In addition to hundreds of hours of hard work in our parks, another important feature of the Virginia State Parks Youth Conservation Corps is to expose the the crew members to the environment, history and culture of the area local to the park.
Arrival at Tangier Island
For the fifth year we had a crew visit article about the shrinking land mass of the Island appeared two days before the trip.
The Liquid Assets II.
The crew boards Liquid Assets II
Captain Billy (left rear) steers the boat into its berth at the pier
When we first arrived at Tangier, we started with a "Tangier Limo" (e.g. golf cart) Tour of the island. After the tour we ended at the beach where the youth carted chairs, umbrellas, and coolers to the beach. The boys enjoyed swimming in the bay and some Frisbee throwing while we enjoyed our subs and the beautiful view. After lunch, Belle Isle State Park AmeriCorps member Stacey Hash talked to us about how the Bay was formed and Steve Davis, Belle Isle Assistance Manager, talked about the threats to the bay. After an hour and a half we packed up and headed back to town.
The Belle Isle YCC crew poses on the beach at Tangier Island
Belle Isle SP AmeriCorps Member Stacey Hash
talks about how the Chesapeake Bay was formed
The main stop was the Tangier Island Visitor Center and History Museum. Most of us watched the video that does a great job of talking about the Island culture and threats to it. The museum is fascinating and we stayed for a long time browsing the many displays.
Crew Tours Tangier Island History Museum and Visitor Center
That left about a half hour to visit shops and walk around the town. Then we met for dinner at Hilda Crockett's Chesapeake House, a family dining experience with Crab Cakes, Clam Fritters, ham, corn pudding, pickled whole beats, cole slaw, potato salad, and green beans. Department of Conservation and Recreation Director David Johnson, who accompanied us on the trip, said a few words. We also were treated with a visit from the Mayor of Tangier Island who spoke to us. We all recognized him from the video.
James Eskridge, the Mayor of Tangier Island, talks to the crew after dinner
After dinner pose
After dinner we headed to Four Brothers (where we had also rented golf carts for transportation) for ice cream and then boarded the boat back to the main land. The wind had shifted so it was a little choppy on the way back and the boys loved standing in the spray. They came back soaked and loved every minute.
Some of the crew pose in the spray
This was my fourth trip to Tangier Island and I am always impressed by the island and the people who live there as they fight daily for the way of life they cherish.
Click here for a great article on the Island.
Check out photo album from the trip.
Here is a slide show of the day:
Beautiful sky on the trip back