Water Week Earned Its Name

Camp Elachee 2018: Week 1, May 29-June 1

by Amy Bradford

“This was the best week ever!” declared a young camper…and so it began. Rain, rain came to stay. Week one of Camp Elachee was fun, anyway!

Water Week Earned Its Name

We kicked off our 2018 Camp Elachee season with an action-packed, high-energy drenching for the pre-kindergarten and elementary age campers. Not even the rainy weather could put a damper on everyone’s spirits!

Camp Elachee 2018 Week One: Water Week fun in the creeks of Chicopee WoodsOne of the highlights from the week was collecting macroinvertebrates from the creeks in Chicopee Woods with Elachee Naturalist Don Lane. As the campers found different varieties of macroinvertebrates, Don took the time to explain what they were, their development stage and how they fit into the ecosystem. The campers loved searching the creek bed for little critters, using stream nets and bare hands. One of the most exciting finds was a slew of water-penny beetles, which look like tiny suction cups on rocks. 

It wasn’t all science for our campers. The last day of the camp, campers enjoyed a luau party complete with corn-hole, volleyball, a hula hoop contest, limbo, a photo station and watermelon.Camp Elachee 2018: Week One Luau

The winners of the coveted Golden Pine Cone this week racked up 2,000 points! Throughout the week, campers earned points for their group by using encouraging words, picking up trash, composting lunch scraps and participating in group activities like the ‘Minute to Win It’ games at morning assembly.

Older Campers Get an Elachee Overnight

A long-standing tradition for middle school camp is experiencing Elachee at night! The Camping 101-themed week was a perfect way to start.

Camp Elachee 2018: Camping 101 for Middle SchoolersThese young people were immersed in the Chicopee Woods throughout the week, identifying plant species, taking creek hikes and yes, an overnight campout at Elachee. Campers loved learning from Elachee Naturalist Roanne LaVere the different ways to start fires (even in the rain!) and which fire starting technique to use in varying situations. 

Welcome to the Camp Elachee 2018 C.I.T.’s

Campers weren’t the only ones who loved their first week at Camp Elachee. Many new Counselors-In-Training (C.I.T.) experienced their first week at Camp Elachee, too. Through this program, high school students can volunteer for at least two weeks of the summer and gain leadership skills and experience. Several C.I.T.’s came to us at the end of the week begging to sign up to attend more than the two required weeks, and of course we are happy to have them back!

Meet the Camp Elachee 2018 Counselors

In each Camp Elachee blog post, we will highlight one or more of our awesome counselors!

Meet Tina Gooch

Tina Gooch is a Georgia native born and raised in the city of Atlanta, and has lived there all her life. Growing up, Tina spent a lot of time hanging out with the boys in her family (she was the only girl for a long time). They climbed trees, swam, played baseball and enjoyed family trips together! From an early age, Tina loved being outdoors and enjoyed everything the outdoors had to offer. Camp Elachee 2018: Meet Tina Gooch

Tina attended Georgia Southern University where she earned a degree in Special Education. She has worked with children since age 17, and has been a public-school teacher for the past 15 years. As much as possible, Tina tries to incorporate her love of nature inside the classroom and (gasp!), has taken the classroom outdoors. Tina started a Creepy Crawlers Club (which the student loved!) for students to catch and raise tadpoles! How fun!

In her off time, Tina loves traveling to the beach with her 19-year-old daughter, Jordan, and basking in the sun until it goes down. When it is all said and done, Tina would love to retire on a beach somewhere or on the French countryside!

Looking Ahead

Parents: please remember that registration for an upcoming camp week will close at noon the Thursday before to give the Camp Elachee team time to prepare for campers coming in bright and early Monday morning! Visit the Camp Elachee Registration portal 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. Or, share this news with neighbors and friends who may know of children in the community who would love the chance to experience a week at Camp Elachee this summer.