When Wet Meets Wild

by Amy Bradford

Camp Elachee 2018: Week 5, June 25-29

What a fantastic week! Camp Elachee’s Wet and Wild week is always a summer favorite for campers, and this year did not disappoint. 

Campers got things started with group boat making competition. On Monday, each group demonstrated teamwork, using their collective engineering skills to create a boat out of cardboard, tape and hot glue. As a bonus, groups finding the hidden wild cards on their hikes got to use pool noodles in their boat designs.Wet and Wild boat building competition at Camp Elachee 2018

Tuesday the boats were put to the test during morning assembly. Each boat had to survive the stormy seas of a kiddie pool without sinking. If a boat made it through that round, it went through the next challenge – the floating weight test of supporting a bucket half-full of rocks without sinking. Three out of nine boats made it through the rigors of our tests! 

EPIC EXPERIMENTS defined Wednesday’s fun! At Elachee’s outdoor classroom, the WonderWall, campers participated in multiple experiments showcasing watershed issues. These included studies of run-off, surface filtration and topography, among others. Campers witnessed the effects of water density’s effect on floatation, learning that the denser the water, the better buoyancy it has.

Ironically, Thursday was a wet and wild day of its own kind, putting into context what Campers had learned about water’s effects on the land. A surprise thunderstorm popped keeping our campers indoors. Throughout the day campers kept making comments about the water run off they were seeing outside and the impact the storm would have on our watershed. We were certainly excited to see them start connecting the dots. 

The storm didn’t dampen our fun though! Campers had the rare treat to enjoy traditional Camp Elachee games like Frogger, Night at the Museum and Down by The Bank. Plus they had a blast face painting and making crafts.Camp Elachee 2018 Mud King and Mud Queen

And then came Friday, the day EVERYONE was waiting for – INTERNATIONAL MUD DAY! During our creek time on Friday (rescheduled due to the storm on Thursday), we amped up the fun crowning the Camp Elachee 2018 Mud King and Mud Queen. This annual challenge rewards campers that get the muddiest. Just to say, our campers take this challenge very seriously, and have tons of fun while doing it! 

Middle School Goes off the Deep End

The Camp Elachee middle schoolers went even further with their water explorations! Thanks to Elachee Naturalists Don Lane and Norma Rainwater, campers scoured the creeks for macroinvertebrates, conducted water quality tests and discussed the effects of pollution on our water ecosystems, including those in the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve. Add in bonus of extended creek hikes and hammock time, and it’s no doubt our middle school campers enjoyed a wild week of their own! 

Camp’s Bonding Effect

It’s always fun to see how Camp Elachee activities organically turn into team building endeavors. During our Mud Day Challenge, for example, no matter the age, groups chose to focus on making one camper in their group the muddiest. They seemed to intuitively know that a win for one of their group members was a win for the whole team! 

Even our Kindergarten group turned their art project into a team building moment. As each camper sprayed his or her paper with colored water to reveal the white crayon design, campers would “ooh and ahh” commenting, “Your art is so pretty,” and “Look at the design you made, cool!”

At Camp Elachee encouraging words are the norm. We strive to create an environment of inclusiveness and cooperation in all that we do, and are so happy to see our campers exuberantly engaging in these efforts! 

Meet our Camp Elachee 2018 Counselors!

In each blog, we highlight one or more of our awesome Camp Elachee 2018 counselors.

Meet Lindsay Hamilton 

Lindsay Hamilton, Camp Elachee 2018 counselorLindsay is eager to share her love for nature and connect with campers as a counselor for the fourth summer in a row at Elachee! 

Born and raised in Georgia, Lindsay Hamilton has always had a love for nature. Growing up, she almost exclusively watched Animal Planet on TV finding inspiration in the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. In fact, Lindsay’s Camp Elachee experience began in 1997 when only four years old! She continued coming to Camp Elachee nearly every year until she was in middle school. Her time there further encouraged her love and respect for the outdoors and all the creatures that inhabit it.

This enthusiasm continued to strengthen with age, finally opening her up to the world of reptiles and amphibians as she joined the Herpetology Club at the University of Georgia in 2015. Lindsay enjoyed participating in the club’s educational outreach events, helping people understand, respect, and at times even discover a love for these creatures. Lindsay first decided to pursue a teaching career in high school, inspired by her band director. It wasn’t until she started her first summer as an Elachee camp counselor back in 2015 that she decided to switch majors from Music Education to Early Childhood Special Education, finally finding her true passion. Lindsay tends to spend her free time listening to music, hanging out by the lake in her hammock, and relaxing with her two pets, Puff Daddy the rabbit and Corndog the Python (separately, of course).

Looking Ahead

Remember that registration for an upcoming camp week will close at noon the Thursday before so the Camp Elachee team has time to prepare for campers coming in bright and early Monday morning! There are only a few weeks of school break summer fun left! Visit the 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.

Have you checked out these other Camp Elachee 2018 Blogs? 

Week One: Water Week Earned Its Name
Week Two: Campers Explore Animal Habitats
Week Three: Wilderness Wonder  
Week Four: Limitless Exploration