From the Potomac Headwaters to the Chesapeake Bay


Stream Scholars

Summer Camp 2018



Other Years: 2003  2004  2005   2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012  2013  2014  2015  2016  2017

Cacapon Institute hosted six campers for the 16th annual Stream Scholar Summer Camp 2018. The Stream Scholars enjoyed a mix of river adventure and river science as they learned about stream study procedure and how to protect waterways. During their weeklong camp, Scholars studied streams and rivers, met local professionals and outdoor enthusiasts, canoed on the Cacapon River, camped in yurts on Spruce Knob at the headwaters of the Potomac River- all of this while learning that protecting rivers and streams can be fun!
On Monday, Scholars returned to Tuscarora Creek at Poor House Farm near Martinsburg and focused on learning the necessary protocol for the Save Our Streams stream sampling. Used by scientists and citizen scientists alike, these methods are standard throughout West Virginia to collect data on the health of streams and rivers. During lunch the Scholars had visitors to enhance their understanding of the environmental field. Alana Hartman, with the WV Department of Environmental Protection, led a discussion about her career and how WV DEP protects rivers and watersheds. Chad Minnick and Kristen Bisom, the Stormwater Coordinators for the City of Martinsburg, and Terry Goodwin from Berkeley County demonstrated their EnviroScape as a model for how stormwater runoff pollution and development affect local streams.
On Tuesday, the Scholars traveled to Great Cacapon, WV and toured the headquarters for the Cacapon
Institute. While there they had a talk from Rachel D'Agostino, President of the Friends of the Cacapon River, about the impact watershed organizations have on protecting rivers. Afterwards, the Scholars met with students and instructors from Wind Dance Farm and Earth Education Center and embarked on a canoe trip on the Cacapon River. Mike Dudash of Eagle Aquatics ably led the trip and provided the canoes. During the trip, students stopped for sampling along the river and compared results gathered the day before. During the trip and over lunch students stopped to appreciate the ecology, geology, and great beauty of the region.
Wednesday started earlier as the Stream Scholars met at Poor House Farm at 8:30am to begin the journey to Experience Learning located in Spruce Knob, WV. While on the way, the campers stopped at the Fairfax Stone which is the start of the headwaters of the Potomac River. While there, Scholars formed hypotheses about how their data collected at Spruce Knob would differ from previous collected samples. On route, the Stream Scholars also got a chance to visit Black Water Falls in Tucker County, WV. After arriving at Spruce Knob, Stream Scholars were led in some team building games and practiced survival skills like shelter building and making fires. After a delicious meal and some reflections, Scholars adjourned to their cabins to prepare for the days ahead.
After a hearty breakfast on Thursday, the Stream Scholars were taken to Big Run. At the headwaters stream, they took samples and recorded data on the biological, chemical, and physical aspects of the stream using the Save Our Streams protocol. This data would be used in comparison to Tuscarora Creek and Cacapon River from earlier in the week. After the stream sampling, the Scholars were taken to the Sinks of Gandy to explore the caves and other karst topographical features of the area. The Scholars were led through the cave systems and explored the geology and hydrology that created the cave and shaped the landscape. The campers were taken back to the camp for dinner and activities. After dinner, the campers formed teams and complied data from the three stream studies to present to the group about their hypotheses and findings.
Friday the Scholars learned some of the skills of orienteering and hiked to the top of Spruce Knob, the highest point in West Virginia. While at the summit, the Stream Scholars reviewed topographic maps, learned about the geologic history of the mountains, and practiced some free climbing. Afterwards, it was time to return to Poor House Farm Park in West Virginia and the end of our 16th Stream Scholars Summer Camp.
On behalf of our Stream Scholars, Cacapon Institute and our members and Board of Directors extend a special thanks to the Experience Learning staff, 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.