Ledbetter Point Found During Camp Elachee 2020

Look What Lucas Found!

Imagine splashing around in the shallows during a Camp Elachee creek day, when just beneath the water’s surface sits an arrowhead. Thanks to ‘great spotter’ Lucas Rhoads, on July 9, 2020, the Elachee cultural history collection gained an impressive specimen! At Camp Elachee 2020, 6-year-old Lucas Rhoads spotted the find of a lifetime, a Ledbetter point!

This 6-year-old Elachee Nature Academy student found what is known as a Ledbetter projectile point while participating in Camp Elachee 2020. Because artifacts may not be removed from the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve, Elachee Nature Science Center recognized his remarkable archeological discovery with a framed certificate and naming rights to his find – the Lucas Rhoads Point.

A highlight of this summer day camp experience is creek play and exploration in the 1,440-acre Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve. Located in south Hall County, this urban forest is one of Georgia’s largest protected green spaces. Elachee friend and artifacts expert Doc Johnson examined and identified the Native American artifact based upon its characteristics.

The 'Lucas Rhoads Point' is now part of the Elachee Nature Science Center cultural history collection.“Ledbetter points are distinctive because of the asymmetry of their shape and the many ways it was used,” Johnson conveyed to Peter Gordon, Director of Education at Elachee. “This particular point may have been used as a spear point, arrow point or Atlatl dart point. It also could be removed from the spear or arrow shaft to be used as a scraper or knife. On a scale of 1-10, this projectile point would be [ranked] an 8; it is very high quality.”

Other Ledbetter points have been found in Georgia, often along the fall line. Named by archeologist Madeline Kneberg for examples recovered in 1956 from the Ledbetter site in Benton County, Tennessee, other discoveries are most frequently reported around the Tennessee River valley to the Gulf coast. They are thought to be from the Late Archaic to Early Woodland cultural period and from the Neoglacial glacial period. Lucas Rhoads honored at Camp Elachee 2020 for his arrowhead find, a Ledbetter point.

Growing Up Naturally at Elachee

Lucas and his sister, also a former Elachee Nature Academy student, have been part of this summer’s Camp Elachee 2020 experience. Yet, Lucas has been roaming the Chicopee Woods with his Elachee Nature Academy classmates and his family since preschool.

This rising 1st grader is the epitome of a child who is “growing up naturally.” Nature Academy students spend more than three hours or 50-percent of their instructional day outdoors in creative discovery and exploration. Dubbed ‘eagle eyes,’ Nature Academy students and teachers routinely witness incredible flora and fauna sights while hiking in Chicopee Woods or along the creek beds. In fact, much of the nature photography Elachee posts to social media, and enjoyed by so many, is thanks to these sharp-eyed children! So, it’s no surprise Lucas would be the one to spot this beautiful Native American treasure in the creek.

For the 2020-2021 school year, Lucas and others in the Nature Kindergarten-1st Grade class will spend an even greater percentage of their school day outdoors in experiential learning versus being cooped up in the classroom. This licensed and accredited nature school, featuring Preschool and K-1 classes, plans to start in-person instruction on Monday, August 10.

Although Camp Elachee 2020 was abbreviated because of COVID-19 concerns, during this five-week summer day camp season some 54 children each week had marvelous outdoor adventures. Looking ahead, the Elachee organization will be monitoring the start of area schools to determine possible opportunities to fill the gap for students participating in virtual learning situations. Last December, for example, Elachee hosted a Winter Solstice Day Camp for students on the first day of their winter break. Stay tuned!