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Georgia 4-H at Camp Jekyll: Environmental Education

Class Listings and Descriptions

Class Listings and Descriptions are divided into Day (Core and Electives) and Evening sections. Within these sections, classes are grouped by Jekyll-led or by teacher- led.

Day Core Classes (led by Jekyll 4-H Staff)

These three classes are required.

Kids on beach for class Beach Ecology:
Examines barrier island dynamics, erosion, and accretion. Other topics include the organisms that are found on the beach, importance of the dunes, and dune plants.
kids on large oak tree for class Maritime Forest Ecology: A study of the process of succession from the beach into the mature maritime forest. Class also includes discussion of major animals and plants, the importance of freshwater sloughs, and decomposers of the forest.
kids in salt marsh for class Salt Marsh Ecology: A study of the salt marsh. Concepts include major plants (Spartina), marsh animals (fiddler crabs, mussels, and birds), additional concepts such as food webs and tides are discussed. This is an off-site class.

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Day Electives (led by Jekyll 4-H Staff)

North End Study: Students will compare and contrast the north end and south end beaches. Discussions focus on the accretion and erosion patterns (constructive and destructive forces), human impacts, and coastal concerns. This is an off-site class.
North End Study
Dock Study: Students will use dip nets to collect and study organisms from the fouling community at the dock. They will examine their finds under microscopes in our lab. This is an off-site class. Dock Study
Shark Dissection: Students will dissect spiny dogfish shark (27+ inches) to learn about the biology and anatomy of this animal. We recommend 3-4 specimens per teaching group. Please schedule this class at least 3 weeks in advance of the trip to allow enough time to order the sharks. There will be an additional fee of $16.00 per shark to cover the cost and supplies.

Fish Dissection

Herpetology: A hands-on study of amphibians and reptiles including adaptations, misconceptions, etc. Emphasis is placed on indigenous species of the southeast. Kids looking at a gopther tortoise
Ornithology: A study of birds using binoculars and field guides. Emphasis is placed on coastal birds and their adaptations and behaviors. This is an off-site class. Ornithology
*NOT CURRENTLY OFFERED* Plankton Lab: A detailed look at plankton and its importance in the marine environment. A great class for small and advanced groups. This is an off-site class. Plankton Lab
*NOT CURRENTLY OFFERED* Saltwater Fishing: Students will experience saltwater surf fishing firsthand with their own rod and reel! This class is the product of a collaborative effort between Jekyll 4-H and the GA DNR. All gear and bait provided. This class is complemented with an evening Jekyll-led class that introduces students to fishing, including skills and sustainable catches. Both day and evening classes must be selected together. School size needs to be 80 or less due to time/gear limitations. There is an additional charge of $1 per person (student/adult) to help cover the cost of bait and gear. Recommended for groups 5th-8th grade (anyone 16 or older needs a GA fishing license).
Salt Water Fishing
Salt Water Fishing 2
Seining and Nets: Students will use a seine net to capture organisms in the surf. Concepts include animal adaptations and identification. Offered mid-March to October. We do not go seining when there is any sort of advisory in the ocean (rip current warning, high surf advisory, etc.). A back-up class may be necessary even during warmer months. Seining and Nets
Slough: An exploration of local freshwater sloughs. Students will discuss the differences between salt and fresh water systems, conduct a biological sample (collecting and identifying organisms), and will conduct physical and chemical water analysis such as temperature, pH, DO, salinity, and turbidity as time allows. This is an off-site class. Slough Slog
Sand Lab/Beach Profile: Investigate the origins of sand and how sand grain size influences the beach. Students then survey and measure the Jekyll beach from the primary dune to the water. Skills used in this class include measurement, geography, map reading, and graphing. Not recommended for students below 4th grade; Students need to have basic graphing skills. Sand Lab/Beach Profile

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Teacher Led Day Classes (led by visiting school staff)

Depending on the electives you choose, and the number of days that you stay, you will be required to teach day and evening classes from the following options. Free Time is not an option. Please feel free to discuss other ideas with the programming staff.

