Is That the Ocean?

“Is that the Ocean?”


As we were nearing the parking area for exploring tidepools, I was taken aback by this seemingly obvious question from an inner city kid attending MOSS. Omigosh, I thought. Can he be serious, or is he just putting me on? I decided I’d better play it straight, and simply answered, “Yes, it is.” He nodded thoughtfully, staring raptly at the big blue sea, trying to take it all in at once. Then he looked at me, and shocked me even more: “Which ocean is it?” he asked shyly. I was blown away by both his lack of knowledge and the eagerness to learn I found in his eyes. “This is the Pacific Ocean. Pacific means ‘peaceful’,” I told him. He turned to gape at it in wonder.

The MOSS program is found only at the Woodlands and teaches hundreds of kids every year. But the program goes beyond facts and figures to include a sense of community and trust, leading to poignant moments like this. Who knows what information can change a life for the better?

—Jeanne Smith
Environmental Education Director