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Center for Talented Youth (CTY) & Living Classrooms Foundation
Congratulations! You've decided to have an amazingly unique summer experience with the CTY program and Living Classrooms Foundation! This summer only 64 students get to have the experience you are about to have. This web page has been designed to help parents and students familiarize themselves with the many unique aspects of the Living Classrooms Foundation programs. While many CTY programs happen on college campuses, and daytime field trip excursions, the Marine Ecology Programs involve some different living and learning situations. Please read below for more information and contact information. We look forward to seeing you this summer!
Session One: Registration for the first session of the Marine Science Programs (Chesapeake Bay Ecology and Whales and Estuary Systems) will be at the Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU) in Baltimore, MD on Sunday, June 24 2018, from 2:00PM - 3:30PM. Students will get their room assignments and boat groupings at this point. There will be a brief orientation meeting 3-3:30pm for parents and students. Parents will be expected to depart immediately following this meeting to allow their child's camp experience to begin.
The Vessel Open House for Session One takes place on board the boats that will be used during the field portion of the Marine Science Program. This is a chance for the students and their families to get a sneak peak of Lady Maryland and Sigsbee as well as a chance to meet some of the crew. The Session One Vessel Open House will take place on Sunday June 24, from 12:00PM - 2:00PM at the Frederick Douglass Isaac Myers Maritime Park (1417 Thames St, 21231). There are parking garages and street parking options in the area.
Session Two: Registration for the second session of the Marine Science Programs (Whales and Estuary Systems) will take place on Sunday, July 15, 2018 10am - 2:30pm on the campus of Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI.
The Vessel Open House for Session Two takes place on board Lady Maryland, which will be used during the field portion of the Whales & Estuaries Program. The Lady Maryland will be docked in Bristol, RI and will be open to students and their families from 12:00PM – 2:00PM on Sunday, July 16, 2017 if the docking situation supports this. If the dock is not conducive to boarding, crew will be on hand shore side to answer questions. More details about where she will be docked will be given to participants, as the date gets closer.
All students participating in the Session One Marine Science Programs will be based out of Baltimore MD. Students will spend their first and last nights on the Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU) campus. Session One Marine Science students will spend half of their program at NDMU in Meletia Hall and the other half of their program in the field.
All of the students in Session Two of the Marine Science Program (Whales and Estuary Systems) will spend their first and last nights on the Roger Williams University (RWU) campus. Students will also spend half of their program at Roger Williams University (RWU) and the other half of their program in the field.
While in the field, Chesapeake Bay Ecology students will be camping at sites along the Chesapeake Bay and sailing on board the Skipjack Sigsbee during the day. Whales and Estuary Systems students will spend their time in the field on board the Schooner Lady Maryland, where they will be sailing, anchoring and docking at sites between Baltimore and New England.
Visit their website:
Visit their website:
All Whales and Estuary Systems students will spend half of their time studying with the land-based education staff at NDMU in Baltimore, MD or at RWU in Bristol, RI. They will spend the other half of their time on Living Classrooms Foundation's Schooner Lady Maryland, with her professional crew.
Upon arrival at camp, the Whales and Estuary Systems students will be split into two groups of ten students each. Students will remain in these groups for the duration of Marine Science program. One group will board Lady Maryland Monday morning and begin the field portion of the program, while the other group begins the land based portion of their program; the groups will then switch locations so that all students get a chance to experience all aspects of the program. Typically the groups are broken up according to age and usually the older group goes out into the field first, but there are exceptions to this rule. Group assignments will be given at registration on drop off day.
Want to learn more about the Lady Maryland ?
