MyBrookdale

Ocean Institute FAQs

faqs-bcd

How do I reserve a trip?

Complete the Ocean Institute Registration Form and mail, fax, or email it to:

Brookdale Community College
Outreach Business and Community Development – Ocean Institute
765 Newman Springs Rd.
Lincroft, NJ 07738

Email: kconnelly@brookdalecc.edu
Phone: 732-796-5464 (Kevin Connelly)
If the above number is not responding and it is an emergency, call: 732-224-2816
Fax: 732-224-2664

Please send all payments to the mailing address. Purchase orders may be mailed or faxed.

You will receive a confirmation in writing. Contact us by email or phone if you do not receive you confirmation within two weeks.

For any questions, unless time or ease of explanation are issues, please use the email address. Otherwise you may phone your inquiries to us.

For any trip requests less than eight weeks away, including last minute attempts to book a trip, email and phone in your request.

Where and when do we meet for our field trip?

Unless otherwise informed, all programs start at Sandy Hook Lighthouse parking lot at 10 a.m. Phone ahead – 732-796-5464 – if you are running late or early.

What will we do when arrive on Sandy Hook?

First, it is highly recommended that you stop at Lot D to use the bathroom facilities. Bathrooms will not be available again until lunch time.

Check-in: Bring your confirmation and meet our leaders at the Sandy Hook Lighthouse. Students and materials remain on the bus until the leaders confer on the day’s schedule.

(Because the order of activities varies depending on weather, tides and arrival times, the day’s schedule is finalized with our instructors at check-in.)

Students will be recruited to assist with equipment and field trip activities, including clean-up at the end of the day.

What about lunch?

We will take about a 30 minute break for lunch at the beach. We do not provide lunch. Students and all personnel should bring their own lunches and drinks.

Trash: NJ parks are all “Carry in, carry out.” You must be responsible for your own trash, so please remember to bring trash and recycling bags. (Use this as an opportunity for a lesson in recycling and waste reduction for your class.)

How do we get to our program sites?

Buses are needed for most of the day to move people and equipment. The bus driver should be aware that we will be loading and unloading equipment out of the back door (emergency exit) of school buses, or the luggage compartments of charter buses. Please make sure that the bus company and the drivers are aware of this in advance. Also make sure to have bus drivers’ phone numbers with you throughout the day.

What should you wear on the trip?

Dress according to the weather report, including raingear, but know that weather can be quite different at the shore than inland. You should be prepared for variations in temperature, wind, sun, and rain. It is better to bring too much than too little.

Shorts or a bathing suit are the preferred clothing during warm weather trips between May and October when bay-side activities warrant students getting their feet wet. Sweatpants provide easy cover for legs freshly out of the water for those students lucky enough to haul in the nets from knee depth.

Proper footwear must be worn at all times to protect against such things as rocks and broken seashells. On any field trip in any season, bring shoes that can get wet. Old sneakers, aqua socks, water shoes, and crocks are all fine, and you can bring a change of socks and sneakers for comfort. Do not wear boots or flip-flops. Boots can fill up with water and flip-flops fall off.

For colder seasons, we can provide a limited number of hip boots (waders) for selected individuals at your request or our recommendation. However, the water usually stays warm through October and the knee deep time in the water is short.

If you are bringing very young students or if your school insists on students not getting wet at all, you should recruit parents or teachers to wade in and haul the nets.

How many students can you accommodate?

This is determined by how much advance time we have to schedule available instructors and influenced by the age group. Younger children are typically divided into smaller groups and we expect supervision from all chaperones. At least a 10:1 chaperone to student ratio is asked for. Groups of 100 or more should try and schedule at least four months in advance.

Are these areas handicap accessible?

Some sites and activities are not yet fully accessible, but we will do our best to meet your needs if we can. Please email kconnelly@brookdalecc.edu or call us at 732-796-5464 if you have special needs students so we can discuss our options. One person – the teacher, principal, or secretary – should be the sole contact for the group. Please have parents make special requests through that person. This will avoid confusion on the day of your trip.

What if our numbers change?

Staff is hired based on the numbers and classes reserved in advance. Unless we are notified well in advance of changes in your trip, our fees must remain based on the numbers provided by you.

What about inclement weather?

Trips are rarely cancelled by us except in severe weather like approaching northeasters, hurricanes, or lightening. We try not to postpone trips since we know it is difficult to reschedule, especially in the spring. As long as you are prepared for it, most weather can be accommodated on a field trip. We go “rain-or-shine” to try and meet your needs as best and as safely as possible.

It is your responsibility to check the weather forecast and if you have any concerns to call us at 732-796-5464 48 hours before the trip. If we have any concerns we will call you. We can discuss alternatives at that point, based on the forecast. If there remain questions on the morning of the trip, it is essential to make phone contact very early – at least by 7 a.m. Call 732-796-5464. Often the weather is milder at the shore, or weather patterns that are predicted inland arrive here much later than in the northern or western parts of the state. It is not unusual to have perfectly good weather here at the shore, in spite of the forecast for North Jersey and NYC.

How do we request refunds?

If your trip had to be cancelled and could not be rescheduled, please phone 732-224-2816.

How are safety concerns addressed?

Swimming is not part of our program and students should be advised of this beforehand. Wading and entering the water with nets in a supervised setting and with limited numbers of students are important aspects of our programs.

Insects like mosquitoes, flies, bees, and ticks thrive in NJ depending on the season. We do our best to avoid contact with them and they have not been a particular problem. Protective products are at your discretion.

Poison Ivy is very prevalent on Sandy Hook. In fact, it’s one of the most valuable plants here! We identify it early in our lesson to the students, and keep away from it during our field trip by staying on clearly marked paths. There is little reason to expect to find poison ivy out in the beach and wetland areas where we do most of our work.

Please bring a first aid kit on your trip in case of a minor incident and any needed special medications like Epi-pens. A serious medical emergency will be handled by local First Aid. Your leader should have a cell phone to call 911. Please bring a list of all participants and their telephone numbers in case of any emergency. Additionally, we expect supervisory assistance and participation at all times from our chaperones.

Finally, a field trip is an extension of the school or camp day. Students are expected to be attentive and well-behaved while on the trip. Please, no gum chewing, rock throwing, or horsing around for the safety of all.

Do you offer Merit Badge/Scout Badge Programs?

Many of our activities will qualify for recognition by the Scouts. If any of your students are interested, please let us know beforehand.

Do you offer a summer camps program?

Brookdale’s Camps On Campus offers over 15 Science camps including Ocean Adventures. Summer 2015 camp information will be available online in mid-February.

Other Summer Camp Programs are welcome to book a daily Ocean Adventure for their campers. Follow the same registration directions

How do we get to Sandy Hook?

All programs begin at Sandy Hook Lighthouse parking lot unless otherwise informed. (Check your reservation and map).

Sandy Hook is reached via Routes 36 or 520 through Highlands or Sea Bright. Follow signs to Gateway National Recreation Area – Sandy Hook Unit.

(Don’t forget to stop at the D-Lot restrooms – Sea Gulls Nest)

What do we need to bring?

Check List Suggestions

  • Registered and received confirmation
  • Informed bus company of details and directions
  • Regularly check weather forecasts
  • Have your contact numbers readily available, including the bus driver
  • Have your paid receipt
  • Reviewed subject matter
  • Reminded you students about best behavior
  • Informed your students about clothing and footwear
  • Recommended sun screen, chap stick, extra water
  • Have a lunch plan in place and trash bags
  • Have shell collecting bags
  • First Aid Kit and special medications
  • Cameras, sunscreen,
  • Prepared to have a fun day!