OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Climbing aboard the boat, the children don't realize the adventure that's about to happen. First, some facts about the boat and some maritime protocol aimed at the captain.
Anticipation runs high for the students. One of them is Anne-Marie McDonald.
"I think it's going to be really fun, and I like exploring the wildlife and seeing all the fish that we catch in the trawl net," said Anne-Marie.
Another student is Kaiden Kinsey.
"I like that we're going to catch some fish and look at them and see what kind they are," said Kaiden.
The catch is soon brought on board, and the kids gather around to take a look at the bounties of the sea. Education is always part of the program. So is handling a fish, or even a jelly fish. That thrills student Sam Tingle.
"I think it's amazing and very interesting in how the net comes up and brings all the fish and how the fish don't escape from the net," Sam said.
For the 19 children aboard the Peetsy B on this sea camp trip out into the Mississippi Sound, it's a dream come true. For the instructors, it means much more than that because it's real life.
"Hands on is extremely important for these kids, because it lets them just see what is actually in these waters. Some of these kids who live here all their lives and never go fishing and never see the animals that live, so what we're going to do is pull a trawl and let some of the kids touch the fish and touch the shrimp and actually get their hands a little dirty," counselor Summer Dorcik explained.
Of course, you have to document the trip by taking a picture of someone taking your picture. When it's time to head back to the docks, there is little doubt this floating classroom has left a lasting impression.
Two more camps are planned this month by the Gulf Coast Research Lab.