by Michelle Rebilas, Environmental Educator

Getting a “hands-on, feet wet” experience, Wetlands style. Photo Credit: ECO Woods Girl Scout Troop #61468

“The marsh mud will wash off, but the memories will last a lifetime!” I shout as I lead a group of curious, yet hesitant, Scouts and chaperones onto The Wetlands Institute’s “Muddy Trail” in search of our famous fiddler crabs. Immediate squeals erupt as the mud squishes beneath their shoes. Before long, disgust turns to excitement when droves of fiddler crabs dive into their burrows on our approach. Pushing fears aside, Scouts plunge their hands into the mud for a chance to catch a crab! We study the crabs up close and discuss their adaptations to this dynamic salt marsh habitat. By the end, we are wet and dirty, but have a better appreciation for the creatures that call this mud home.

Adventures like this await your Girl Scout or Boy Scout troop during a Scout Program with The Wetlands Institute. These immersive programs engage the senses, encourage exploration, and offer hands-on investigations of the natural world. Our goal is for these direct experiences in nature to inspire Scouts of all ages to want to make environmentally responsible choices and protect ecosystems for future generations.

Aligning with our mission, and in direct support of the Girl Scouts’ mission to make the world a better place, The Wetlands Institute is partnering with the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey to offer a unique set of ten field trips for Girl Scouts in the region to explore everything from science careers to habitats and trees to outdoor art and horseshoe crabs. This opportunity is open to all local Girl Scouts and programs run Nov 2021 – June 2022.

To learn more about all of our Scout Program offerings, please visit our website.