While on board Lady Maryland, students will split their time between a “Science Watch” where they will be involved in classes relating to Whales and Estuary Systems, and a “Boat Watch” where they will be responsible for tasks relating to ship operations (under crew supervision). While standing “Boat Watch,” students will be involved in all aspects of ship operations such as navigating, steering, setting sails, conducting engine checks, assisting the cook with meal preparations, and cleaning (even taking a turn cleaning the “Head,” our marine toilet)
While onboard Lady Maryland, students will stop in various places such as Mystic, CT, Oyster Bay, NY, and New Bedford, MA. While the crew of Lady Maryland tries very hard to ensure that the students all have the opportunity to observe whales from the deck of their floating home and classroom, we cannot guarantee that we will see whales while aboard Lady Maryland. For this reason, all Whale and Estuary Systems Students go out on a commercial whale-watching boat. Educators from Lady Maryland will accompany students on the Whale Watching trip, which is included in the tuition cost of camp.
The Session One students that are going into the field first will depart NDMU after breakfast on Monday June 25, 2018 and will travel (with LCF staff) via van to the Baltimore Harbor where they will meet Lady Maryland. On Tuesday, July 3, 2018, the group of students who have been in the field will switch with those that have been participating with the land-based portion of the program. Living Classrooms will transport the second group of Session One students via plane and van from Baltimore to meet the Lady Maryland in Massachusetts. These students, along with those completing their time on Lady Maryland, will spend the night together on land under the supervision of CTY & LCF staff. On Wednesday, July 4, 2018 the group who had previously been participating in the land-based portion of the program will set sail on Lady Maryland, while the other group of students (those who had previously been in the field) will be transported back to NDMU via van and plane for the land-based portion of the Whales and Estuaries program.
For specific flight information, please contact either LCF or the Marine Science Site office at the start of camp. Students under 18 do not need ID for TSA security.
Lady Maryland will end Session One in Bristol, RI on July 12, 2018. Students will then travel back to Baltimore with LCF and CTY staff via van and plane.
During the second session of CTY (July 15, 2018 - August 3, 2018), the Whales and Estuary Systems students will follow a similar schedule. After being dropped off on July 14 2018, all the students will spend the night at Roger Williams University (RWU). On Monday July 15, the first group of students will be transported by CTY staff to board Lady Maryland and will set sail from Bristol.
On July 24, 2018, LCF staff will drive students from the Lady Maryland to RWU in time for dinner. Just after breakfast on July 25, 2018, the second group of Whales and Estuary Systems students will be transported via van to the boat by LCF staff. They will be on board by about lunchtime and ready to start their adventure. Lady Maryland will return to Bristol on August 2, 2018 at which point CTY staff will pick the students up in vans and return them to RWU in time for lunch.
Want to see pictures of students on the Lady Maryland ?
Click Here!
The Chesapeake Bay Ecology students will spend half of their time in Baltimore at Notre Dame of Maryland University, studying with the land-based education staff of Living Classrooms Foundation (LCF). Students will spend the other half of their time on board the Living Classrooms Foundation’s Skipjack Sigsbee with her professional crew. Upon arrival at camp the students will be broken into two groups of 12 each. They will remain in these groups for the rest of the program.
Want to learn more about the Sigsbee?
The students will spend their days traveling to different locations around the Chesapeake Bay. They will be seeing many different areas of Maryland while they are in the field. Stops may include Crisfield (at one time dubbed the "crab capital of the world"), Horn Point Biological Labs, Wye Island, Point Lookout, and Tangier Island. While on the boat, the students will be involved in classes relating to the Bay and the many issues surrounding this natural treasure. Students will also have the responsibility of assisting with all operations of the boat. They will be responsible for navigating, steering and assuring the safety of everyone onboard, as well as maintaining the boat through daily tasks including deck washes and taking their turn to clean the head (marine toilet). Of course our crew will be there to keep them safe and lend a hand when necessary.

