Student Field Programs Frequently Asked Questions

Requesting a Program | Logistics & Safety | Multi-Day Programs | Rates & Billing | Cancellations

Requesting a Program

Review our application process and apply on our Request a Student Field Program webpage. The request form must be completed by the lead contact attending the program. Contact information for additional teachers attending must also be provided.

We accept one-day program requests on a seasonal basis and multi-day (overnight) program requests on a school year basis. We accept program requests on our Request a Student Field Program webpage on the following schedule:

  • Fall one-day program requests accepted April - May
  • Spring one-day program requests accepted October - November
  • Fall & spring multi-day program requests accepted April - May

We are unable to guarantee any group a field experience due to high demand and limited resources.

The largest group we can accommodate at one location is 60 total participants (includes students, teachers, and chaperones) at the Philip Merrill Center. If your group exceeds the max capacity of your desired program, you will need to either book multiple dates or multiple programs.

  • One-day programs: yes, on a limited basis and depending on staff and program availability.
  • Multi-day (overnight) programs: yes, some weekend blocks are available each season.

Exact start and end times will be discussed with your CBF educators during the pre-trip phone call/email and can be customized based on your needs and transportation. Typical hours are as follows:

  • One-day programs: between traditional school hours of 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Multi-day programs:
    • Karen Noonan Center: arrive Day 1 at 12:30 p.m. and leave Day 3 by 12:30 p.m.
    • Port Isobel and Smith Island: ferries depart mainland Day 1 at 12:30 p.m. and return Day 3 to the mainland by 11:30 a.m.

We require at least one chaperone per group, though it is recommended to have two or more. School chaperone policy takes precedence. Program max capacity includes students, teachers, and chaperones.

No, we do not currently have the resources to accommodate visits to schools.

The locations for our programs can be found on our Student Field Programs webpage. Specific locations and directions can be found on each individual program webpage.

Yes, but priority is given to K-12 school groups requesting Monday-Friday during traditional 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. school hours.

If we are unable to fill your request, you will be placed on a waiting list and may be scheduled later in the season as cancellations occur. We send out waitlist notifications on a rolling basis throughout the season.

Logistics & Safety

Review our program overview documents for packing lists, policies, chaperone expectations, a letter for parents & guardians, and additional information.

Yes, you must bring your own lunch and a refillable water bottle. See the Multi-Day Programs section below for multi-day food requirements information.

Yes, for most of our programs your group will be outside for the entire day.

Investigations vary by the type of program (boat, canoe, stream-side, etc.) and are all designed to build on what you are teaching in the classroom. You can customize the itinerary of the day when you speak with your CBF educators during the pre-trip phone call/email.

Review the policies found in the One-Day (PDF) and Multi-Day (PDF) program overviews with your students beforehand and send it home for parents/guardians to review. Provide all completed health forms to educators at the start of the program. Contribute your knowledge. Assist with group management. CBF Educators are not responsible student discipline. During multi-day programs, you are responsible for students at the end of the program day.

Yes, you should arrive dressed in comfortable layers that you can get wet and muddy. A set of dry clothes for the ride home is suggested. Packing lists can be found in the One-Day (PDF) and Multi-Day (PDF) program overviews.

Yes, teachers must collect and provide a printed, completed health form for each student, teacher, and chaperone to the educators on the day of the field experience.

Student field programs operate rain or shine, as long as, it is safe to do so. In the case of dangerous/severe weather (extreme heat/cold, lightning, or high winds), CBF program staff will contact the group leader to modify or cancel the trip. See more about cancellations below.

Minor injuries are treated on site by our Wilderness First Responder certified field educators. More serious injuries will be referred to the nearest emergency room; staff keep contact information for nearby hospitals. The Director of Education Operations will be in contact with the school/group leader.

No, groups are responsible for securing transportation to and from their program location or ferry. See the Multi-Day Programs section below for information on ferry transportation for multi-day (overnight) programs.

See the Meet Our Educators webpage for further information.

Multi-Day (Overnight) Programs

Dorm-style housing, with rooms sleeping two to eight participants; meeting areas and fully equipped kitchens; Clivus (composting) or flushing toilets. See the Student Field Programs webpage for details and program overviews.

Minor injuries are treated on site by our Wilderness First Responder certified field educators. If necessary, the field educators may transport the injured individual(s) by boat or ambulance to the nearest hospital: McCready Memorial Hospital, Crisfield, MD (Port Isobel and Smith Island) or Dorchester County General Hospital (Karen Noonan Center). Helicopter evacuation is available to TidalHealth Peninsula Regional Hospital in Salisbury, MD.

All activities are dependent on the weather, wind, and tides. Educators will make decisions based on safety of the participants.

Multi-day (overnight) programs have outdoor showers at the dock which can be used on warmer days.

No, you are responsible for bringing and preparing food for your group plus three CBF educators. Sample menus and suggestions for grocery purchase quantities are available upon request.

For Port Isobel and Smith Island, a ferry will transport you to and from the island. The Karen Noonan Center can be accessed by a gravel road. See the Student Field Programs webpage for ferry information and fees.

Rates & Billing

Fees are a flat rate for one-day and multi-day programs. See the Student Field Programs webpage for specific program rates and fees. For information about college and adult rates, please contact [email protected].

Contact the following organizations for information on state funding for school groups:

30 days before your program date for one-day programs or 45 days before the first day of a multi-day (overnight) program. Payment and contract must be received by this deadline in order to guarantee your scheduled date.

Yes, we accept MasterCard, VISA, and American Express payments online.

No, payments must be postmarked by the deadline on your contract. Please mail your check to: Chesapeake Bay Foundation, attn. EDU Scheduling Team, 6 Herndon Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21403.

No, you are responsible for bringing and preparing food for your group plus three CBF educators. Sample menus and suggestions for grocery purchase quantities are available upon request.

For Port Isobel and Smith Island the program rates include the round-trip ferry from Crisfield, Maryland (Eastern Shore). See the Student Field Programs webpage for additional ferry information and fees.

Cancellations

To cancel, you must email the scheduling team at [email protected] or call 800-445-5572.

The one-day program cancellation deadline is 30 days prior to your scheduled date to receive a full refund. The multi-day program cancellation deadline is 45 days prior to your scheduled date to receive a full refund. View the full cancellation policy.

No, we can only carry over your credit balance if you are able to re-book within the same season as your cancelled field program. If not, we will issue any eligible refunds.

In the event of unsafe weather conditions, CBF will cancel the program and will attempt to reschedule based on remaining program availability, or a refund will be issued.

Please note: Due to vehicle/bus accessibility to the Karen Noonan Center (KNC), the weather policy for sites accessible by boat only does not apply. If KNC is part of multiple island centers booked at the same time, the deposit for KNC is non-refundable.

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