Camp Elachee Week 5: Wet & Wild, Extreme Water Week
“Fantastic, controlled chaos,” is how Ciara Frakes, Camp Elachee Director laughingly describes the week. “It was nothing short of wet and wild, with an emphasis on the wild! The common ground was Elachee Creek.”
Water was the pervasive theme this week, from Mud Day, the Camp Elachee Regatta, learning the mechanics of a slip ‘n slide course and the watermelon toss, to campers getting the 411 on all types of water critters. See the photo gallery.
This Week's Highlights
Campers searched for crawdads and dragonfly nips. Then they played an energetic game of mosquito tag waiting for the ‘medic’ to ‘cure’ them from their bites by putting a hoola hoop over their heads. (Yes, wild hair brainstorms rule at this camp!)
Creative engineering came into play as campers made their own boats for the annual Camp Elachee Regatta. They launched the homemade watercraft from ‘Beach One’ along Elachee Creek at Dodd Trail cheering all along the shore in hopes their boats would catch the current and reach ‘Beach Two’ before the others.
There are no words (only photos) that captured the harmony and utter contentment Mud Day brought to camp. Covered head to toe in mud, campers participated in a scavenger hunt 'dig,' built mud forts and called up their inner rock star to belt out tunes during mud karaoke. When the ‘dust’ settled, a new Camp Elachee Mud King and Queen were proudly wearing crowns of ferns.
Thursday as the younger campers were slip sliding away on a course designed by the Counselors-in-Training (CITs), Middle School campers were at Lake Lanier aboard Elachee’s floating classroom, Choata Princess II, conducting water studies and observing wildlife. They had the unique opportunity of seeing an Osprey couple on the nest with their chick, watching fish splash and witnessing the majesty of a blue heron in flight.
All week the campers searched for puzzle pieces hidden in the woods. The puzzle came together Friday revealing a bullseye – the target of Friday’s watermelon toss contest. Each group personalized a small watermelon, painting and decorating it. Then amidst their whoops and hollers, their respective counselors sent the watermelons flying from the balcony to the bullseye on the patio below. You should have heard the cheers when one group hit the bullseye dead on!
At camp’s end an elementary-age camper matter-of-factly told her counselor, “I didn’t think I’d like it, but camp is fun and I really care about saving the Earth.” Touché.
The July 5-9 Camp Elachee week is in full swing now. Younger campers are enjoying a ‘Fire and Ice’ theme and the Middle School group is relishing their daily ‘Elachee on the Road’ adventures.
Coming up, limited space remains for the July 11-15 Elementary and Middle School 'Wilderness Survival' camps. Elementary campers will learn wilderness first aid, map and compass readings, responsible fire building and what to do if caught outside in a storm. Middle School campers will compete in team building activities ‘Survivor’ style, learn how to set up a shelter, navigate through the woods and have an overnight adventure at Elachee!
Camp Elachee: Where Nature is the Adventure
Camp Elachee 2016 goes through July 29. Registration is now open online for remaining summer day camp themed weeks for Pre-K and Elementary (K-5th) and Middle Schoolers (6th-8th). Or call 770-535-1976 to register your child.
Camps are held at Elachee Nature Science Center in North Georgia's Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve, Gainesville, GA.