Due to onboard space limitations, students will spend their evenings camping on shore. Camp facilities include youth group sites in State Parks, fields at colleges, and yards at waterfront restaurants/marinas.

The students are responsible for setting up camp each evening, helping to prepare their meals, cleaning up after the meals and breaking down camp every morning. A Living Classrooms staff member will transport the students' luggage, all camping gear, and all foodstuffs to each site daily in a van. Often times the boat is not docked within walking distance of the campsite, so there may be a short van ride to get from one place to the other. All staff members will be at the campsite for the evening. The educators, and the group's RA will all spend the night at the campsite with the students. For more information on camping please see below.
Want to see pictures of students on the Sigsbee? Click Here!.
Students will be living in the dorms, utilizing the college’s classroom and lab space and making use of the recreational facilities on campus as well. They will also eat all their meals in the cafeteria. Classes are Monday-Friday beginning by 9:00AM and ending by 5:00PM daily at NDMU. At the Bristol location classes are 9:00AM-3:00PM, Monday-Friday followed by activity time and an evening class period from 7:00PM-9:00PM. During class time, students will be conducting college-level experiments, complete at least one full laboratory report, and will participate in classroom discussions. Please prepare your students for this academically challenging portion of the program.

During the evening/activity period campers will participate in a variety of activities with their RAs. These may include recreational activities, arts and crafts, and will encourage community building and social experiences. Phone calls home may also fall into this time period.

Classes will be conducted on weekdays only. On the weekends, students will spend time on the campus of NDMU/RWU and may have a chance to take a field trip to sites in the Baltimore/Bristol area with their RAs.
Click here for land-based pictures.
Classroom time is a structured learning environment that is lead by experienced educators. Classes include discussions, note taking, journals, dissections, lab experiments, and lab write-ups. Although instructors take special care to include fun, hands-on lessons, students are expected to show effort and participate in all classroom experiences. There maybe be a few curriculum related field trips that will occur, and students are expected to behave appropriately. At RWU only, students will often be given assignments to complete during Study Hall periods (RWU only).
Session 1 (Notre Dame of Maryland University)
Graduation will be held on Friday July 13, 2018. More details on the final day of camp will be given at registration. Students will be in class until approximately 11am on Friday, check out will occur no later than 12:30PM; students must be signed out with their RA before leaving camp.
Session 2 (Roger Williams University)
Because of the size of the program at this location there is no official closing ceremony. Students can be picked up beginning at 10:30AM on Friday August 3, 2018. Families will receive more information about the closing day at registration.
The camping facilities will vary. While we try to find State Parks with youth group camping sites, traveling by boat limits where we can go. We try to dock the boat as close to the campground as possible, but they are not always within walking distance of each other. Because of this, students will often be driven by a LCF educator in a van from the dock to the campsite. When at the campsite, students are expected to help set up tents (they will be using 4 person tents), as well as to help prepare and clean up meals. There is fresh water available for cooking, cleaning, drinking and personal hygiene at all sites. Some sites have pavilions and other means of shelter available for the groups' use. At times, the group will need to construct their own tarp shelters if bad weather is expected for the night.
There are not shower facilities available everywhere! Students should expect to be hot and sweaty during their time at camp and can expect to take only one or two showers while they are on the Sigsbee. Along the same lines as showers, there are varying levels of restroom facilities. Some sites have bathhouses with showers, some sites have port-a-potties, and some sites do not have facilities at all. At these sites, the staff will make sure that the group can use a rest room just before bed and again first thing in the morning. In the past, students have enjoyed these nights of "roughing" it.
Places that we plan to camp this summer may include: Jane's Island State Park, Wye Island Natural Resources Area, Point Lookout State Park, Jefferson Patterson Park, Sandy Point State Park, and Tilghman Island.
Click here for here for pictures of CTY students camping.
Students will be responsible for navigating, steering, standing watch and tending sails. In addition, they will be responsible for daily maintenance such as wash down and cleaning below decks. On Lady Maryland students will also assist the cook in meal preparation aboard. The bulk of the Chesapeake Bay Ecology meal prep happens on land, however lunches will be made and eaten aboard, and of course students will be involved in all aspects of meals.
Click here for pictures of daily duties.
The Living Classrooms Foundation staff are professional educators. The full season shipboard staff are all Wilderness First Aid and CPR trained. The LCF land based educators and summer staff are all First Aid and CPR certified. Everyone has gone through comprehensive training on van safety and driving. There will always be a staff member with the group. Each group has an RA assigned to them as well. This staff member, who works for CTY, is a college-age student and will stay with the group both on land and in the field. While on land the RA's primary responsibility will be providing evening and weekend activities and supervision. While in the field, the RA will be with the group at all times. They will participate in all activities on the boat, as well as any on shore activities such as lab and museum activities.
Please refer to the packing list that will be sent to you with all your pre-camp information. Students need to be able to carry all of their belongings themselves, so keep it light. We suggest using a duffel bag since it is "mush-able" and easy to transport in the land support van used while in the field. Whale students are required to share their bunk with their luggage (even while sleeping!). Please note trash bags are not acceptable luggage. Students should only have one medium sized duffle bag (approx. 6000 cubic inches) and their daypack. It is perfectly acceptable (and expected) for their sleeping bag and camping pad (where needed) to be packed in their own "stuff sack". Students are expected to be able to carry all of their own luggage themselves.

