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School Programs
> Coastal Communities
> Program Options

What Programs May We Choose?


Below is a complete list of the program options in the core areas of Science, Social Studies, History and Geography. Teachers may choose programs from the following list to create a unique field trip program that correlates directly with your classroom studies!



____Creeping Crawlers
Learn the basics of classifying living creatures. Explore the diversity of some of the smaller creepers and crawlers such as spiders and insects.

____Neuse River Study

Introduces students to the Neuse River and watershed concepts while participating in species collection using seine, cast, and dip nets in the river.


____Tidal Creek Study
 While canoeing, students explore tidal marshes and water systems, as well as species collection with dip nets.

____Pond Study
Students learn the components of a freshwater food web and gain an understanding of life in a pond while participating in species collection using dip nets.

____Forest Ecology
Explore the biodiversity of coastal woodlands, forest succession, and the importance of dead and decaying matter; learn basic plant taxonomy and tree i.d.

____Night Nature
Night hikes and activities introduce students to the nocturnal world, and the adaptations of animals surviving in darkness. (Night Program)

____Coastal Birds
Observations with binoculars allow students the opportunity to experience the variety of bird life on the river, tidal creek, and in the forest while collecting species data and observing physiological adaptations of various species.

____Fantastic Fish
Students will learn about the biological and ecological adaptations of fish, as well as their anatomy and physiology, as they "read" and dissect a fish.

____Creatures of the Neuse
Students explore the interconnectedness of coastal animals to the river system while they track coastal wildlife and 'pull' plaster casts of Neuse river fauna.

Students use microscopes and plankton collection tows to learn the vital role of plankton in aquatic systems. 

____Marine Invertebrates
Students learn about the diversity of invertebrates in NC waters and examine the internal and external anatomy of squid through dissection.

____Man and the Neuse River
How do we impact the river and our surrounding environment? How can one person help? Explore current environmental issues surrounding the NC coast and test the water quality of the Neuse River.

____Coastal Soil Ecology
Sample, analyze, compare and contrast soil from various sites in a coastal area testing for soil type, horizon profile, color, pH and percolation time.

Students will learn the basics of reptile and amphibian biology, what are the similarities and the differences, and be able to handle and observe live specimens such as turtles, snakes, lizards, and frogs.


____Maps and Charts Navigation
Compass and map reading, as well as participating in an on-site orienteering course while developing navigational skills.

____Stars and Constellations
Explore the history of constellations and use star guides and telescopes to learn about the night sky.

(Night Program)

Our on-site weather stations enables students to record current weather conditions and learn how geography effects weather patterns.


Social Studies

Students will learn the historic and economic importance of fishing to NC while going fishing in the river and creek.

____Traditional Coastal Transportation +
While sailing on a Flying Scot, students learn historic importance of transportation along the coast.

____Arts and Crafts
Students will make their own arts and crafts, which reflect the coastal region. Students are able to keep all crafts they make.

A simulated fossil dig allows students to become paleontologists and explore history through these fossilized records.

____Coastal Food Experience +
Sample NC seafood and learn the significance of the organisms on your plate.


 Students will go back in time to the early 1700s to experience life as a coastal NC settler.

____Native Americans
 Explore coastal NC tribes and their relationship with nature and the river, as well as how they influenced our current culture.

____Coastal Folklore
  A campfire setting allows students the opportunity to hear local stories and understand the cultural significance of folklore. (Night Program)

 Students experience life as a pirate living and hiding out on the NC coast through a pirate simulation game, the pirate code of ethics, and even go sailing for an additional fee.

Off-Site Expeditions*

____Beach Study*
 Students explore beach and ocean ecology; learn about NC sea turtles, maritime forests, barrier island ecology, and adaptations of seaside flora and fauna.

____Salt Marsh Study*
 Students will actively explore a salt marsh to discover the vital role that they play in the economic and biological aspects of life, students will participate in transect studies to learn more about distribution in a marsh.

Other Options

____Challenge Course
 Students will work together, build relationships, and have fun on a low element challenge course.

 Learn and practice the basics of using a recurved bow and arrow.




* activity held off-site - school must provide transportation for off-site trip.

+Additional fee required


How many programs can we choose?

Day Group: Will depend on arrival and departure times (about 1 activity per hour plus 45 minutes for lunch).

2 days / 1 night: Maximum of 7 daytime programs and 1 night program.

3 days / 2 night: Maximum of 14 daytime programs and 2 night program.

4 days / 3 night: Maximum of 21 daytime programs and 3 night program.

5 days / 4 nights: Maximum of 28 daytime programs and 4 night program.


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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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