Connecting the Ecosystem Dots
Camp Elachee 2021: Green and Growing – Week 4
Making connections… science and nature in concert... the week of June 21-25, 2021 gave campers a hands-on introduction to the relationship between growing plants and the creatures in differing ecosystems that need that vegetation to survive.
The concepts of Green and Growing perhaps took on new meaning for these young people thanks to the backdrop of the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve, its creeks and woodlands, as well as fun activities with special visitors.
What better way to make Green and Growing click than by giving campers a taste of Old McDonald’s Farm animals (those critters they’ve been reading about since birth!). The wonderful folks at North Georgia Zoo and Wildlife Wonder’s Zoo to You brought a menagerie to meet and cuddle with our campers; among them goats, silky chickens, a rabbit and a baby goose. The favorite? Definitely, Lulu the llama.
A 7-year-old camper just could not get over the long-necked mammal, exclaiming, “I thought llamas were extinct!”
Campers spent time touching and interacting with these furry critters then proceeded to learn about all their needs and how what they eat (which comes from the ground), helps them grow tall and healthy.
Time and incentive to express their creativity and individuality is a hallmark of the Camp Elachee experience. For example, sunflowers helped campers make a connection about the many important uses for this plant. Some campers learned about sunflower anatomy by creating their own 3-D flower craft using natural materials. During that craft, they heard about the role harvested sunflowers play as a food source for humans as well as insects, birds, other wildlife and domestic animals. Other campers made bird feeders, learning how birds are the foot soldiers of plant germination, spreading seeds far and wide across the land!
Farm to Table
When campers can relate a camp experience with an activity at home, we get excited! Where does food come from? How does it get to a grocery store or restaurant? Where do animals find their food?
Seed germination, photosynthesis, pollination and more are just a few of the Green and Growing concepts campers learned this week. Helping campers make the connection between growing food and who eats it proved to be a tasty time. One group taste-tested an interesting variety of produce from a local farmer’s market. The selection included rainbow chard, sunflower sprouts, local honey and cucumbers. Arranging these greens, campers then used their artistry to make still life drawings as a reminder of the farm to table cycle for many foods they eat in their homes.
Special guest Hannah Warner, Georgia Power Community Outreach Leader, shared a lesson with all campers on solar power and how sunshine helps plants grow! After crafting their own solar bracelets to show the flow of solar energy, campers received their very own Solar Sunglasses that change colors with exposure to heat! Important: families keep up with those special sunglasses, they are a teaching tool.
‘Hikes and Seek’ Creek Play
Campers had a SERIOUSLY good time exploring along the trails of the Chicopee Woods and in the shallows of its creeks. Always a staple of each Camp Elachee week experience, this free play time shines a light on outdoor fun and its benefits!
Everything about the Green and Growing camp week has planted a seed that will help environmental understanding start to take root for our young campers. Even more special, this fun week of growth and blossoming helped create the memories of epic school break adventures!
#campelachee2021 #wherenatureistheadventure #greenandgrowing
Camp Elachee 2021 in July
Registration closes for each camp week the Wednesday before the camp starts. Many remaining camp weeks have a wait list. Check availability upcoming camps weeks.
The Elachee organzation is very grateful to Northside Hospital, presenting sponsor for Camp Elachee 2021.