We walked south, children in a rough line from the surf to the dunes. They picked up everything; crab biters and shells from four or five species, conch and whelk shells, lots of moonshells, oyster shells, clam shell and occasionally the fragile shell of an angel wing. Mermaid purses and strings of conch eggs were in every bag. Nothing was skipped. Sometimes it would be picked up, carried a few yards and then thrown away.
A man with a metal detector displayed his booty for the day. Two rusty spark plugs and a broken fishing reel. The Assateague Ponies gave us a wide berth. No chance of a student being kicked in the head.
Finally with wet feet and sun burnt faces we trudged from the beach to a parking lot where, happily, our bus was waiting.
When we walked and ran into the school with wet and sandy shoes, dragging a leaky bag, the principal and custodian frowned and shook their heads. The bags were dropped off in my room. The dismissal bell rang and everyone flew out to their bus.
Tomorrow we would sort through their treasures and write a brief paper on their experiences on Earth Day. 1687 9/3/15