Limitless Exploration

by Amy Bradford

Camp Elachee 2018: Week 4, June 18-22

Over hills, in creeks and through woods… there was no limit to our explorations this week! Campers spent their week exploring the creeks and trails of the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve. Groups played games, made crafts and competed to earn the golden pine cone award. One of the favorite activities of the week was creek time.Camp Elachee 2018

Each week campers get to play in the creeks of the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve. It is during this time that campers create games among themselves, construct dams with rocks and explore for critters (macroinvertebrates) in the creek bed. Even though this is a weekly staple at Camp Elachee, it is a particularly appropriate activity for Elachee Explorers week! The creek holds multitudes of things to explore and learn; campers never tire of the wonders it holds.

Extra Fun

Camp Elachee also hosted special presentations this week. Our friends from the Northeast Georgia History Center came for a live reenactment about Naturalist William Bartram and his explorations through the southeast United States. Campers learned how Bartram made observations, recorded information and survived in the wilderness. Campers even got to see an exact replica of Bartram’s boat! The spectacular presentation concluded with a demonstration of a period-accurate shot gun (with a blank of course). Campers were inspired as they continued their own explorations throughout the camp week.Special guests at Camp Elachee

While our campers were armed with water bottles and tennis shoes during their explorations, historic explorers needed some additional gear. Campers participated in a presentation on primitive hunting tools, essential to any historic exploration expedition. Camp Elachee Program Assistant Nick Harkins demonstrated everything from hand-made bows and arrows to atlatls. Mr. Nick even demonstrated a blow dart! While our campers don’t need these tools in their explorations at Camp Elachee, they loved learning about the purposes of these tools from the past.

Exploration week concluded with the ever popular and competitive camp-wide scavenger hunt. And what a competition it was! Each camp group got a separate set of clues that they had to follow through the woods. All the groups met together at the Geiger Pavilion where they received their first clue. At the sound of the whistle the groups were off!Camp Elachee scavenger hunts 

Some of the clue locations included Elachee’s Live Animal Exhibit, the Tulip Poplar tree, various creek locations, the Knoll and Mother Tree. Campers used the knowledge they gained throughout the week to decipher where they needed to go next. Each group ended their scavenger hunt by finding Ms. Mallory, the Camp Elachee Camp Director to sing her a song of their choice. From Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to Happy Birthday, Ms. Mallory was truly delighted by the numerous and lovely serenades!

Meet our Camp Elachee 2018 Counselors!

In each blog, we highlight one or more of our awesome Camp Elachee 2018 counselors.

Meet Devin Mathews

Devin Matthews, Camp Elachee 2018 CounselorDevin grew up in North Georgia where he spent a great deal of his childhood playing in the woods as well as swimming in the lake. He attended the University of North Georgia and received his degree in psychology. During his time at UNG he worked at the Ecological Protection Lab where he worked on the Hemlock Conservation project. This time at the lab allowed him to explore his interest in environmental studies. Currently Devin works with both typically and non-typically developing children at Sisu Integrated Learning. In his free time Devin enjoys being out by the lake, drawing and painting, as well as cooking and baking. Devin is thrilled to bring his experience and passions to Camp Elachee!

Looking Ahead

Remember that registration for an upcoming camp week will close at noon the Thursday before so the Camp Elachee team has time to prepare for campers coming in bright and early Monday morning! Visit the Registration Page to see which camps are still open or that may have a waiting list.

Also, Camp Elachee offers financial aid for camp registration fees to qualifying families thanks to the generosity of Elachee supporters. Please call 770-535-1976 to learn more.

Have you checked out these other Camp Elachee 2018 Blogs? 

Week One: Water Week Earned Its Name
Week Two: Campers Explore Animal Habitats
Week Three: Wilderness Wonder