Roughing It at Camp Elachee

Week 3: Wilderness Survival

Building Espirit de Corps Among Campers.

Talk about teamwork, building trust while gaining self-confidence! Our campers relished this week's theme that played off the popular TV reality show Survivor. Click through the photo highlights.

A first time counselor confided, "This is definitely the most exciting job I've ever had," sharing that he had never had the opportunity to work with young children before and that he was loving every minute of it.

Each morning campers would literally put their game faces on (face paint) and join their respective 'tribes' (each designated by a color and animal name). During morning assembly, between the spontaneous dancing and general fun, 'Danger Daisy' shared survival stories. Above all, campers learned what it means to be winners and survivors.

Weekly Highlights

Naturally, teamwork and survival skills drove this week's activities. Everyday, campers hiked through Chicopee Woods. They got to picnic on the suspension bridge and hang out at Vulture Rock. 

Through creative, age-appropriate discovery, campers were taught to identify food sources and what to avoid. Some learned how to safely make and extinguish a camp fire. 

Everyone participated in building a lean-to shelter. Others got the inside scoop from an Eagle Scout candidate on how to detect the best fishing holes in the creek, while making their own traps. 

Camp Elachee 2016 Wilderness Survival Week at Elachee Nature Science Center in Gainesville, GACompetition was fierce, but playful during the team relays, 'fear factor' and 'minute-to-win-it' challenges. These were hilarious (of course, with a touch of science characterizing the method to the madness).

For example, the frozen t-shirt relay required campers to break open a shirt frozen in ice, put it on and then complete the relay. Another required problem solving and teamwork to pass a hula-hoop from camper to camper without dropping it. And maybe the funniest was seeing which tribe could stick the most number of marshmellows to their faces (amazing the creative ways campers went about making those stick!).

The days' activities included a hunt in the woods for immunity idols (golden life jacket, golden monkey, golden snake and frog) to redeem in the daily team relays. Tribes earned points hoping their efforts would win them the coveted Golden Pinecone.

By the end of camp, counselors were comparing notes about their campers' experiences. "We saw a ton of self-confidence in the kids that we didn't see at the beginning of the week," recaps Camp Elachee Director Ciara Frakes.

Up next? 

Move It! week is June 20-24 at Camp Elachee for Pre-K and Elementary age campers. Register online until midnight, June 23, 2016.

Camp Elachee: Where Nature is the Adventure

Camp Elachee 2016 goes through July 29. Registration is now open online for 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.