Biking: Bikes may be available for a Jekyll tour. This class is best for smaller groups (less than 50 total). A separate check must be made out to Barrier Island Bikes ($5 per person). School transportation required.
Biking on Jekyll Island
Boat Tour: Explore the estuary by boat while enjoying a dolphin tour and trawl. Boat leaves from the Jekyll Island Wharf (30 person minimum). Click here (PDF) for more information about trips or check out their website. Click here (Word docx) for boat tour GPS correlations. A separate check must be made out to Jekyll Wharf Marina ($15 per person). School transportation required.
Eco Boat Tour
Canoeing: Take your students for a trip around the pond at 4-H Tidelands Nature Center by canoe. This class is best for smaller groups (less than 50 total). A separate check must be made out to Tidelands Nature Center ($5 per person). School transportation required. Canoeing at Tidelands
Explore the Beach (PDF): A beach walk that allows for discovery, sand sculpture, and review of concepts previously covered in other classes. Curriculum includes scavenger hunt. This class must be organized to avoid disrupting other classes being held.
Exploring the Beach
Fort Frederica: Explore a historic British fort located on St. Simons Island. The fort is approximately 1/2 hour from Jekyll Island, so this trip takes two class slots. Admission is free. School transportation required. Fort Frederica
Georgia Sea Turtle Center: Explore Georgia' only research, rehabilitation, and education center devoted to Sea Turtles. The center is located in Jekyll's historic district. Choose from one of several programs. Click here (Word doc) for GSTC school program GPS correlations. A separate check must be made to the GSTC ($8 per student, $8 per chaperone, teacher's free). School transportation required. Georgia Sea Turtle Center
Historic District: Explore the history of Jekyll Island on a tram tour of the historic district (20 person minimum). A separate check must be made out to Jekyll Island Museum ($5.00 per person). Payment due 1 week in advance of trip. School transportation required. Historic District
Journals: Allow for supervised time for journal writing and reflection. Use the journals questions we provide or develop your own. Journal Writing
Organized Volleyball/Games: The center will provide volleyballs and basketballs for use in supervised games. Volleyball
"On-the-Spot" (PDF): Have students tackle various physical and mental problem-solving challenges done in large or small groups. We provide some equipment (or bring your own) to encourage students to think logically and cooperate as a group. On The Spot
Mermaids and Manatees (PDF): This creative activity promotes observation and communication skills. Students describe and draw strange and unfamiliar sea creatures. Some materials are available. Mermaids and Manatees
Tidelands Nature Center: Visit our very own nature center that has live animals, touch tanks, and exhibits. Students can enjoy a leisurely stroll and scavenger hunt (PDF) or our nature center staff can lead a herpetology program featuring Tideland's own reptiles and amphibians. A separate check must be made out to Tidelands Nature Center ($4 per person for walkthrough/scavenger hunt or $5.00 per person for herpetology program). School transportation required. Tidelands Nature Center

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Evening Electives (led by Jekyll 4-H Staff)

CSI Cetacean: Students will perform a mock necropsy on a “stranded dolphin” and complete a necropsy data sheet. Students will also present their findings and offer a hypothesis as to the cause of the stranding. Several teaching groups may be combined for this class. Not recommended for students below 7th grade.

Endangered Species: Students explore the causes and consequences of the loss of plant and animal species, and how individuals can make a difference. Includes a "Jeopardy" style review game. This is a large group, lecture-style class.

Environmental Issues: New Class! Students learn about the idea of common property resources and the idea of the tragedy of the commons. Students examine the role of resources managers and what is involved in a stock assessment. Activities include using a dichotomous key and determining the maximum sustainable catch for a fishery. Several teaching groups may be combined for this class.

Fish Kits: A creative look at fish adaptations and characteristics. Several teaching groups may be combined for this class.

Marine Mammals: A look at the marine mammals of the southeast, including whales, dolphins and the manatee. This is a large group, lecture-style class.

Invasive Species: Students explore the characteristics and consequences of invasive plant and animal species, and how these species can be managed. Students are divided into various interest groups and discuss management of a new invasive species on Jekyll.

Night Walk: A quiet walk done in teaching groups incorporating various sensory activities and beach exploration at night. Astronomy may be added if conditions are favorable.