We will be living outside, moving a lot and getting dirty, so please do not bring items that are valuable or breakable. Label everything your child brings to camp with his or her name - it will greatly reduce the lost and found, and assure that everything goes home with the right person.
In addition, Living Classrooms Foundation has come up with some tips and extra items that will make your child's trip a bit more successful.
Participants are required to wear close-toed shoes while on the boat daily, these should be different shoes than the ones they wear in the mud and muck. Close-toed sandals such as "Keens" are fine to wear on board while underway. "Crocs" or their equivalent and "toe shoes" are NOT acceptable shoes to wear while underway, as they do not provide enough traction or protection to be considered a safe shoe. Close-toed shoes must also be worn in the labs on campus at both NDMU and RWU. Please make sure that your child packs shoes that can be worn in the mud and muck. These must be close-toed shoes that fit securely (old sneakers are great)!
A pen and pencil with eraser for class time. However, a notebook will be provided for classroom assignments.

A pillow is recommended for all students, however we suggest a travel-sized pillow so there is less bulk.
All students MUST bring a sturdy, reusable, water bottle and have it with them at all times! The summer is hot and humid, and the students will be much more active than normal. Hydration bladder type products that combine with backpacks are not acceptable since the students will be wearing lifejackets while onboard the boats.
Foul weather gear is required for all students, as we will be out in all types of weather. Sturdy rain jackets and pants are suggested, not ponchos. In the case of thunderstorms, we will make sure the students are sheltered as much as possible. You may want to consider rain boots as well, especially for those enrolled in the Whale program.
All electronics should be left at home! This includes but is not limited to: radios, iPods, MP3 players, and video games.
Some items that may make your trip more enjoyable include a book for pleasure reading, journal, and camera. If students want to bring a digital camera, they are permitted however CTY/Living Classrooms will not be responsible for any loss or damage. For this reason, we suggest a disposable camera as a safe alternative. There is no place in the field to charge digital camera batteries. Do not plan on using a cell phone as a camera (see information on cell phones below).
All students must bring a daypack for everyday use. We suggest a backpack (similar to one that is taken to school). This will be used during the day to carry sun block, water bottle, notebook, change of clothes, etc... to and from the boat. In the case of the Whales program it is used for on shore excursions.
Some spending money is recommended. Please refer to the paperwork you will receive from CTY for an amount.

Cell phone or calling card. Please refer to "What if I need to get in touch with my child?" for more information on this subject.

