Build your Own Program

Want to take components of existing ready-made field trips or Scout programs and make your own?  Build your own field experience by combining 2-4 of the activities listed below.  Please note that some activities are grade/age specific and only offered seasonally. 

Make a day of it.  Our two picnic areas are available for use at no additional cost for program participants to enjoy their lunches before, during, or after the field trip.

Contact Mary Helen Gillen, Education Manager, at or 410-822-4903 for more details on scheduling, pricing, and program content.

Canoeing Get out on the water to experience Pickering Creek up close!  Canoeing programs include canoes, paddles, PFDs, basic instruction, and two Pickering Creek educators to guide you through the meandering creek.
1-2 hours.  Offered May-October only.  6th grade and up.

PondingGrab a dip net and a bucket to explore the pond at Pickering Creek!  We’ll review the pond as a habitat and nursery environment while getting our hands (and feet!) a little muddy.  Older students will conduct macroinvertebrate surveys to investigate and measure biodiversity.  If requested, water quality measurements may be added at an additional cost.
45 minutes-1 hour.  Appropriate for all grade levels.

Reptiles Students will get up close and personal with turtles and snakes at Pickering Creek.  Learn about the characteristics of reptiles and their habitat requirements during a meet-and-greet with live animals.
45 minutes-1 hour.  Appropriate for all grade levels.

Fishing – Head out onto our dock, feel the sun and breeze on your face, and discover what we can catch below the surface of the creek!  Discuss the connections between land use, water quality, and creek habitat health.  Fishing programs include basic instruction, fishing poles, and live bait.  All fish caught will be released back to the creek.
45 minutes-1 hour.  6th grade and up.

Ornithology – Students will learn how to use field guides and binoculars, in addition to basic bird identification skills, while investigating how and why scientists monitor bird population data.  We’ll also practice our “bird language” skills by delving into the ways birds communicate with each other through sound, postures, and movement.
1 hour.  6th grade and up.

Tracks and Traces – Hone your observational skills while we discover the clues that wildlife leave behind on our trails.  Scat, tracks, and sheds are just a few of the examples we’ll examine during this hands-on program before we venture into the woods in search of animal clues!
1 hour.  1st-8th grade.

Trees and Forests - During this explorative activity in the woods, students will use scientific tools such as field guides, hand lenses, and insect boxes to explore the parts of trees and the forest, and learn how decomposers complete the life cycle of a tree by turning it into forest soil.
1 hour.  1st-8th grade.

Wetland Ecology and Exploration – Let’s get muddy!  With knee high, waterproof boots on, we’ll trek into the restored freshwater wetlands to discover the ecosystem services of these important habitats.  Students will use nets to survey organisms in the wetland pools, shovels to examine the hydric soil, and hand lenses to peer closely at and dissect hydrophilic plants. 
1 hour.  6th-12th grade.

Marvelous Monarchs – Experience the incredible world of the monarch butterfly during this investigative look at the life cycle and migration of one of our most colorful visitors to the Eastern Shore.  Students will learn about the monarch tagging and monitoring process before journeying out with butterfly nets and tagging stickers in search of these sometime elusive butterflies.
1-2 hours.  Appropriate for all grade levels.  Offered September and October only.

TeambuildingFew things help to break down barriers within a group and build camaraderie like working together to overcome an obstacle or complete a challenge!  Bring your group of students to Pickering Creek for a guided morning or afternoon on our challenge course.  Students will work together to solve problems ranging from physical tasks to complex puzzles with the facilitation of a Pickering Creek educator. At least 2 hours, up to full-day program.  6th-12th grade.   

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