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Sound to Sea Program Overview and Goals

What We Do
Sound to Sea, the only residential environmental education program on the Outer Banks, offers school groups a habitat-based program which includes multi-disciplinary hands-on activities, a Challenge Course and special evening programs. Last year, 110 school groups (over 6000 students-grades 2-12, teachers and chaperons) explored our barrier island and it's five habitats in Sound to Sea programs at Trinity Center on Bogue Banks. Sound to Sea benefits the school group academically and socially, both at Trinity Center and back at school. Teachers, students and chaperons valued our program, judging from comments on their evaluation forms:

All I do when I go with my family (to the coast) is lay out in the sun, swim and lay in a hot tub. Thank you for showing me that there is more to the beach than sun, water and a hot tub. (Student-New Hope Elementary, New Hope)

After reading your literature that was sent to our school, I became very excited about your programs and how they were parallel to our science studies. I hoped that the children would have some different experiences than at school. The expectations and goals were definitely fulfilled. (Teacher-Burgaw Elementary, Burgaw)

I learned I could depend on and trust other members of my school. (Student-Charles Erwin Middle, Salisbury)

I was very impressed with the (Sound to Sea) instructors. Their temperament, patience, sense of humor, concern for the development of each child, attitude, conflict resolution skills, energy-level and preparation was excellent. (Teacher-Erwin Open Elementary, Greensboro)

You gave me the trip of my life. It was almost better than Disney World. (Student-Claxton Elementary AG Program, Greensboro)

It makes us proud to read that, from a student's perspective, Sound to Sea compares so favorably with Disney World.

Who We Are
Sound to Sea is a non-profit educational service for public and private school youth, their teachers and other supervising adults. The program is sponsored by Trinity Center, a camp and conference center owned and operated by the Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina. Trinity Center developed Sound to Sea as an earth stewardship outreach ministry. The classes and hands-on activities appeal to students from a wide range of capabilities and backgrounds.

Where We Are
All Sound to Sea programs are held on site at Trinity Center, located on Rt 58, 7 miles west of Atlantic Beach, on Bogue Banks.  Trinity encompasses 62 acres of salt marsh, maritime forest, freshwater pond, sand dunes and 1/3 mile each of sound and beach front.

Program Goals

To increase awareness of the human community
In addition to recognizing the ecological communities across the island, students and teachers further explore their human community. By interacting with groups at the dining table and in cabins or classes, students begin to value their place within a community and realize how one individual affects others.

To introduce students and teachers to a variety of habitats typical of a North Carolina Barrier Island
Many students have never seen the sound, salt marsh, freshwater pond, maritime forest or beach habitats. Being able to walk from the sound to the sea, in a matter of minutes, and see the complex ecosystems they learn about in school has a tremendous impact on students.

To apply classroom learning in a practical way
Students often find it difficult to understand how and where they can apply school subject areas outside the classroom. In order to determine the salinity of the water of Bogue Sound, students use math skills to read the hydrometer and various charts. From the water cycle to plant characteristics, students make connections between what they learned in school and what they experience at Sound to Sea.

To enhance relationships between adults and students
Imagine students supporting a teacher on the swinging log at the challenge course.  While interacting outside the classroom setting, students and teachers form lasting healthy relationships. Even planning the trip unites a classroom group as they pursue a common goal.

To stimulate personal growth--students develop a sense of independence and responsibility
For many children Sound to Sea is a first experience away from home for an extended period of time. In an atmosphere of support and encouragement, students help each other adapt to their new habitat, and individually begin to assume responsibility for their behavior and personal belongings. This contributes to the tremendous growth students experience at Sound to Sea.
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