If your child wears glasses or contacts, please be sure to send them to camp! Each summer cautious parent decided the glasses should stay safely at home, however their child then misses out on so much due to the fact that they can't see everything. Please don't let that happen to your child this summer. If you are concerned with glasses being lost, consider sending your camper with a "croakie" or similar type item to keep glasses secure.
We cannot emphasize enough what a difference a pair of sunglasses can make for students! The sun can be very intense on the water/boat.
Students must provide their own sunblock. We request that spray on sunblock be avoided as these products are not conducive to our situation and are not good for the rigging on the boats.All students will have an opportunity to do laundry 1 time while at camp. This will happen either right before they go into the field or upon their return from the field in the middle of the session. You might want to consider sending your child with a travel pack of detergent so they are ready. In the past the washing machines at NDMU did not use quarters while RWU did. It would be wise to send your student with some quarters or small bills to simplify their laundry night.
Whales and Estuaries Specific details: Students are required to keep all their belongings in their bunk with them on Lady Maryland even while sleeping! (Another reason to keep luggage to a minimum).
Everyone will need a sleeping bag and twin-sized sheet to use aboard Lady Maryland. We suggest a travel-sized pillow as well. No linens are provided by NDMU, however they are at RWU. Session 1 students can just use their sheet and sleeping bag on campus as well.
Be sure to bring warm clothes including a winter hat. Nights in the New England area can get very chilly especially on the water!
Chesapeake Bay Ecology Specific details: Students should bring a camping pad on which to sleep. Since they will be camping for 8 nights, a camp pad can make sleeping on the ground much more comfortable. Please make sure it is a camping pad made of either foam, or self-inflating, however they should NOT be the large bed sized pads! Students should be able to roll up these pads and carry them with the rest of their gear. You may also want to consider bringing a twin sized bed sheet. This can be used at NDMU as well as in the field. Often times while camping it is warm at bedtime and a sheet provides enough cover to be comfortable. No linens are provided by NDMU!
During the day, the Chesapeake Bay students will NOT have access to their luggage so a day pack is necessary for a few small items they will need aboard daily.
No. While on land, the students will usually have a chance to shower at least every other day. While on the boats showers can be scarce. The whale students will probably not shower at all while sailing. The Chesapeake Bay students will have the chance to shower occasionally, at most three times while in the field. While on the boats, the students will have a chance to swim in both the Bay and other natural areas, as well as possibly in swimming pools. While on Lady Maryland, the students may have a chance to take an "ocean" bath, they will swim and take their soap and shampoo with them. The students will also be "washing down" the boat daily, which involves a lot of soap and water, thus another opportunity to get a bit cleaner.
Maryland is well known for its summer bugs. Because of this, we ask that your child come prepared to fight the battle. While bug sprays are the common defense method, Living Classrooms doesn't promote this method, since showers are not a daily occurrence, and prolonged exposure to these chemicals should be avoided. If you choose to use bug spray, please make sure it has the very lowest concentration of DEET (preferably 0%) possible. DEET is a very strong chemical, which can cause reactions in many people and should NOT be applied directly to the skin but rather to your clothing. We suggest wearing lightweight long pants and long sleeve shirts in the evening. Another recommendation is that your student start taking Garlic pills approximately 2 weeks before they come to camp (garlic naturally reduces the severity of bug bites in most people) and continue taking them through their stay. Usually one pill a day is enough to do the trick. While the bugs may still bite you, most people do not suffer the itchy reaction when they are using the garlic. Contrary to popular belief, this will not make the students smell. Whale students do not really need to be concerned with the bug issue.
While on land, the students will be eating meals prepared by a professional cafeteria staff. They will have options for breakfast that include hot items, as well as cereal. Lunch and dinner always include a main dish, salad, and dessert. All meals are served cafeteria style.
While in the field, students will be helping to prepare their own meals. In the Chesapeake Bay program breakfasts are usually quick and cold (cereal, bagels, etc.) due to the time constraints of the day. There is generally one hot breakfast planned each trip. Lunches are eaten while underway, so cooking is not an option. Therefore, sandwiches make up the bulk of lunchtime meals, but there are occasional variations. Dinners are prepared at the campsite on two propane camp stoves. While we are limited in the cooking and refrigeration areas, meals are always well balanced and nutritious. On Lady Maryland, there is a cook who is responsible for the planning and preparation of the meals. Cooking while underway on Lady Maryland is routine, so there is more variety in the meals. Please know that, while in the field, students will be required to help prepare and clean up all meals. While on land they will also be responsible for clearing the table, and helping to clean the dining area after meals.
If a student has special dietary concerns, please indicate them on both the food survey form and the health form. We can accommodate most special requests while on land. It can be harder while on the boats, but we do our best. If you have specific concerns, please email Living Classrooms Foundation staff at as soon as possible.