*Not Currently Offered* Saltwater Fishing: This class introduces students to fishing, including skills and sustainable catches. This class is the product of a collaborative effort between Jekyll 4-H and the GA DNR. This class is complemented with a day elective where students will experience saltwater surf fishing firsthand with their own rod and reel! All gear and bait provided, no additional cost. Both day and evening classes must be selected together. School size needs to be 80 or less due to time/gear limitations. Recommended for groups 5th-8th grade (anyone 16 or older needs a GA fishing license).

Sea Turtles: A look at the life of a sea turtle with attention given to understanding current issues. This is a large group, lecture-style class.

Sharks: An enlightening discussion of sharks concerning general adaptations and common misconceptions of these animals. This is a large group, lecture-style class.

Snakes: Students will receive a hands-on experience with snakes, while learning conservation issues. The class will also discuss snakes indigenous to southeast Georgia and common misconceptions, physical characteristics, etc. Several teaching groups may be combined for this class.

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Teacher Led Evening Electives (led by visiting school staff)

Campfire: We set up the fire, you light it and entertain your students. Sing songs, tell stories, or roast marshmallows. Please bring your own roasting sticks and supplies. Fire ring reserved on a first-call, first-served basis for evening slots. Please note, during dry weather, the island issues fire bans and we are forced to cancel campfires. Please have a back up plan in mind.

Gyotaku (PDF): Make your own fish prints. We supply the rubber fish models, you supply the paint and printing materials.

Journals: Supervised time for journal writing and reflection. Use the journals questions we provide or develop your own.

Mermaids and Manatees (PDF): This creative activity promotes observation and communication skills. Students describe and draw strange and unfamiliar sea creatures. Some materials are available.

Mini-Golf: Enjoy playing a round of putt putt here on the island! ($4.00 per person) School transportation required.

Night Walk: Explore the beach at night. No flashlights permitted on beach during turtle season. This class will need to be organized to avoid interfering with other night walks.

Ocean Bingo (PDF): Get students thinking about the variety of life in the ocean. Students will use listening and puzzle-solving skills to figure out the bingo clues.

"On-the-Spot" (PDF): Have students tackle various physical and mental problem-solving challenges done in large or small groups. We provide some equipment (or bring your own) to encourage students to think logically and cooperate as a group.

Organized Volleyball/Games: The center will provide volleyballs and basketballs for use in supervised games.

Sand Sculptures: Plan a theme and bring any materials you may require. Care must be taken to flatten structures during turtle season.

Talent Night: Skits, songs and other creative acts are presented by visiting students and/or adults.

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When you call to select your classes, the number of classes and types you choose will depend on the length of your stay. Below is a worksheet that will help you select classes for our lunch to lunch programs. The class listings that follow are broken into day and evening sections. Within these sections, classes are grouped by Jekyll-led or by teacher-led. Once you have relayed your class selections to the Jekyll reservation contact, we will work up your schedule including number of teaching groups and the class rotations which will be mailed to you promptly. Please call well in advance of your trip to discuss any special programming. Otherwise, the Jekyll staff will contact you approximately one month before your trip to begin working on your schedule. Please make sure we are able to reach you via phone or email. Failure to establish contact regarding class selection could result in the inability to accommodate all requests (some classes are first-come, first-served and others require advanced planning and/or ordering of materials).

Class Selection for Lunch to Lunch Program

Monday - Wednesday or Wednesday - Friday
(arrival time 11:30 a.m. on incoming day, departure time 1:00 p.m. on outgoing day)
  • 8 total day classes (7 taught by Jekyll staff, 1 taught by visiting school)
  • 4 total evening classes (2 taught by Jekyll staff, 2 taught by visiting school)

Download a printable version of this worksheet here (PDF format).

Day Classes
3 day core classes, taught by Jekyll staff:
  1. Beach Ecology
  2. Maritime Forest Ecology
  3. Salt Marsh Ecology

4 day electives, taught by Jekyll staff:

4. ______________________
5. ______________________
6. ______________________
7. ______________________

1 day elective, taught by visiting school:

8. ______________________

Evening Classes
2 evening electives, taught by Jekyll staff:
  1. ______________________
  2. ______________________

2 evening electives, taught by visiting school:

3. ______________________
4. ______________________


Visit our Class by Class Preparations page for ideas about how to dress appropriately for each class listed below.

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