From the Potomac Headwaters to the Chesapeake Bay


Stream Scholars

Summer Camp 2017

July 17-21


Other Years: 2003  2004  2005   2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012  2013  2014  2015  2016

Seven campers joined us for the week of exploration and adventure at the 15th annual Stream Scholars Summer Camp 2017.  The Stream Scholars learned stream science on streams and rivers large and small, met local outdoor enthusiasts (professionals and conservationists), canoed the Cacapon River, camped where the Potomac River meets the Chesapeake Bay, and met with professional scientists working on complex Bay issues. Most importantly - Scholars learned that they can both enjoy and protect our environment at the same time.
On Monday, the Scholars learned the basics of Save Our Streams stream sampling protocols inTuscarora Creek at the Poor Houser Farm near Martinsburg, WV.  These methods are used by citizen scientists throughout the state of West Virginia.  Chad Thompson, WVDEP Stormwater Specialist, visited during the afternoon with his stream table to demonstrate the erosive effects of water on the landscape.  

For the second year in a row, we were grateful to have a shelter as a thunderstorm sent the Scholars running for cover.  They were able to continue their work sorting and identifying stream invertebrates in the shelter.

On Tuesday, the Scholars travelled to Capon Lake, a long pool of the Cacapon River in Hampshire County.  There they met former camper JoBeth Delawder, now a student at West Virginia University, who would join them for the rest of the week.  The Scholars canoed about a mile upriver to the day's sampling spot in the Cacapon, a much larger river than the previous day's stream.  They used what they had learned on Monday to collect Save Our Streams data for the river.

  Mike Dudash of Eagle Aquatics ably led the trip and provided the canoes.

Wednesday started early for the Stream Scholars! They met at Poor House Farm at 8:30 a.m. and then travelled to Point Lookout State Park in Maryland, located where the Potomac River meets the Chesapeake Bay.  On arrival, the Scholars ate lunch, set up their campsite before heading off to a casual afternoon swimming in the Potomac/Chesapeake. They spent about an hour working on the data they had already collected in West Virginia, and forming hypotheses about what they might find when they sampled the lower river on Friday. After cooking the traditional hobo stew they  headed out to the pier to catch blue crabs with chicken necks on a string - always a highlight when we go to Point Lookout.   Then it was off to bed to get ready for a busy Thursday. 

Thursday began with an early breakfast followed by a guided behind-the-scenes tour of the fascinating Calvert Marine Museum where, as always, the river otters stole the show.  After several hours at the museum, we were off to Soloman's Island to visit with working scientists at the University of Maryland Chesapeake Environmental Center.  The Stream Scholars had close-up time with numerous scientists in their laboratories, learning how they are studying various aspects of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.  The Scholars were very engaged and asked pointed questions.  Then it was time to go back to camp, get out the giant cast iron pot and make dinner.  After dinner the Friends of Point Lookout came to tell them about the amazing history of the site as a prisoner of war camp during the Civil War. 


Friday the Scholars canoed on Lake Tanner just off the Potomac River.  They collected chemical and biological data and compared the results with the hypotheses they had developed on Wednesday evening. 


It was time to return to Poor House Farm Park in West Virginia and the end of our 15th Stream Scholars camp.

On behalf of our Stream Scholars, Cacapon Institute and our members and Board of Directors extend a special thanks to the West Virginia     for allowing     to help us all week,  Eagle Aquatics, 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 USDA-Forest Service, 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.