Ware Academy eighth grade students complete an in-depth study of the Chesapeake Bay during their eighth grade year. As a culminating activity, students took a week- long journey through the Bay’s watershed. The trip took the class to the northernmost reaches of the watershed to the head waters of the Susquehanna River.
This experiential learning and team building excursion has students and chaperones arriving in Potter County, Pennsylvania, where they spent two days and a night on a tributary of the Susquehanna by rafting/canoeing while exploring the waterway and surrounding Tioga State Forest.
Traveling to Asaph, students worked with scientists from the United States Geological Survey laboratory to learn how to determine stream health and took part in other research projects which focused on the Chesapeake Bay and its health.
Eighth grade students also discovered the history of the railway and the flora and fauna of the area during their 30-mile bike trip along the gorge on a Rails to Trails route. The side hike to waterfalls and the swimming that completes the day tends to be a student favorite.
Students also engaged in a ten mile hike on the Barbour Rocks trail on the rim of the Pine Creek Gorge where they primitive camped overnight. The next day, students traveled to Camp Misty Mount in Catoctin Mountain Park, Maryland. Camp Misty Mount was established by the Works Progress Administration in 1937. Students stayed in the historic cabins and learned about the establishment of the Civilian Conservation Corp as part of the New Deal set forth by President Franklin Roosevelt.
The last day of the trip was spent visiting Gettysburg National Historical Park. Students Tour the museum, Cyclorma and the surrounding battlefields.
“Ware Academy students gain an abundance of knowledge about the Chesapeake Bay watershed through the applied learning experiences during this trip. As a result, students develop a better appreciation for the outdoors and the need to preserve it,” state trip coordinator and Ware teacher, Sarah Curry.