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Camping, Community, Fun!
By Elayne Elliott
The NWF Atlanta office celebrated Great Outdoors Month by hosting its 4th annual Great American Backyard Campout at the Outdoor Activity Center in Southwest Atlanta with help from partners, the USDA Forest Service and the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance. Over 45 families poured in as volunteers from Keeping it Wild and Georgia State University stood ready to lend a helping hand; helping many first-time campers pitch their tents and get comfortable in the outdoors.
Some children learned to identify trees with Trees Atlanta, took bird walks with the Atlanta Audubon Society, and learned about our wildlife neighbors from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, while others talked with scientists from Morehouse College to learn about insects.
Participants enjoyed the outdoors while exploring the benefits of yoga with the help of Breathe Balance Energize! And of course, the Backyard Campout wouldn’t have been a hit without tunes from Radio Disney that kept everyone grooving. It seemed that the Atlanta campout was the place to be – even Ranger Rick stopped by to check it out.
The Atlanta campout was jam packed with outdoor activities, prizes, and fun through the night. The night hike to historic Bush Mountain, African storytelling and drumming were a highlight of the experience. The night was capped with an amazing live nocturnal insect exhibit facilitated by the USDA Forest Service.
Overall, the campout was a hit. When participants were asked “How was it,?” the children bragged about all the new things they learned about the outdoors. Parents can’t wait until the next opportunity to get their families outdoors!
A video clip of this year’s campout can be found Atlanta’s Channel 2 WSBC special coverage of the 2014 Great American Backyard Campout.
About the Author
Elayne Elliott is a sophomore at Emory University studying Environmental Science. Prior to interning with the NWF Atlanta office, she was an active volunteer with East Michigan Environmental Action Council and a core member of their youth program, Young Educators Alliance. Following her undergraduate degree, she hopes to go to graduate school to study the relationship between pollution levels, chronic illness, and geographic location. More information about Elayne’s background and interests is available on her blog at elayneelliott.com.