975 Indian Landing Road
Millersville, MD 21108
tel. 410-222-3822

High school students can take advantage of internship opportunities through the Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education program.

Education interns work with the Trees are Terrific kindergarten program or the Arlington Echo fourth grade program, teaching students through outdoor experiential learning.

Research interns undertake research projects at Arlington Echo. Current topics include SAV research, phytoplankton monitoring, establishing a database for water quality measurements, and mapping rare and threatened native plants. Interns develop authentic research questions and collect data to test a hypothesis based on their question.

Environmental horticulture interns assist Arlington Echo staff with environmental horticultural processes such as removing invasive species from natural areas, designing and maintaining native garden habitats for butterflies, humming birds and other organisms, worm and kitchen composting, natural fertilization, mulching, pruning, growing submerged aquatic vegetation, caring for Atlantic White Cedars and maintaining the cold frame.

Chesapeake Connections interns support classroom outreach and field projects that lead to environmental stewardship. Topics include aquatic grasses, terrapins, storm water restoration projects, and monarch butterfly gardens. Interns assist with all aspects of the project, including classroom outreach, maintenance of plants and animals used in the projects, and the end of year projects that involve plantings and the release of terrapins.

Contact Tanya Marushak at Arlington Echo 410-222-3822

A collage of photos with groups of students standing with an award.

The Envirothon is a statewide competition for high school students. Students study topics such as aquatics, forestry, soils and wildlife and participate annually in an outdoor competition. Envirothon teams are made up of five students who work together to study Maryland’s natural resources over the course of the school year. All topics are hands-on and include practical skills. Training is conducted by experts in each field. Students train in the fall and spring with resource professionals in four content areas and one topic that changes annually. County competitions typically occur in April, and the county winners compete at the state level in June. The Arlington Echo site is used for training and competitions. Our staff also provide instructional support to teachers and students.

Contact Tanya Marushak at Arlington Echo 410-222-3822

Maryland Envirothon 

Every AACPS fourth grade class visits Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center in Millersville, MD, for a one-day or overnight field experience as part of their environmental literacy learning. Arlington Echo programs are linked to the science curriculum throughout the school year. Through exciting, hands-on activities, students investigate the human impact on climate, land, water and living things in the Chesapeake Bay in its watershed. They are challenged to put environmental ideals into action.

Students travel to different learning stations on site, gathering information to develop an educated and environmentally responsible answer to an overarching question: How can we help the Chesapeake Bay? Activities include canoeing, seining, stormwater investigation and more.

Supervision and instruction are provided by Arlington Echo staff and Chaperones recruited by classroom teachers. All Chaperones undergo background checks.

Meals are provided in the dining hall. We challenge students to minimize their food waste by following the philosophy “Take what you like; Eat what you take” and by participating in our on-site composting program. Students aim for a “Zero Waste” meal.

Climate controlled cabins with bunk beds and bathroom facilities provide overnight accommodations. Arlington Echo is a 24-acre outdoor education site owned by AACPS. It includes forest, stream and wetland habitats and is located on the Severn River.

 A collage of photos with students hiking, using microscopes, looking at bees and holding paddles. A collage of photos with students standing near a garden, holding a net, using a clipboard and standing with lifejackets on. 

Group Chaperones

Students should have adult supervision at all times. Group Chaperones escort students to their activities, meals, rest rooms and any other locations. Group Chaperones support Activity Chaperones by encouraging student participation and by helping out as needed. Check the weather and dress appropriately for outdoor activities. Closed-toed shoes are required. Check in at school and get a badge.

For more information regarding background checks and fingerprinting, visit https://www.aacps.org/chaperone

Tips for Group Chaperones

1. Smile and introduce yourself.

2. Review expectations with each group: walk, stay together, and follow instructions.

3. Praise good behavior whenever you see it.

4. Don’t hesitate to address unsafe or inappropriate student behavior when necessary. You are in charge! Address behavior in a positive and calm way.

