Sea Camp a rare learning experience for kids

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Forty-two fifth graders from Arkansas learned a wet and wild lesson Monday in Ocean Springs. They are taking part in the annual Sea Camp, sponsored by the Gulf Coast Research Lab.

Class begins with a half mile walk down East Beach. Some have never seen a beach and couldn't resist playing in the sand. Then a few fun facts about our beaches, followed by a few handy safety tips for the kids.

Then it's time to dive in, searching for sea life. They find a lot. Birds flock nearby hoping for an easy meal. This was the trip of a lifetime for the students from Lakewood Elementary School.

"My daughter has been excited the entire year," Lanissa Gilmore said. "She's done fundraisers. She has told all of her family and friends, yes, very excited."

While the children from Arkansas never dreamed they'd be taking a dip in the Mississippi Sound searching for all the little critters that live there, what they did know was that they were going to have a lot of fun.

"This is a lot more fun that sitting in a classroom. We get to catch all these fish and learn about all this ocean stuff," Megan Nickell said.

"I learned to catch small things with a pump and a little thing like the pioneers and I really loved it," Damon Bell said.

Student Tyler Parr talked about what he learned. "On the Mississippi side it's called the Mississippi Sound, the ocean is, and on the other end it's called the Gulf of Mexico," Parr explained.

The kids may have been having a ball, but so were the instructors.

"Oh, it's a lot of fun," Leah Gaines said. "It's always different and they always ask different questions. They are very challenging sometimes in the questions they ask as well, so it definitely keeps me on my toes."

As part of this years Sea Camp, the children also visited Ship Island. They'll head back home to Arkansas Tuesday.

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