From the Potomac Headwaters to the Chesapeake Bay


Stream Scholars

Summer Camp 2015

July 6-10


Other Years: 2003  2004  2005   2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012  2013  2014



The 13th annual Stream Scholars Summer Camp 2015 made a huge impact on the lives of our campers. The Stream Scholars had new adventures, measured water quality, and met local outdoor enthusiasts, professionals, and conservationists. Most importantly - Scholars learned that they can both enjoy and protect our environment at the same time.

On Monday, the Scholars explored the unique Shenandoah Wet Prairie at CraftWorks at Cool Spring and learned WV Department of Environmental Protection Save our Streams water quality sampling protocols that are used by citizen scientists throughout the state of West Virginia. The Bullskin Run at CraftWorks was the first of many streams that they would be measuring water quality in throughout the week. CraftWorks Executive Director, Terri Burhans, led the Stream Scholars in an engaging, hands-on lesson that integrated arts and environmental education.


On Tuesday, the Scholars travelled across county lines to visit Cacapon Institute’s lab and office in the town of Great Cacapon. There they met with Rachel D’Agostino from the Friends of the Cacapon River who led the Scholars in a discussion about critical environmental issues in the Cacapon River Watershed. Afterwards, the Scholars canoed on the Cacapon River with members of For the Love of Children Outdoor Education Center and took water quality measurements along Long Hollow, a tributary to the Potomac River.

Wednesday was a busy day for the Stream Scholars! It started with a 2 hour drive to Maysville, WV where the students measured water quality in the North Fork of Patterson Creek, a tributary to the mainstem of Patterson Creek that flows through Greenland Gap Nature Preserve operated by The Nature Conservancy. From there, Scholars visited the Fairfax Stone where the Nation’s River, the Potomac, starts as a tiny trickle coming out of a spring on the side of a mountain. Next, Scholars met with the Education Coordinator at Canaan Valley Institute, Alyssa Hanna, who led the Scholars through a hands-on activity that demonstrated the importance of riparian forest buffers and wetlands. From Canaan Valley, it was another 2 hour drive to our final destination for the day, The Mountain Institute at Spruce Knob. Before bed, the Scholars enjoyed several blindfolded activities that tested their senses, coordination, agility, and listening skills.

On Thursday, the Scholars woke up in cozy bunks in round yurts and had a delicious breakfast in the big community yurt, Ulan Bator.  They then started their main activity for the day: orienteering through the woods to the highest point in West Virginia – Spruce Knob. Scholars learned key skills from Mountain Institute staff and made it safely to the top of the mountain in about 3 hours. Up top, Scholars ate lunch while enjoying a grand view of the Potomac Headwaters. Mountain Institute staff also engaged the Scholars in a lively conversation about conservation, geology, and the formation of watersheds. Night-time activities included a candle-lit rendition of Appalachian history and eating smores.

The last day of Stream Scholars 2015 was packed with excitement! After having a scrumptious breakfast, the Scholars packed up their stream sampling gear to take water quality measurements in Big Run. The scholars then enjoyed one last meal at the Mountain Institute and then the headed down the mountain back to their homes.

On behalf of our Stream Scholars, Cacapon Institute and our members and Board of Directors extend a special thanks to CraftWorks at Cool Spring, FLOC Outdoor Education Center, The Mountain Institute; and all the guides, speakers, and educators who shared how they protect rivers and watersheds.  We also wish to thank CI’s supporters who make our important work possible especially our members, The Evenor Armington Fund, Finley’s Green Leap Forward, and Stutzman Chevrolet-Cadillac.”  Your efforts have given our Stream Scholars life-long memories and the understanding that each and every one of them can make a difference in their community and on this planet. Thank you!


Cacapon Institute - From the Cacapon to the Potomac to the Chesapeake Bay, we protect rivers and watersheds using science and education.

Cacapon Institute
PO Box 68
High View, WV 26808
304-856-1385 (tele)
304-856-1386 (fax)
Click here to send us an email
Frank Rodgers,  Executive Director

Website  made possible by funding from The Norcross Wildlife Foundation,  the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Virginia Environmental Endowment, NOAA-BWET, USEPA, The MARPAT Foundation, and our generous members.