5. Get involved with the students and the activity. Assist the instructor.

6. Turn cell phones and other electronic devices to “OFF” or “VIBRATE.”

7. Make bathroom stops between activities.

8. If necessary, take students to health room or office for first aid.

9. Try to stay on schedule.

10. Help students treat the environment and facilities with care.

Activity Chaperones & Lessons

For adults without a teaching background, the idea of leading an activity with a group of students in the outdoors can be daunting! Relax! We will prepare you when you arrive early on the day of the trip. If you have time, review your lesson in advance. Check the weather and dress appropriately for outdoor activities. Closed-toed shoes are required. 

For more information regarding background checks and fingerprinting, visit https://www.aacps.org/chaperone



Buzz on Bees

Bee Happy

Seining and Water Quality


Small Means Big

Field Games

Watershed Wonders




Bee Happy


Forest Around Us

Operation Stormwater

Pollution Solution


Seining and Water Quality

Small Means Big  

Sustainable Table

Field Games

Watershed Wonders




Field Games

Follow the Footprints

Pollution Solution


Sustainable Table

Watershed Wonders

Watts Up!

Weather Matters

When Small Means Big

Here are some tips to ensure your success:

Tips for Activity Chaperones

1. Gather students and gain their attention.

2. Smile, introduce yourself and the lesson according to the lesson plan.

3. Get students involved! Have them mix, measure, write on charts, etc. Give students jobs to assist with equipment clean-up, etc. For example, ask, “Who wants to collect the compasses?”

4. Use questions to keep students thinking and to promote discussion. Avoid lecturing. Encourage all students to participate.

5. Pace the activity in order to stay on schedule.

6. When outdoors, speak clearly and at an appropriate volume. If possible, stand with your back to the wind so that it carries your voice to students.

7. Gather students in a small group, not in a line, to speak to them. Avoid walking and teaching at the same time.

8. Stand so that the sun is not in students’ eyes. Sunglasses prevent eye contact, so do not wear them while you are speaking to the students.

9. Use sun or shade to keep students comfortable.

10. Turn cell phones and other electronic devices to “OFF” or “VIBRATE.”

11. Help students treat the environment and facilities with care.

12. Have fun and show enthusiasm. It’s contagious!

What to Bring

Day Trips:

Please wear closed-toed, closed-heel shoes and dress for the weather. 

Please do not allow students to bring any form of electronics.

Meals and snacks are provided for the duration of your child’s visit to our campus. 

Sustainability practices start with us:

  1. We support the 4 R’s: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle.
  2. Please do not bring food items (except pre-approved specialty diets/medical needs) single-use containers or packaged snacks. 
  3. Bring a Refillable Water Bottle. Guests will have access to drinking water and bottle refill stations at multiple locations on site. 

Overnight Trips:

The above guidelines still apply and below is a more comprehensive checklist 

Overnight What to Bring Checklist


Depending on which school your child attends, trips to Arlington Echo are scheduled as either day or overnight programs. Unsure of which your child will be participating in? Check their permission form or contact your child’s teacher.

Day Trips typically run from the school’s arrival at 10:00 a.m. to departure at 5:00 p.m. Lunch and snack are included. Sample day schedule.

Overnight Trips typically run from the school’s arrival on Day 1 at 10:00 a.m. to departure on Day 2 at 2:00 p.m. Lunch, snack, and dinner are provided the first day and breakfast and lunch on the second day. Sample overnight schedule.


Arlington Echo  2021 Menu

  • Cheese Pizza
  • Baked Fruit
  • Fresh Fruit & Vegetables
  • Milk
  • Vegetarian Option – Cheese Pizza / Vegetarian Nuggets
  • Allergen option – Chicken Tenders or Hot Dog

Please Contact Food & Nutrition Services at 410-222-5900 with any dietary concerns. 

Directions & Map

Please insert Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center (975 Indian Landing Road, Millersville, MD 21108) into your GPS.

