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Camp Elachee 2019: Week 3, June 10-14
The concept of ‘feathering my nest’ gained meaning for all our campers after an AWESOME ‘Habitat Haven’ week at Camp Elachee! Seriously, how many children (in one week) get to go snail hunting, explore salamander habitats, imagine and build a habitat, role play as predator and prey, conduct an experiment with rain art, PLUS see curated habitats for reptiles, bees, hawks and more with a visit to Elachee’s Live Animal Exhibit?
Hey parents, ask your camper what four components make up a habitat. (PSST!... shelter, space, water and food.) Had you been a fly on the wall or buzzing along-side campers, you would have witnessed fun activities and overheard conversations reinforcing these parts of habitats. They learned first-hand what makes a successful shelter and how that connects to animal habitats and microhabitats.
Unique Game of Concentration!
‘Meet a Tree’ is always a popular game at Camp Elachee to help campers experience first-hand how important all their senses are out in nature. Campers were introduced to different tree species by observing the varying sizes, feeling the textures and shapes of bark, and examining leaves.
Then as part of a team-building activity they paired off, with one camper leading the other who was blindfolded. The blindfolded camper felt a tree, listening to sounds in the underbrush and surrounding environment. When the blindfolds came off, the campers tried to ‘see’ and identify their respective ‘tree friend’ based upon what they remember about it from using their other senses.
One highlight of the week was a visit from Thomson Raptors. Beth and John Thomson brought a falcon, a barred owl and a shriek owl to teach our campers about predatory birds. Which are nocturnal hunters and which are diurnal? How does a bird’s size, other physical characteristics and adaptations affect what they hunt for and where they live? Ask your child – bet you get an answer!
As a bonus, campers also watched with rapt attention as ‘Mr. Peter’ (Peter Gordon, Education Director) fed Elachee’s resident Red-tailed hawk. He shared what our hawk eats, how we have designed her habitat, and why she needs to remain in captivity since her injury that blinded one eye. Camp Counselors continued this lesson with their campers by discussing that Georgia is a native habitat for Red-tailed hawks and what clues they can look for around their homes and neighborhoods to see one in the wild.
The ‘Predator and Prey’ game gave campers insight on ways prey behave and use their surroundings to blend in and how different predators have adaptations to enhance their ways they hunt prey. Campers discussed different predator/prey relationships as part of food web within ecosystems.
H2O and Camp Fun
What’s a Camp Elachee week without some water play? Campers giggled and scampered around the new Elachee meadow during sprinkler play.
Counselors took advantage of a rainy spells for an experiment. Campers created ‘rain art’ using markers on paper. They left their masterpieces out in the rain to observe how these images transformed from their original states. Then, Thursday’s weather was ideal for creek play, so the weekly adventure building salamander habitats, dams, rock hunts and mud activities.
Friday’s dance fest at morning assembly was a sight to behold! Each camper group came up with a dance and performed it for everyone in camp. This was a great way for campers and their counselors to express their team spirit!
After assembly, camp groups visited Ms. Tori in the Elachee Meadow to learn the ‘Park Ranger’ game. Campers learned about the balance between park rangers, hunters and animals and how different factors can affect animal populations.
As you can see, campers have a lot to tell their parents at the end of each camp day. While we are rarely there for those parent-child conversations, we do get feedback such as, “my child is having the BEST time at Camp Elachee, we are so sad to see this week come to an end!”
REGISTER your child now for a camp week in July.
Check out the fun and pictures from previous Camp Elachee 2019 weeks:
Week 1: Water Week Ready for Summer Blog
Week 2: Sense of Wonder/Wilderness Survival Wonderful Wilderness Blog