Creek Explorers Get Territorial

Week 8: Creek Days

One of THE most popular camp weeks of the summer, Creek Days was a time for true nature exploration. Pre-K and Elementary age campers had the chance to go deep into the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve, venturing further along Walnut Creek than in other camp weeks.

Along with testing Walnut Creek’s water quality (ph balance and dissolved oxygen levels), campers learned from Elachee Naturalists about the water cycle and how water is nature’s filter. They also learned about protecting stream habitats and then how those same practices apply to other types of water habitats.Camp Elachee 2016 Regatta along Walnut Creek in the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve

We ran into a Camp parent several weeks after camp who shared that her daughter gave the family a lesson while vacationing in New Orleans. They visited the Katrina exhibit and she was able to give her parents 'the 411' on many of the environmental factoids she learned in camp that were similar to what she was seeing about this natural disaster area.

This Week’s Highlights

Campers had the time of their lives as explorers. Each group hiked along Walnut Creek and ‘settled’ a section of land, even going so far as to claim with a flag and name their settlement.

“We had not previously taken these age groups on extensive creek hikes,” shared Camp Elachee Director Ciara Frakes. “They LOVED it!”

One group did their own form of stream preservation by finding and recycling an abandoned hub cap. In fact, that turned into the Golden Hub Cap, the daily prize (instead of the Golden Pine Cone) the winning group got to tote around to proclaim their lead spot.Camp Elachee 2016 turned trash to treasure, recycling a hub cap found in a creek to become the coveted daily group prize.

The Camp Elachee regatta was quite the spectacle. Pre-K campers made their boats and stood in the creek and along the bank to see which watercraft would win. The Elementary campers had a Rubber Duck Derby. Each camper had a numbered duck. These were released at the same time to the cheers and shouts of campers lining the creek banks, and believe it or not, birthday boy Tilden Carpenter’s duck won!

But the excitement didn’t end there. The next day, unbeknownst to the campers, another Elachee program was going on and a selection of venomous snakes were on campus for a short time. Campers got their day started by getting a peek at a Cotton Mouth (not native to northeast Georgia) along with other vipers who do roam our region: a Copperhead, a Carolina Pygmy Rattlesnake and a Canebrake Rattlesnake.

The fantastic Luau featured Camp Elachee Beach and sand castle-making fun, Mount Fuji Hibatchi a pile of mulch that provided a decorative backdrop, hilarious volleyball matches, hula dancing and hula hoop contests, bowling for pineapples using coconuts and of course, limbo!

The week ended with an interpretive dance contest. Groups got to make up their own water-inspired dance moves based on a written description their counselors shared with them. 

Camp Elachee: Where Nature is the Adventure

Camp Elachee 2016 concludes with the 'Free-for-All' camp, July 25-29. Camps are held at Elachee Nature Science Center in North Georgia's Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve, Gainesville, GA.