Arlington Echo Site Map


Ted Hall ehall@aacps.org

Jason Toraldo jtoraldo@aacps.org 

Arlington Echo 410-222-3822

monarch-butterfly largeIn conjunction with the Environmental Literacy initiative, Arlington Echo introduces its newest unit on the Monarch Butterfly. The unit, How Can We Help Monarch Butterflies? has been developed as part of the first grade curriculum. The Monarch unit began in fall of 2011 for first grade classrooms around Anne Arundel County, MD. Arlington Echo plans to roll out the program to the rest of the first grade classes over the next few years. By the spring of 2015 the program will have been implemented in 81 schools, 300 classrooms and had over 20,000 students participate in it.

Why the Monarch Butterfly?

The Monarch butterfly was chosen to be the focus of our first grade Environmental Literacy unit for a variety of reasons. One being that “Human impact” plays a significant role in Environmental Literacy.  In the case of the Monarch, human impact has greatly affected the species to the very mention of extinction.  To lose a species like the Monarch would be a tragic loss.  We feel it is our duty to educate and inform about the issues surrounding the Monarch butterfly, so that conservation efforts can be made to help secure their future.


  • The worst year on record was 2013, with the Monarch population at 80% below average
  • Top threats include: Pesticide/herbicide use, weather related events, mowing of natural areas, deforestation, and development
  • The largest population of Monarchs can be found throughout the United States of America, Canada and Mexico
  • The lifecycle of the Monarch has four stages- Egg, Larva(Caterpillar), Pupa(Chrysalis), Adult (Butterfly)
  • Monarch caterpillars have 5 instars (stages)
  • There are 3-4 (Occasionally 5) generations in a single year
  • The Monarch caterpillar eats ONLY the leaves of milkweed plants
  • Monarch migration behavior still contains many mystery’s
  • 95% of the population migrates to Mexico, the other 5% to California
  • During migration, Monarchs can travel between 1,000-3,000 miles


chesstewardslogoSMIn the spring of 2009, we began to implement the Chesapeake Stewards initiative at Arlington Echo. The purpose is to inform students and parent volunteers about how their actions affect the Chesapeake Bay and to motivate them to take Bay-friendly actions when they return home.

Becoming a Chesapeake Steward is both easy, and rewarding! With education and motivation, any man, woman and child can become a Chesapeake Steward!

Proir to an Arlington Echo trip, during planning with our teachers, we cover the expected outcomes of their outdoor experience. We ask the teachers to explain to their students that we want to improve our efforts to promote environmental literacy. Environmental literacy is explained as knowledge, skills, experiences, attitudes and motivations that lead to environmentally responsible actions. Therefore, we want to challenge the students to become Chesapeake Stewards—people who take action to help the Bay.

CHESAPEAKE_STEWARDS_MAGNETSMDuring their trip, all aspects of the experience are tied to becoming a Chesapeake Steward. All lessons, and meals tie material to everyday life of our students, and provide easy can-do solutions to our environmental issues. At the end of the trip, each student recieves a magnet to take home which gives simple examples of things they can do at home and at school, to set an example for others and to motivate themselves to continue to act as a Chesapeake Steward even when no one is watching.

Some of the easy can-do things students can do, are to plant more trees, catch rainwater (with rain barrels, etc.), reduce fertilizer use, pick up pet waste, compost uneaten food, recycle, reduce energy use, prevent erosion (by planting rain gardens, and slowing down rainwater), and keeping our land and stormdrains free of litter.

Read More

Final WSA Box Anniversary LogoAACPS and the Anne Arundel Department of Public Works (AADPW) collaborated to create the AA County Watershed Stewards Academy (WSA), a unique community outreach and environmental action program. Watershed Stewards Academy builds capacity in Anne Arundel County by training Master Watershed Stewards to help neighbors reduce pollution in our local creeks and rivers. The certification course gives Stewards the tools to implement change in their communities, turning knowledge into action. Stewards work with their communities to install projects such as rain gardens or conservation landscapes and to reduce pollution at its source. Collectively, these small community-based actions are improving the health of the larger Chesapeake Bay watershed. Since 2009, WSA has certified over 160 Master Watershed Stewards from Brooklyn Park to Herring Bay. Each year, these Stewards collaborate with neighbors, businesses, schools and each other to install hundreds of projects that reduce pollution in our rivers and streams.

Visit the Watershed Stewards Academy website!

