The purpose? To comb the beach for evidence of marine life and other cool stuff.
The problem? The kids were not allowed in the water at all. Now I get that letting them swim would be a bad idea. Having a kid drown would be a major bummer and possible even ruin the whole field trip. But no wading? Really? Have you ever taken 100 eight-year-olds to the beach and told them to stay away from the water? Can't be done, my friends.
One crabby old bat of a teacher (not Bug's) spent the entire time patrolling the beach and barking, "Get outta the water! You are NOT allowed in the water!" to any unfortunate kid who stuck a toe in the surf. She even had the audacity to say this to me when I stuck (you might want to sit down for this) ONE FOOT in the ocean to reach a cool shell for one of the kids in my group.
On a side note, we left Winslow at a broiling 90 degrees with high humidity and arrived at Pemaquid to find this:
It was foggy, windy, and COLD. The posted water temperature was 54 degrees, which my left foot can verify. Incidentally, if you think that being cool enough to wear a jacket is enough to persuade your average eight-year-old that it's not swimming weather, then you are the crack smoker.
My group happened to rock at beachcombing. I taught them to lift up the seaweed (which STUNK) to look for critters underneath. We managed to find:
-driftwood & pretty pebbles rounded by the sea
-hermit crabs (my group collected four and put them together on a rock "so they can be a family").
-one seven inch long sea worm which I prodded with a stick while the three little girls in my group shrieked "EWWWWW!" and hopped around
-mussel shells, lots
Among the things I learned on this field trip:
-Stay out of Crabby Old Bat's field of vision.
-Kool-Aid is healthy! I asked a little girl on the bus if she might not want to save the jumbo bag of Doritos for lunch and have a piece of fruit for her morning snack, and she told me that she didn't need any fruit because her Kool-Aid had fruit in it and helpfully showed me the cartoon drawing of a cherry and apple on the drink pouch.
-My daughter is incapable of understanding the words "Do not walk across the picnic blanket with sandy feet."