We have so much to offer at the river, and even more for Girl Scouts. Who says that Boy Scouts get all the breaks? The Wild in Georgia badge has as much punch and nature observation as many comparable Boy Scout merit badges.
And here by the river, you’ll get to sample not just an amazing trip, but learn in depth about the natural history of our incredible state.
Which is why we offer activities for Girl Scouts on the Chattooga river to earn your Wild in Georgia Badge.
To get the badge, you’ll have to complete five steps:
1. Wild Where YOU Live
2. State Symbols Go Wild
3. Wildlife Watchers
4. Wild Lands and Waters
5. Wild to Explore!
Once you’ve done them, you’ll have earned the badge and know where the wild things are in Georgia. Not only that, you’ll know how to exist in a low impact way with the natural landscapes of our beautiful state. See the full list here of requirements, but refer back to this page to see how you can get the badge through your Scout friendly friends at Southeastern Expeditions.
Now, what are these five steps all about?
1. Wild Where You Live “…Find out what wildlife is sharing it’s habitat with YOU!”
How can you do that at the river? We’ve got a bunch of opportunities here for you. Just look at the requirements you have, and see how you can fulfill each one during your trip to the Chattooga.
1a. “Keep a wildlife ‘Critter Count’ record sheet for at least one week. Create your chart or record sheet with places for you to mark whether the “critter” you saw or heard was a bird, mammal, insect, arachnid (spiders and their relatives), reptile, amphibian, fish or annelid (worms and their relatives).”
Trust us – we’ve got critters. Staying for a day or more at the river? Listen and scout for all of our birds, animals and insects, not to mention fish…you may be eating one that someone caught.
1b. “Find out if there is an organization in or near your county that works to protect threatened and endangered species, and visit them if you can (Callaway Gardens, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, and the State Botanical Garden for example) or talk to someone whose job is to protect plants and animals.“
Guess what – that’s us! One of our jobs is to protect plants and animals. All you have to do is look up the endangered animals along our river and then talk to one of your rafting guides about what we do to help them.
2. State Symbols Go Wild
Learn about Georgia’s state symbols here in the forests around Southeastern Expeditions.
2a. “If you can, visit a place where our state wildflower is blooming and capture its beauty with a drawing, photograph or poem you create…”
2b. “…Georgia has a state reptile and a state amphibian. Find out what they are, and why they were chosen; then figure out which one you are most likely to see and which one you are least likely to see.
3. Wildlife Watchers: Choose a unique habitat to explore.
Here are at the Chattooga, we’ve got two of the state’s three natural areas that you can explore. We also have an interpretive center for you to ask questions.
3a. Wetlands: “If you visit a wetlands area that has a nature center or interpretive center, be sure to visit the center and ask questions!”
3c. Old Growth Long-Leaf Pine or Hardwood Forests: “If you visit a forest that has a nature center or interpretive center, be sure to visit the center, look at the displays, and ask questions! Find out why old growth forests are so important to wildlife, and why they need protecting.”
4. Wild Lands and Waters:
Call us and we’ll help you snag this requirement in a fun and exciting weekend:
4b. “…Working with a reputable outfitter (Southeastern Expeditions!) who will follow the Whitewater Rafting Safety Activity Checkpoints, plan and go on a rafting trip on the Chattooga. Fill out a High Risk Trip Application at least four weeks before you go! Afterwards, reflect on your adventure with a Girl Scouts’ Own ceremony or by making a scrapbook of pictures, photos, your own poetry and quotes about the wilderness.”
5. Wild to Explore!
You can complete this final requirement on the river or with any of the hikes or bike treks we can help you do.
5c. “Get out. Get dirty. Get fit. Hikers, bikers, paddlers, tree-climbers and geo-cachers love a challenge! Lace up your sneakers and come play in the great outdoors with a biking, paddling, tree-climbing or geo-caching expedition you and your friends plan for yourselves or your families. Choose a state, county or city park, or other appropriate site for your adventure. Be sure to use the Girl Scout Safety Activity Checkpoints for your activity.”