Creature Feature week at Camp Elachee 2019 was a crash course in exposure to wildlife and more domesticated animals – all of which are outside the realm of dogs, cats and goldfish.
Camp Elachee 2019: Week 8, July 15-19
Campers began the week with Dino Day and learned more about these ancient giants from area experts. Melissa Reid, Elachee’s Director of Schools, led camp groups through a play about the way fossils form and how archaeologists find them. After the theatrics, campers made their very own fossils. Dr. Hasnain, University of North Georgia-Gainesville Assistant Professor of Biology, then gave a special presentation to older campers about dinosaurs, the different species we know of, and what evidence points to the assumption they lived in the Jurassic period.
Healthy competition always brings good fun to the Camp Elachee experience. As is tradition, scavenger hunts tend to ramp up the competitive spirit using a nature-related activity to teach. When hiking this week, camper groups kept track to see who could find the most animals in the Chicopee Woods. They loved exploring and by default learning facts about all sorts of animals who call the Chicopee Woods home. Campers spotted squirrels, snails, birds, snakes and more.
Back by popular demand, Wildlife Wonders brought furry farm friends from their petting zoo to meet our campers. They visited with bunnies, birds, goats and a young calf! This fun activity introduced campers to these traditional farm animals and taught them how to behave and interact with them. Campers loved being able to touch and speak with all the sweet creatures. In turn, the animals seemed to love the attention.
One day Ms. Tori hid a very large toy snake along the hiking trail to the creek. Campers were on the lookout because the group that found it first scored major points toward earning the Golden Pinecone. While all the groups did find the snake, the group who found it first basked in their sharp-eyed prowess and success.
Campers also got to dissect an owl pellet! These pellets are the excrement from owls after they eat… in other words, poop. Campers learned how to pull apart and identify the undigested parts, quite often bones. By examining this matter, they could better grasp that owls are birds of prey and what other animals in the food chain they eat. Even though the icky factor of this activity was high, campers dove right in and enjoyed this biology activity.
Speaking of creek time, campers have been engineering dams and mud towers all summer, but this week, they went into building mode full force! Campers used a combination of mud, rocks and sticks to create a wall that stood at least a foot high. It may not sound like a lot, but in moving water, this was significant structure.
This week was full of interesting and fun activities and craft projects. Some groups made paper plate foxes, some groups made finger puppet snakes and other groups learned about bees and created a craft showing bees and their hive. A couple groups got the 411 about the life cycle of frogs and made a wheel chart to remind them of each stage of development.
And last, but not least, some campers put their creative engineering energies in motion to make bug homes using sticks and leaves. This taught campers about bug habitats and what kind of habitat keeps bugs safe.
Whether scaly, furry, winged or fossilized, Camp Elachee piqued the interest of campers this week and hopefully sparked a life-long interest for many of these children!
Read Highlight BLOGS from previous Camp Elachee 2019 adventures.
Camp Week 1: Water Week Ready for Summer Fun
Camp Week 2: Wonderful Wilderness
Camp Week 3: Habitat Haven Home Sweet Home
Camp Week 4: Space Week Out of this World Adventures
Camp Week 5: Wet and Wild Wet, Wetter, Wettest
Camp Week 6: Camp Elachee Explorers
Camp Week 7: Mad Science Mayhem A Scientist’s Dream