Hot and Humid! It is very common to have threats of thunderstorms late in the afternoon. Students in the Chesapeake Bay Ecology program should be sure to pack lightweight shorts and T-shirts. It is a good idea to have a sweatshirt and some warm pants as well for the evenings. We will be involved in outdoors programming regardless of the weather and it can become cool during a rainy day out on a boat. A snug fitting hat with a wide brim and sunglasses can go a long way in making long sailing days more comfortable!
We will likely experience a wide variety of weather conditions in New England from hot and sunny to quite chilly, especially in the evenings. As such, students should still be prepared with shorts and t-shirts but should also pack pants and layers that they can add in cool weather. It is advisable to pack sunglasses, a hat with a brim to protect from the sun as well as a winter hat for cold weather.
All students will have a chance to call home during camp. Students will be allowed to bring their cell phones to camp with them, however they will not always have access to them. While on land students may only use their cell phones in the evenings during free time and they may not take their phones to class or activities with them. Before your student leaves for the field portion of their program, their RA will collect all cell phones and they will be stored in a water resistant location aboard. When it comes time to call home the students' phones will be distributed and then collected afterwards. We have so much to do in the field that allowing the students to have unlimited access to their phones would be a distraction to all. Additionally, there is no place in the field to charge cell phones.
If you choose not to send your child with a cell phone, please be sure they have a pre-paid calling card so they can call home from a pay phone. All the rooms at NDMU and RWU are equipped with phones. Please speak with your child's RA at orientation regarding specific phone use policies. If you know that your child will only be able to reach you at a certain time of the day, please make sure they know that and remind them to tell their RA. If you are going to be away while your student is at camp, make sure they know whom they should call when they have their chance to use the phone. If they will be able to reach you while you are away, make sure they have the correct number. It is also extremely important that this information be included in the emergency contact information; please be sure to give it to the person who checks your child in at orientation. If you must get in touch with your student, please call the site's office. You will receive that information at registration. If there isn't anyone in the office, leave a message. The voice mail is checked often! Students will NOT have access to e-mail while they are at camp.
Living Classrooms has started a blog to keep family and friends updated on the students' adventures while in the field. This communication tool is not a priority and due to limited Internet service not always updated regularly. When feasible, postings will be made to share news of the group. Feel free to check out blogs from past summers. This will also be the place to find this year's postings even though 2007 is part of the address!
Lady Maryland's (whale program) blog:
Sigsbee's (Chesapeake Bay Program) blog:
You can also "Like" of the Living Classrooms Foundation on Facebook – you never know when a camp post may appear.
While on land, the students are not in class on the weekends. The RA staff at NDMU and RWU is responsible for planning weekend activities, which in the past have included Olympics, casino nights and dance parties. Only while on land is it possible for students to be picked up by a pre-approved person (please see the form in the site packet CTY will send you). If this is going to happen, it must be arranged a minimum of 48 hours prior to the departure from the program. Please arrange this through the site office at NDMU or RWU (you will receive this phone number at orientation). While in the field, program plans will not be altered for the weekend. Students will continue to travel and learn.
A course reader has been designed by Living Classrooms specifically for these courses. The cost of this reader is included in camp tuition and will be distributed at registration.
This is not a problem! We have policies in place to make sure your child gets their needed medications regardless of where they are or what they are doing. Please make sure that you send any medications in the original container. If your student uses an inhaler or epi-pen, be sure to send them with 2 full prescriptions. This is a safety measure! As camp gets closer you will receive more specific information regarding bringing over the counter medications to camp. Any medications (prescription, vitamins, supplements and over-the-counter), will be collected from your child when they arrive at camp. The exception to this is inhalers and epi-pens. Your child will keep one with them, and the staff will keep the other.
For the safety, well-being, and success of your student, please do not hesitate to disclose all medical (physical and psychological) information about your child to the staff. It is important for us to know all we can about your child to help him or her have the best possible time they can.
Living Classrooms staff will attempt to email all students and their families before camp begins. We've found this is a great way to ease nerves and gain important information.
Below is contact information in case you need additional assistance.
Living Classrooms Foundation:
Lisa Jones, M.Ed.
Director of Shipboard Education
Land-based academics:
Lorraine Warnick
Session 1
Corrin McBride Hunt, Ph.D.
Program Manager
Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth

Amanda Fabian
Assistant Program Manager, Summer Programs
Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth 410-735-6214

Session 2
Joshu Fisher, Program Manager

Frannie Worek, Assistant Program Manager
Family Academic Programs
Randi Fedor

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