A collage of photos of adults walking a tightrope, one adult being lifted over a wall, an adult climbing a stack of tires and a adult being lifted through a web made of ropes. A collage of photos of adults standing in a circle, adults standing in a line, adults sitting on each other's laps, adults holding ropes and adults holding hands. A collage of photos with adults standing in a circle, adults lifting another adult and adults holding hula hoops.

The Initiative and Confidence course at Arlington Echo is designed for students and adults to build communication and cooperation skills. Through a series of field games and low elements, participants work as a team to solve problems and overcome challenges. These team building activities help participants become more self-confident as individuals and more collaborative as members of a team. Completing these activities is also a great way for participants to build trust. This course works well with students at the beginning of the school year, faculty groups, clubs and sports teams. All groups must be led by a certified instructor. Certification requires a two-day, 16-hour workshop, which is offered at Arlington Echo three times a year.

Initiative and Confidence Certification – OUT22003 Unified Talent

This two-day, 16-hour workshop provides the certification required to use the Initiative and Confidence Course at the Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center. AACPS personnel sign up on ERO. Non-AACPS personnel contact the Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education Office 410-222-3822.

Initiative and Confidence Recertification – OUT83601 Unified Talent

Recertification is required every two years. AACPS personnel sign up on ERO for this half day workshop. Non-AACPS personnel contact the Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education Office 410-222-3822.

Contact Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center 410-222-3822

program landing page

The AACPS Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education instructional programs, provide both in-classroom and out-of-classroom experiences. Students participate in authentic, interdisciplinary, hands-on, environmental and outdoor learning. The lessons and programs enhance, extend and enrich classroom curriculum. Students connect with their local environment, investigate the impact of their actions on our planet, and learn to make and act upon responsible environmental decisions. Students also prepare for college, career and civic life while they build environmental literacy. 

Kindergarten – Trees are Terrific

Arlington Echo Grade 4

Water Ready Grade 5

Chesapeake Connections Grade 6



High School Internships

Initiative & Confidence Course

Watershed Stewards Academy

The Water ready with Drownproofing Program is a comprehensive aquatic safety program for fifth grade students in Anne Arundel County Public Schools. Students learn personal water safety skills through classroom and pool instruction. At school, water safety readiness lessons are taught by classroom teachers; these lessons are aligned with the Language Arts curriculum. Students are then transported to one of two pools used for the program. The Arundel Olympic Swim Center in Annapolis is used throughout the school year. The pool at Arlington Echo is used in September, May and June. Each student receives four hours of instruction in the pool by certified aquatic safety instructors. Lessons focus on personal water safety, use of personal flotation devices (PFDs), safe rescues of others, cold water survival techniques, hypothermia and ice safety. Instructors complete a skills evaluation for each student. Classroom teachers recruit parent volunteers to assist with supervision. All volunteers undergo background checks.

 Students laying on the pool deck rescuing partners with a long net.


In preparation for the Water Ready with Drownproofing Program, please follow the guidelines below. Classroom teachers will also share this information with students before the program.

Students are to bring the following equipment to the pool:

  • Bathing suit, two towels and a carrying bag. Students wear their bathing suits under their clothing and bring a pair of underwear for changing. 
  • On the day of the Cold Water Survival lesson, a pair of long pants (jeans or athletic wear) and a long-sleeved button-down shirt (cotton or flannel) will be needed. Sweatshirts do not inflate well during this lesson.
  • A brush or comb and a ponytail holder for students with long hair.
  • Glasses case is recommended for students who wear glasses.
  • Goggles may be worn if they do not cover the nose, but will not be allowed if they interfere with instruction.
  • A T-shirt may be worn over the bathing suit.
  • Neutral scented lotions and hair detangler can be brought, but not shared.

Students are NOT to bring:

  • Money or valuables such as watches or jewelry.
  • Cell phones or electronic devices.
  • Hair dryers, shampoo, soap or hairstyling products such as hair gel or hair spray.
  • Perfume, body spray, or scented lotion.
  • Glass or mirrors.
  • Food, candy or chewing gum.
  • Snorkel masks, nose plugs or aqua shoes.


