Charleston, SC – November 16, 2016 – 15 students from Burke High School boarded their activity bus early on a foggy Wednesday morning with their chaperones. It didn’t take long for their bus to arrive at the first stop for the day, Wando High School.
The 15 students from Burke HS were introduced to 15 students from Wando HS, and after getting to know each other a little bit over breakfast, the whole group boarded the activity bus to ride up 17 North to Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.
When the bus arrived at Garris Landing to meet their Coastal Expeditions ferryboat, students piled off and grabbed the coolers full of the provisions for the day’s trip to Bulls Island.
These 30 students were chosen by their teachers to participate in a very special structured field study called Over the Horizon.
The idea for the trip was conceived over 5 years ago by a small group of Charlestonians for their Riley Institute Diversity Leadership in Action project, and has endured thanks to several original members’ support. The trip’s focus centers around ensuring high school students understand the value of biological and cultural diversity.
Students got to visit historic sites, walk the famous Bulls Island Boneyard Beach, see many, many alligators, and enjoy lunch at the Dominick House, the island’s only dwelling originally built in the 1920’s as a family hunting cabin. On the beach students participated in team building exercise and had time to explore and collect shells.
The island visit ended with a lively lecture on Gullah culture and the art of sweetgrass basket sewing by local legend Ms. Vera Manigault.
The boat ride back to Garris Landing seemed quick as the group reviewed the day’s events and exchanged contact information to stay in touch.
Two principals from high schools in Horry County participated in the trip and plan to replicate the program in their region.
Huge thanks to Brian Wells for his continued leadership and generous support of the Over the Horizon project. And, thanks to Tricia Midgett, Visitor Services Manager at Cape Romain NWR, the amazing team at Coastal Expeditions, Ms. Vera Manigault, all the volunteers, and the educators and students from Wando and Burke high schools for making it another excellent experience for all involved.