Each October, our senior Lions make their way to the Georgia coast for their eighth grade trip. And it’s a trip they can’t wait to make! This year’s class – along with their chaperones – left the SLS campus Tuesday morning, and there was much fanfare and cheering as the bus pulled away. On the first day, they traveled to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island to learn about the ins and outs of the five species of turtles that visit the Georgia coast. They also visited the center’s hospital for injured or sick turtles. Then it was on to St. Simons Island to check in at Driftwood Education Center, their “home away from home” for the rest of the week. After unpacking and dinner, they headed out for an evening beach exploration. Here’s a recap video from day one:
On day two, students were assigned to groups and rotated through four activities.
- Gator Tales – By holding snakes, touching alligators and exploring Driftwood’s turtle enclosures, students learned all about these creatures.
- Cassina – This was a cultural journey back in time to discover what it was like to be a Timucuan Native American. Students learned how to make rope, use their tools and weapons, and live in a Timucuan style camp. They also enjoyed teas as they compared the Timucuan culture to our own.
- Muck, Snails and Rails – Marshes are thriving ecosystems with thousands of species inhabiting them. Students examined the marshlands at Driftwood, and explored the animal and plant species that call it home. (They also got a little muddy along the way.)
- Buddy Squad – Students worked together with classmates to accomplish a variety of team building activities.
After dinner (and washing off all of the mud), students took part in the “Spartina Show” – a mix of trivia, comedy, imagination and so much more. Here’s a recap video from day two:
On day three, the group headed out very early to catch the ferry to Cumberland Island. They hiked four miles through maritime forest and along the beach. They enjoyed seeing the wild horses that live on the island and visiting the ruins of the Carnegie family mansion. During the Surf & Turf class they studied the beach environment, and the seining class taught them how to use a 30-foot seine net. They caught several fish species, crabs, shrimp and more, and discussed adaptations and behaviors of the creatures that they caught. They spent the evening back at Driftwood on what’s always a trip highlight, dissecting sharks. Here are some highlights from day three (and a few additional photos from day two):
For the last day of the trip, the group will tour the St. Simons Lighthouse and Museum and then make their way back to Columbus. Be sure to check out the online album for photos from the lighthouse and the trip home – you’re likely to see some happy (but tired) kids, and some parents who are very excited to see them!