I tagged along with Ranger Jennifer, on an afternoon nature walk at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Her group consisted of 32 summer camp participants and 11 chaperones. These students were third and fourth graders and came a long way for the visit to the refuge.
Jennifer began the tour, by leading the group in a discussion on salt marshes, wetlands, and estuaries. She asked the students questions and many were answered. When their answers were not clear enough, Jennifer helped to clarify it. She then led the group on the trail of the West Pond where she supplied them with binoculars and field guides. As we traveled along the trail, she pointed out many things and the students eagerly used the binoculars to see birds and identify them by using the field guides. Once we returned to the Visitor Center, Jennifer introduced the students to aquatic animals and engaged them in another discussion.
As a high school teacher, who has never brought students to this type of environment, I wanted to tag along with Jennifer because these students were younger than the ones I teach and to observe her interactions with the children. I took mental notes on the experience and what I observed.