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Wild and Wonderful Summer Youth Camp

Group photo of youth and staff at 2017 Wild & Wonderful Camp
Each year the Garden Club of Georgia teams up with the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center for our annual "Wild and Wonderful Experience." Garden Club of Georgia Youth Members who are rising 5th or 6th graders are invited to spend time learning more about nature, wildlife conservation and environmental issues.

Next camp date: July 8-10, 2018
Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center
Mansfield, Georgia

We have many fun and exciting programs planned: fishing, outdoor recreation, night hiking, attracting birds and butterflies, guest speakers and of course, all the fun of the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center!

Get the youth in your life involved with this Wild and Wonderful experience offered by the Garden Club of Georgia, Inc. The cost of camp is $125 per youth member. Garden Clubs are encouraged to sponsor a camper.

For more information call or email:
Molly Kimler
Wild and Wonderful Camp Chairman
Susan Turner
Wild and Wonderful Camp Co-Chairman

Photos from 2017 Wild & Wonderful Camp

WOW! Our 10th Anniversary of the Wild & Wonderful Experience Camp was magnificent. This GCG sponsored environmental education camp, held in cooperation with the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield, gave 19 very energetic campers and 5 adults an opportunity of a lifetime. We hiked, fished, did a stream study, saw Jupiter and Saturn, and created flower designs. Container gardens were made with a special emphasis on "Plant America." We are appreciative to all our sponsors for this camp. Supporting a child for camp or making a donation for supplies and program materials all help keep this camp alive.

On Sunday afternoon, parents said goodbye and we hiked to the granite outcropping to learn more about the camp. Our container garden program was held as each camper created their own hanging basket. An Enviroscape called "Lay of the Land" was used to demonstrate the effects of soil erosion and pollutants on ground water and the earth. Bee Master Bill Owens presented an informative power point on bees, answering many questions as to why pollinators are needed in our environment. Entertainment by musicians Johnny Roquemore and John Nipper provided evening fun as we awaited dark to visit the night sky.

Members of the Atlanta Astronomy Club, CEWC Chapter, again treated us all to viewing the night sky and seeing stars, planets, and nebulae through their superb telescopes. On Monday, Ranger Pete took us on a hike to "shop" in the Native American Grocery Store. A steam study followed to catch, study, and release salamanders, crawfish, and tiny nymphs. In the afternoon, we were again up close with snakes and birds of prey in the Amazing Animals program. A Scavenger Hunt of the CEWC Visitors Center; painting birdhouses and creating lovely flower designs brought an end to the day with a campfire, songs and stories. Tuesday was a great morning of fishing and exploring the Discovery Center.

Eight planters of red, white and blue perennials were also created by our campers for the CEWC staff to enjoy. Our Plant America theme was carried out with a big thank you for the dedication and support the CEWC has given these past ten years.

One camper writes "Thank you for giving us the opportunity to attend the Wild & Wonderful Experience Camp. We made new friends and the food was great!" As each camper departs for home, they leave with knowledge to help keep our earth better than they found it.

The weather was wonderful; the campers and CEWC Staff the best! Your GCG Chairman and counselors, Molly Kimler, Susan Turner, Linda Cobb, Diane and Banny Harbin, are again thankful for your support. It is our pleasure to bring the knowledge and talents of many together for our campers.

Plans are being made for the next camp July 8-10, 2018. Be on the lookout for a fortunate child that you, your club, council or your district would like to sponsor. Registration will open March 1, 2018 for our rising 5th and 6th grade campers.

Photos from 2016 Wild & Wonderful Camp

The campers enjoyed being surrounded by nature, learning about the environment and conservation issues while having loads of fun!

Recap of 2015 Wild and Wonderful Summer Youth Camp
Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center

Another three day Wild & Wonderful Experience was enjoyed at our GCG Environmental Education Camp held at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield. All 17 campers had a great time participating in the many classes held for them July 12th-14th.

On Sunday, we started with hiking to learn more about the camp followed by an interactive program presented by GCG President Martha Price. She used an inflatable earth ball and apples to teach our campers how much of our water is actually potable. By cutting the apples and doing a little math, the results are staggering. Jean O'Shields was on hand to add humor with a lesson on litter. Our campers could recite the water lesson results for their parents on our last day!

Container gardening, the Lay of the Land Enviroscape and identifying frog sounds with Linda May (Environmental Outreach Coordinator, Nongame Conservation,DNR) rounded out the afternoon. Star Gazing with the Charlie Elliott Chapter of the Atlanta Astronomy Club is always a treat.

Monday morning brought hiking with Mr. Pete, learning about the Native American "grocery store" and a Stream Study with the CEWC interns. In the afternoon, Ranger Pete brought in "Amazing Animals" birds of prey and reptiles. Next on the agenda was a scavenger hunt of the Visitors Center, painting birdhouses, and an underwater flower/basic design class. Our evening entertainment began with The Apostles of Bluegrass members Johnny Roquemore and John Nipper. A campfire and s'mores rounded out day two.

Tuesday we completed our camping experience with Archery, the Brooke Ager Discovery Center, and fishing. As each camper departs for home, they take along the knowledge to always keep our world better than how it was found. A focus on clean water and our water supply was the theme of this 2015 environmental education camp.

The W&WE camp continues with the dedication and support of you, The Garden Club of Georgia, Inc., and the allegiance of the staff at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center. Plans are underway for July 10-12, 2016. Please consider a child who will be entering 5th & 6th grades that you, your club, council, or district would like to sponsor. Registration will open March 1, 2016. See you at camp!

Recap of 2014 Wild and Wonderful Summer Youth Camp
Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center

We are home from camp! The 7th Annual Wild & Wonderful Experience camp at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield has ended with so many delightful new memories for the campers and counselors alike. We hiked and learned about Native American lore, fished, visited with endangered species (various snakes, a Barred Owl and a Red-Tailed Hawk). The campers each made a container garden and a flower design, painted a bird house, and enjoyed many more activities. Lynn Mills spoke to us on Bees and Pollinators (with an encased live hive) and we tasted fresh, natural honey. Live music from Johnny Roquemore and a camp fire rounded out some of our evening activities. One of the highlights was our annual astronomy lesson from the Greater Atlanta Astronomy Club, CEWC Chapter. The night sky cooperated beautifully as we saw the planets Saturn and Mars. One of the kids remarked of Saturn, "It looks just like it does in the book!" We were also able to see a star burning out, nebulae, various constellations (including the Dippers and Scorpio)and craters on the full Moon. Theo Ramakers and Frank Garner are so generous with their knowledge and time for us to enjoy all the night sky has to offer. All these many activities gave the campers a wonderful new look at the world around us. We are already set for our 8th annual GCG Wild & Wonderful Experience Camp! Our next date is July 12-14, 2015. Mark your calendar, and we'll see you at camp!

Twenty campers attended the GCG 7th annual Wild and Wonderful Experience camp. A video was recorded for you to "experience" the magic of camp.
View the video.

Photos of Previous Year's Campers
What an unbelievable time the students have enjoyed over the years at this action packed environmental education camp.

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Click for high-res photos: Left: Game to test hearing blindfolded. Center: Container gardening class. Right: Jadon and Lindsay testing their sense of smell
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First photo: Jordan with the biggest fish, a 3-pounder. Second photo: Wesley holding his fish. Third photo: Lanier holding hers. Fourth photo: Wynter helps Emily catch her first fish ever!
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