The last thing we did was an animal demonstration with a Terrapin and a Barred Owl.
Honestly, I learned a lot more from this trip than last year’s trip to Assateague, but every time I go there (or any nature trip in general), I learn how precious nature is as well as learning about ways to use natural resources. Overall, I highly recommend visiting Assateague to everyone!