Programs at LifeTides Institute

Wonderful trip! Loved sharing the time with Jody, April, Vernon, Jan and all the members of this adventure - great people. The cottages (homes) were beautiful, the food was awesome - the weather was less than perfect but the group had a fantastic attitude and we made the best of each day. Very nice variety of kayaking - marsh, swamp & open waters. Excellent learning experiences and very fun group activities. This was my 1st RS trip, and my next one is Croatia in Oct - can only hope all future trips are as pleasant as my 1st!


Beautiful location, great accommodations, fantastic staff, home cooking: if you like kayaking in the salt marshes, and grits, this program is for you!!


Have taken many, many trips with RS (previously Elderhostel) - this was one of the best! Great food, wonderful accommodations and paddling with April and Jody always a joy, they're conscious of physical limitations you may have, work around them and still make it totally fun. Highly recommend this one.


This was a wonderful week. Great kayaking, weather and new friends! Everyone at RS did a outstanding job; food, kayaking trips & events all top notch. We were all pleasantly fatigued!


Kayaking the Low Country (SC): An excellent program for the sports minded who are interested in a wide variety of kayaking venues. However, the excellence does not stop there: excellent homemade food, wonderful accommodations, superb staff, enlightening lectures/presentations. A great value.


I highly recommend "Kayak the Lowcountry" -- the scenery, the kayaking, the accommodations, and especially the two leaders: April Childess and Jody Tinsley. April and Jody's enthusiasm and love of both kayaking and the low country of South Carolina were infectious. Their leadership styles complimented one another - educational, fun, and adaptable to the group's needs and desires.


Kayaking the Low Country of South Carolina is a wonderful course. The instructors, equipment, and accommodations are outstanding. Being on the water and a part of the environment is a great way to spend a week.


This is a wonderful trip for those who really want to experience the waterways from a kayaker's view. The leaders are warm and personable and very willing to share their wealth of knowledge. It is by far the best all around active trip I have been on with RS. Your skills will definitely be refined as the week goes on.


This is a wonderful program with well organized and helpful leaders, good accommodations and food, and a good pace. I recommend it to people who want to learn to paddle well and want to enjoy doing it.


Road Scholar

Explore the history and experience mouthwatering recreations of the world’s oldest live-fire cuisine! Delve into the evolution, philosophy and customs of this delicious culinary art form with South Carolina Master BBQ Champion and award-winning Chef, Pit-Master JT Handy. Set out into the antebellum South to discover the secrets to succulent barbecue in

South Carolina’s Low Country — a naturally beautiful and culturally rich coastal region that is the undisputed birthplace of southern BBQ. Or leave your passport at home while you take a global journey to experience the BBQ offerings of Korea, India, Texas, and the Polynesian Islands.



Kayaking Level 1

Discover the beauty and secrets of South Carolina’s lowcountry waterways, home to Spanish moss, marsh grasses, blackwater and abundant wildlife. Paddle on salt creeks, blackwater rivers and woodland swamps as you study the culture of the lowcountry and observe species of birds and wildflowers visible only from the water.

Kayaking Level 2

Explore by river, creek and canal a beautiful region rich in water, wildlife and Southern culture. Drift down blackwater rivers draped in Spanish moss as birds flit from cypress to tupelo and turtles sun on fallen trees. Observe the changes in flora and fauna as you paddle down creeks until freshwater becomes salt and egrets soar over the marsh grass. Kayak through historic rice canals and watch history unfurl before you.

kayak program

Bring your binoculars for an adventure that’s perfect for novice birders. South Carolina’s Lowcountry, woven with salt marshes, blackwater swamps and hardwood forests, is a veritable haven for more than 250 bird species, including endangered species, threatened species and species of concern. Learn birding techniques, then hone them as you observe birds during migration along the Atlantic Flyway. Spot shorebirds, raptors, songbirds and other seasonal travelers on field trips to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, Bear Island and Pinckney Island. Possible species include White Pelicans, Prothonotary Warblers, Purple Gallinules, Wood Storks and others.



Environmental Education

Through the power of education, the LifeTides Institute strives to preserve and protect South Carolina’s low country. It supports continuing education and works with local schools and communities, regional universities and is developing programs for veterans to support awareness and stewardship of this special coastal environment. Courses in species identification, coastal and wildlife ecology, habitat & coastal conservation and stewardship are provided to participants. As a charitable organization LifeTides uses its proceeds to support education, land and habitat conservation.

Community Service & Support To Veterans

The LifeTides Institute has a history of supporting and developing specific programs to assist disabled veterans since 2010. LTI provided support and partnership co-financing in the early years of the “Lieutenant Dan Weekends”, founded in Beaufort in 2010 and 2011.  LTI has also supported related program events and retreats in Palm Key since that time and developed a detailed program for ‘Reintergration, Rest and Relaxation’ for veterans returning from conflict. This program was suspended following the advent of the Independence Fund establishing a presence within the Palm Key area and has received zoning approval for a Planned District Development for acreage near Palm Key.