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School Programs > Coastal Communities

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Coastal Communities Power Point :: NC State Standards


Coastal Communities


Opportunities abound for students and teachers to experience Don Lee Camp & Retreat Center through our school based experiential education programs. In the spring and fall, a variety of hands-on, interactive education programs are offered for groups of students to participate in for a day, or up to five days. This ideal coastal setting on the Neuse River Estuary offers groups from 15 to 200 students, a unique opportunity to learn through experiential education. We can assist in creating a program that meets the needs of you, and your students!


Why is this the field trip for my students?

The Coastal Communities program introduces students to the wonders of nature and outdoor discovery through unique experiential learning opportunities that cannot be duplicated in the classroom. Each activity follows the State Curriculum Guidelines so you can custom design a field trip that correlates directly with your classroom studies!

Get up-close encounters with a variety of organisms and habitats with our environmental science options. Students will have the opportunity to:

  • Use seine nets to collect species from the river and test the water quality
  • See, touch, and explore the life of marine invertebrates, fish, reptiles, and amphibians
  • Canoe through a tidal creek and discover creatures that inhabit the creek and marsh
  • Examine the external and internal anatomy of fish and squid
  • Travel through a forest and investigate the soil that gives it life
  • Make connections, develop curiosity , and develop a desire to continue to learn about the world around them


Meet us at the beach and make Beach and Salt Marsh Exploration a part of your experience.


In addition to environmental science programs Don Lee Camp & Retreat Center also offers a variety of social studies, geography, and history programs. Students go back in time and experience life as Native Americans, European Settlers, and Pirates, get a taste of coastal seafood, sail on the Neuse River, dig for fossils, go fishing, measure the weather, and use a map and compass to explore Don Lee Camp & Retreat Center.

Stay overnight and explore the world of nocturnal creatures, stargaze, and listen to coastal folklore around a campfire while making s'mores.

There are many other exciting and educational experiences that your group can enjoy while visiting the coast. We can help you arrange a trip to the Maritime Museum, NC Aquarium, Aurora Fossil Museum, or Tryon Palace as a part of your Don Lee field trip.


Here's what some teachers say about their class field trips to Don Lee Camp & Retreat Center:

“The students really enjoyed it and they learned more in one day than could have been taught in a month!

“It was a great interactive learning experience. The kids had a great time. Each class offered things that I wouldn’t be able to do in my own classroom. It was a great experience.”

“The trip was very educational. All of the activities were hands-on and all of the students were actively involved. Everyone had a great time and was sorry to leave. “

“Absolutely a worthwhile trip! So much learning in such a beautiful and safe environment ~ excellent organization!”


So, what do kids say about the Coastal Communities Program?

“Your camp is the coolest. Camp Don lee has a lot of fun learning activities. All the instructors were great. They answered our questions, talked very thoroughly on the topic they were teaching us about and by this, the instructors made it possible for us to come back to our school and share all our fun experiences. Also, we will be able to use all the great facts as we are growing up.”
Jessica, 5 th grade student in Julian, N.C.

“You’ll probably never know how much I want to thank you, but I’ll tell you from deep down inside my heart, the pictures I’ve taken will never compare to the memories I’ll treasure forever. Because I’ve dissected my first animal, I’ve become a step closer to my dreams of becoming a veterinarian!”
Lauren, 4th grade student in Greensboro, N.C.

“Thank you for a fantastic adventure it makes me feel I just completed a quest. You showed us nature, life, and experience.”
Anonymous student, Liberty , N.C.

“I really enjoyed Camp Don Lee. I thank all the staff for their help and knowledge and kindness. I enjoyed the food and the classes. I loved the space you had on the grounds it wasn’t crowded…I enjoyed the shores and forests.”
Alexandria, 6th grade student, Raleigh, N.C.

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Don Lee Camp & Retreat Center is a Camp and Retreat Center affiliated by faith with The North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church and is operated by NC United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries, Inc.
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