Education at the Dill Sanctuary
The Charleston Museum’s Dill Sanctuary, 580-acres on James Island, is a treasure. The property contains Civil War fortifications, beautiful oak trees and the sounds of young osprey. To this Educator, the Dill Sanctuary represents the past and future colliding, and the opportunities for education are endless.
The Museum’s Education Department regularly brings students to explore the wonder that is the Dill. Normally closed to the public, the primary use of the Dill Sanctuary is Museum programming, classes, and field trips and with the vast resources and history that the Dill provides – lesson plans are endless. At the Dill, we regularly teach programs about the plants, animals, and history – all accompanied by hands-on activities unique to the property. The delight that a child has when they catch their first fiddler crab or when they catch sight of a dolphin popping up out of the Stono River – is worth more than I know how to express. The Dill Sanctuary is a place where a child’s textbook comes alive and field trips at the Dill are always a treat.
The Dill Sanctuary is also the home of the Museum’s popular “Nature Trailers” camps. Spring break and summer may mean time off from school, but that doesn’t mean that the learning should stop. Our Education Department uses those breaks as an opportunity to open the property up and bring students into a different learning atmosphere. Students enjoy the camp so much, they forget that searching for tracks and scat on a nature walk is an educational experience. One of the campers’ favorite activities at the Dill is catching fiddler crabs. What campers don’t realize is that their favorite activity teaches them about biodiversity and how all of the animals are interconnected to form a successful and balanced ecosystem.
The Dill Sanctuary is a place where humans have a chance to connect to the world around them. It’s a place for exploring what makes us connected to the natural environment and it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to share the property with students through programs enriched by the Museum’s collections. The Dill Sanctuary is truly a place that connects the past, the present, and shapes the future.
-Jessica Runyon, Museum Educator, February 2020
Spring Break Camps at the Dill Sanctuary:
Nature Trailers Summer Camps at the Dill Sanctuary:
The Charleston Museum Summer Camps: