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Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
March 7, 1997     Cape Gazette
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March 7, 1997

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22 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, March 7 - March 13, 1997 CAPE LIFE .i [ ,e ..... ,,,:*r&apos; .... '" :<.  .,,,,y"- .... - Children's Beach House gears up for spring field trips Volunteers always welcome at Children's Beach House in Lewes The arrival of March also marks the beginning of children arriving at Children's Beach House on Lewes Beach. Nearly every week from now till June, buses will come daily from all around the state of Delaware with scores of excited youngsters eagerly looking forward to their day or overnight visit to this unique facility on the Delaware Bay, where they will take part in the Environmental Education Pro- gram led by two teachers and a dedicated corps of local volun- teers. The volunteers honed their knowledge of environmental con- cerns and skills to deal with the children at a series of workshops lastweek. Topics on the agenda included a talk by Ann Mazzotta, school psy- chologist at Rehoboth Elementary School and the Consortium in Lewes, who spoke on "The What and Whys of Labels" in reference to special needs children. While the program was origi- nally offered only to children of all exeeptionalities, from learning disabled to talented and gifted, hearing or sight impaired to orthopaedically disadvantaged, with the coming of inclusion poli- cies in the public schools the groups now consist of both special needs and regular students. Also on the program was Eric Pearson, Cape Henlopen State Park historian, who shared his voluminous knowledge of the local park from its earliest history to today; and Jan Nichols, of Bio Whittaker Labs in Chincoteague, who spoke on "More Than You Ever Wanted To Know about the Horseshoe Crab." Horseshoe crabs, sea stars, spi- der crabs, whelks and all other manner of local critters, many of whom reside in the salt water tanks in the Beach house class- room, form a large part of the top- ics children learn about. Many of the live animals were carried about the state by teachers Mary van House and Julie Stutesman as they visited classrooms with their outreach program during January and February. Some 1,775 youngsters were served in this way during months when the weather precludes the outdoor programs which make up the Beach House visits. A typical field trip to the Beach House might include several of the following activities: Sensory Walk: blindfolded students are led by volunteers over the Beach House boardwalk to t-he Bay Beach, emphasizing the use of senses other than sight. Longshore Current Experi- ment: After a classroom orienta- tion lesson, buses take everyone to the ocean beach in Cape Henlopen Park, where the direction of that day's longshore current is deter- mined, using oranges (which are biodegradable and won't harm the environment) hurled into the surf. The children race excitedly up or down the beach to find where the oranges come back to land. Seining: When the low tide is at an appropriate time, each child dons chest-high waders and helps carry the seine into the Delaware Bay, most often near the fishing pier in the park. Some of the day's catch is taken back to the Beach House, where the silversides, mud Angie Moon photo Participants in a recent two-day workshop at the Children's Beach House on Lewes Beach display some residents of the classroom touch tank. Shown are (l-r) Dutch Sanders, Eric Pear- son, Rosemary Metzger, John Renner, Lydia Phalen, Walter Buch and Lorraine Brophy. snails and blue crabs take up resi- dence in the tanks. This outing may include a hike up the Park Observation Tower, and a shell hunt for specific local shells on the beach. Often a beach visit includes some time for the time-honored art of sand castles. Overnights: If the group is to spend the night at the Beach House dormitories, a before din- ner seafood tasting (scallop, squid, shrimp - everyone must try one bite; no one can say "yuck") is fol- lowed by the after-dinner night walk on the beach and stories around the fireplace. Marsh visit: Wearing boots, students hunt for Fiddler Crabs, taste Pickle Weed, cheer when traps left by teachers earlier yield meals to take back to the inhabi- tants of the classroom salt water tanks. Each activity is aimed at increasing the children's knowl- edge of the coastal environment, teaching them respect for nature and the need to care for the envi- ronment, conserving it for their own futures. Volunteers are an essential part of the success of this award-win- ning program, and they become a close-knit team of friends while working with the children. A large percentage of volunteers have recently come to this area, and they are unanimous in agree- ing that volunteerism has helped their transition to new lives. New volunteers are always needed and welcomed; participa- tion in the workshops is not a pre- requisite to becoming a volunteer - as with most jobs, on-the-job training counts most. Lydia Phe- lan, newly arrived in Lewes, and a new volunteer this year, summed up her feelings, saying, "I believe in environmental concerns, and I believe in kids, and I love doing this." Others who feel the same way can call Children's Beach House at 645-9184, and become a part of the warm "Beach House family." Internet savvy makes me life of the party together we can have a good old- fashioned guffaw about the "" But what they don't understand is that not only don't I know what I am talking about, I have no idea A lot of people give me their card and ask me to e-mail them. I always slap them on the back and assure them my e-mail number is around somewhere and we have a good laugh about hearing from each other soon by e-mail. And then there are those who stop me and ask how I liked that hold-up last night in trying to get into the on-line service on the Internet. Of course I always slap them on the side of the head, throw back my hair and together we have a good laugh about diffi- culties in getting to the on-line ser- vice. And sometimes a person will what the Interuet is. I don't know whether it is animal, mineral, veg- etable, a place to go, will eventual- ly cause osteoporosis or can kill you quicker that if you were hold- ing an aluminum chair in the mid- dle of an electrical storm. For some reason, I can't bring myself to admit that I'm ignorant about the most advanced form of com- munications today. It's sort of like watching the Grammy Awards that were on television last week. I have no idea who these people with shaved heads, dog collars, wearing sun glasses at 10 p.m. and with names like "Smashing Pumpkins" and "How about the, "10,000 Mani- acs getting the best album for a group on Prozac, but not institu- tionalized?" "Unbelievable. Who would have guessed?" I assume there is something in all of us, O.K. there must be at least one other person who wants to be part of something they know nothing about, but doesn't want to admit they don't know anything about it to people they don't really know anyway. Just hold up your right hand if you understood what I just said. I thought so. Anyway, with the Internet, I worry that the minute I become tell me that I can obtain informa- I "Garbage" are, but for some involved a dozen red roses will tion quicker by simply using, AIf'TI]T Tf't]' I strange reason I watched the appear on my doorstep, accompa- " " Z LIL.K.1%d,L I,IL,I ,It ,.J IT ,I. Naturally, I slap ] whole show. nied by some crazed deranged them in the mouth, pretend I am ' Say, did you,watch the Gram- stalker with no teeth who will cart shadow boxing and throw my o . my s last ,_night? me off deep into the Amazon jun- ring. Not that I couldn't use the vacation. But I like to know who I am dealing with face to face. I know what it's like to sign up for one small thing. It opens doors. Years ago, I sent away to a mag- azine for what I thought was an insignificant metal file. I got hun- dreds of letters from convicted felons serving time, death row inmates and envelopes requesting postage due with a San Quentin address. All of them wanted to be pen pals and at the very least ask- ing if I could bake them a cake. Believe me, I'm just getting the hang of my MAC card and answering machine. With the Internet, I'll just have to keep on slapping people around and hav- ing a good laugh. I also get a lot of invitations to parties this way. | MM 7 T