by Amy Bradford
Camp Elachee 2018: Week 6, July 2-6
How did we bring the night sky to our day camp? Here at Camp Elachee, we make the impossible possible! Case in point, one camper’s heartfelt comment says it all, “I can’t wait to go home and look at the stars tonight!”
Planets, Stargazing and Telescopes Galore
Studying space is a favorite Elachee school program, and bringing the celestial experience to camp is an annual highlight for both campers and our skilled educators!
How often do you get to participate in a hands-on ‘Solar System on a Rope’ activity? Our campers did! Elachee Naturalist Deb DeRoche used a model that is an exact scale replica of our solar system. Campers were able to grasp the vastness of space, while learning planetary order, size and composition.
Campers then made the EPIC trip to StarLab, Elachee’s portable planetarium! Campers entered StarLab, where they took a tour of the night sky in all its grandeur. Deb returned to share folk lore and stories of constellations and stars – Camp Elachee’s version of campfire stories! Some camp groups took the lesson to a delectable dimension by creating their own constellations out of pretzel sticks and marshmallows. Want to see what StarLab is all about? Learn more and Watch Video.
Elachee Naturalist Brad Martin gave focus to the concept of seeing stars by showing campers the mechanics of and how to use telescopes. Too far for the human eye to see, telescopes reveal details of the solar system. Although it was daytime, campers used one of Elachee’s telescopes to spot Saturn hidden in the trees (yes, this was a ‘set up’).
Ask your campers if they know who Galileo is. Brad shared with campers the history of this revolutionary astronomer. One of Galileo’s many contributions to the study of astronomy is tracking the movements of sun-spots. After a quick safety demonstration with paper and magnifying glass, campers witnessed first-hand how important it is to never directly look at the sun without eye protection. Elachee’s sun-spotter telescope offered campers the ability to safely view active sun-spots and solar flares on the Sun’s surface!
Let’s admit it…how many parents and grandparents can truthfully say they, too, have had a chance to experience what their children did this week?
Space Camp was, of course, chock full of space-themed activities and crafts. Among the favorites were making moon rocks and moon sand, shooting off bottle rockets, creating cardboard box space ships and making space journals that detailed plants, moon phases and zodiac signs. But NOTHING can top the infamous Friday Space Rave. This glow-in-the-dark dance party is a Space Week tradition at Camp Elachee. Glow sticks, neon face paint and pearly white smiles shone bright as campers danced their hearts out under the black lights.
It’s easy to see why Space Week is a summer favorite of both campers and counselors!
Meet our Camp Elachee 2018 Counselors!
In each blog, we highlight one or more of our awesome Camp Elachee 2018 counselors.
Meet Michelle Usry
Michelle Usry was born in Alexandria, Va., but soon moved and grew up in Milford, Ct. The daughter of a biology professor, she childhood was full of camping trips, hikes, looking for salamanders, snakes and other small critters. At 20, she relocated to Georgia with her mother and began attending The University of West Georgia. Michelle has two graduate degrees in Education and has been teaching in Gwinnett County for the past 23 years. She is married to a native of Alabama and has two daughters and two stepdaughters. Her family has a home in Chincoteague, Va., where they vacation every summer and enjoy the wild life. Science is Michelle’s passion and she has been so excited to work with the children this summer at Camp Elachee!
Meet Cassandra Miles
Cassandra had so much fun as a Camp Elachee counselor last year that she had to come back! During the school year, she is a part of the Mustang team at McEver Arts Academy. Prior to that, Cassandra taught Georgia Pre-K for seven years. She brings to Elachee her love of learning mixed with her interest and excitement for nature.
Cassandra hopes to ignite in your child a curiosity for nature and ensuring its protection through exploration experiences.
There are only a few weeks of school break summer fun left! Visit the Camp Elachee 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.