Volunteers are an integral part of the Water Ready with Drownproofing Program, helping to meet the safety and instructional needs of the students. They serve as Readiness Assistants and sometimes Aquatic Assistants under the supervision of a program instructor.

In preparation for Water Ready with Drownproofing, please follow these guidelines:

  • All Volunteers must have a fingerprint supported background check completed through Anne Arundel County Public Schools a minimum of THREE WEEKS prior to volunteering. Please call 410-222-5045 to make an appointment.
  • Complete Sexual Harassment and Child Abuse Prevention training.
  • Arrive at the pool FIFTEEN MINUTES prior to the students if you are not riding the bus and remain for the last group from your school.
  • Read through the volunteer information for more details on responsibilities.
  • Check Volunteer Board in classroom upon arrival at the pool for your name.
  • Aquatic Assistants bring swim wear and towel. Lockers are available for a fee or items can be stored on volunteer tables in the classroom.
  • Dress for the climate of the pool and locker room areas: Readiness Assistants should be prepared for the warmth of the pool while Aquatic Assistants should be prepared for the chill.
  • Please do not bring younger siblings to the pool.
  • Volunteers may want to bring a water and snack. The students will not be eating at the facility, but volunteers are assisting all 5th grade students and may be on site longer than the students. There will not be time for a lunch break.

Volunteer Responsibilities:

  1. Reinforce pool rules at all times.
  2. Assist in supervising the students while at the facility.
  3. Supervise in the locker rooms from outside the privacy curtain.
  4. Assist instructors with adhering to a fast paced time schedule of getting students ready for instruction and ready to load bus.
  5. Be alert to the needs of students and instructors.
  6. Be at the pool edge monitoring students’ safety.
  7. Be enthusiastic, patient, persuasive and encouraging.
  8. Use positive statements when giving instructions.
  9. Positive verbal reinforcement is crucial! A smile also helps!

Directions to Arundel Olympic Swim Center

Swim Center Directions Map


Water Ready with Drownproofing is an aquatic safety education program. Swimmers and non-swimmers will gain water safety skills according to each individual’s ability. Students should know that they will go into deep water if they choose to be tested. Non-swimmers will be in the shallow area of the pool where they can stand up. Students will complete a handbook and lessons in the classroom in addition to in-pool lessons.

Personal Safety: How do I save myself if I were to get into trouble in the water?

  • Briefly discuss the causes of drowning.
  • Discuss expectations and student responsibilities.
  • Screening will be done based on swimming ability to place students in instructional groups.
  • Skills will be taught based on where the assessment has placed the student: deep water or shallow water.

Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs): Your Friend for Life

  • Discuss proper size, shape and types of PFDs.
  • Demonstrate how to put on a PFD on land and in water.
  • Observe a demonstration on the use of the five classes of PFDs.

Non-Swimming Rescues: How do I save someone safely without endangering myself?

  • Discuss and demonstrate the proper steps when evaluating an emergency situation.
  • Perform a non-swimming rescue.

Cold Water Survival: Cold Water Can Kill

  • Briefly discuss hypothermia and cold water survival.
  • Swim with a long pair of pants and long-sleeved shirt.
  • Inflate clothing to make a flotation aid.

 Non-Swimming Rescues: How do I save someone safely without endangering myself?

  • Discuss and demonstrate the proper steps when evaluating an emergency situation.
  • Perform a non-swimming rescue.


Heather McCarthy hhmccarthy@aacps.org 

Amy Grief agrief@aacps.org 

Water Ready with Drownproofing Voicemail 410-222-5855

Arlington Echo 410-222-3822

Text Box:Grasses in Classes Project

In conjunction with Department of
Natural Resources and Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Grasses in Classes Program,
schools grow and propagate redhead underwater grass in the classroom.  Teachers
and students set up experiments, record growth rates and record data. Students
will attend an in-service to learn about the care, propagation, status and
importance of underwater grasses to the Chesapeake Bay.  Underwater grasses
raised will be planted at the soft shoreline restoration project at Arlington

Read More