Wilderness Wonder

by Amy Bradford

To kick off camp each week, the Monday morning assembly is a time for campers to receive a quick lesson on how to be good Camp Elachee stewards by using these three rules:

  1. Take care of yourself.
  2. Take care of others.
  3. Take care of nature.

Throughout each camp week, counselors reinforce the message, using morning assemblies to demonstrate to campers examples of good stewardship. This often comes in the form of funny morning skits (a big favorite!). We realize that our campers may not go home using the word ‘stewardship,’ but we know that each one leaves Camp Elachee with a better idea about how to be kind to themselves, others and their environment.

Camp Elachee 2018: Week 3, June 11-15

Camp Elachee 2018 week three was a wilderness wonder of fun.Younger campers were inspired with a sense of wonder as older campers learned basic wilderness survival skills.

Sense of Wonder

This week our pre-k campers had a fabulous time putting their five senses to work while exploring the Chicopee Woods. They felt the textures of the forest and created their own nature hand art. Campers also enlarged their sense of sight by looking through Elachee’s electronic microscope. Not only did they learn more about their own senses this week, campers also learned about animal senses and how these help animals survive in their habitats. Ask your camper how an owl’s eye size helps them see to hunt in the dark. Or, how the cupped shape of a deer’s ears enhances hearing. Bet your camper will share all kinds of random ‘sense’ facts once you get the conversational ball rolling!

Sparking Survival Instincts

Our elementary and middle school campers honed their wilderness survival skills this week. Elachee Naturalist Roanne LaVere taught campers how to start camp fires and the basics of camp fire safety. Campers saw demonstrations that covered fire-starting techniques from flint and steel, batteries and steel wool, to a bow drill. They also learned the best ways to contain and extinguish their fires – skills critically important for outdoor fire safety!Camp Elachee 2018 week three highlights

The fun didn’t stop at fire building, though! Whether building shelters during hikes, practicing their knot tying skills and learning basic first-aid, campers gained experience in basic skills necessary to survive outdoors. Our older campers even got a hands-on archery lesson from Elachee Naturalist Deb DeRoche. Campers gave it their best shots at hitting a target and probably came home with satisfyingly sore arm muscles after receiving instruction on safety, loading, aiming and shooting at targets.

Camp Elachee 2018 week 3Competition was fierce this week as campers were on the hunt for the Golden Subjects. Each day a camp groups tried to be the one to find the daily Golden Subject (egg, snake, monkey, duck or tomahawk) hidden in Chicopee Woods. Of course, the winning group received team points, that if added up to the most, meant winning the week’s Golden Pine Cone award (the most coveted of all Camp Elachee prizes!) Our week wrapped up with a Survival Relay competition. Racing against the clock, each group built a stick shelter, ran across balance beams and through cones, tossed pool-noodle-spears at targets and dug through mud to find word puzzle pieces. As teams received points for each section of the relay that were added to their weekly total. So which group won the Golden Pine Cone this week? Ms. Bailey’s group topped the charts at over 4,000 points!

Last, but certainly not least, our middle school campers took wilderness survival to another level with their orienteering program on Thursday. Split into two groups, led by Elachee Naturalists Don Lane and Brad Martin, campers learned how to measure distance based on their personal footstep stride, how to use a compass and how to read a map. Then they put their newfound skills to the test. Each group followed a different off-trail course through the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve based on clues found along the way, solely using their compasses and the distance of their strides – a wilderness survival feat to be sure! They capped off a great day with an overnight adventure playing traditional Camp Elachee favorites, Capture the Flag and Scary Preserve, then eating s’mores.

Meet our Camp Elachee 2018 Counselors!

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

Meet Neil Patel

Neil Patel, Camp Elachee 2018 CounselorNeil is very excited to serve as a camp counselor this summer for Camp Elachee!

Born in Virginia, Neil has spent most of his life right here in Georgia! Growing up, he loved having the company of his friends and going on all kinds of adventures, including some thousands of miles from home. A world traveler, Neil has visited several countries with his family, as well as places across the US. He now spends his time studying Biology at the University of North Georgia. But that’s not the only thing that keeps him occupied. He’s a lover of music, games, food, and all kinds of new experiences. He also really enjoys random fun facts such as: Did you know he shares a birthday with J.R.R. Tolkien – author of his favorite movie series, The Lord of the Rings?

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! 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?