Trip Planner

Trip Planning Guide

 

Promotional Presentation

About the Online Trip Planning Guide

Testimonials from Teachers

“Wahsega is the perfect field study! The setting is beautiful, the staff is extremely competent, and the lessons are closely correlated to our learning objectives.”

— Lana Kleimon
Fifth grade teacher, Tritt Elementary School

“… an exceptional environmental education program…. Their highly qualified instructors provide a hands-on, learning-based environmental science curriculum that motivates and challenges students. Their curriculum enhances the new Georgia Performance Standards for science.”

— Laura Hoeve
Sixth Grade Teacher, Whitewater Middle School

Planning Information for Teachers

Book your preferred dates

Making your reservation will involve several steps which are outlined below. Once these are completed we will send you a contract via U.S. mail.
Note: You may book reservations now for field studies through Fall 2016.

PICK A SEASON TO ATTEND

  • Early fall (late August to mid-October): Planning the trip helps teachers and parents establish a great rapport early in the year. The weather is still warm, so class time in the creek during stream ecology is refreshing.
  • Late fall (mid-October through mid-November): Leaves are changing and it can be cold. Be sure to book early for late fall sessions as this is a popular time of the year.
  • Early spring (early March through mid-April): The weather is unpredictable, so be prepared for either near freezing temperatures or very warm days. Teachers know their students well by this time and know what to expect from them.
  • Late spring (mid-April through late May): The weather is warmer than in the early spring or late fall. It gets dark later in the evening so some evening classes are better choices than others.

CHOOSE A PROGRAM PACKAGE OPTION
Wahsega offers 3-day, 2-day and 1-day program package options. Customized variations of the program packages are available.

PICK A SESSION DURING THE WEEK
There are three 3-day/2-night sessions each week. 1) Monday at 1:30 to Wednesday at 12:30, 2) Wednesday at 1:30 to Friday at 12:30, 3) Friday at 1:30 to Sunday at 12:30. Please do not plan to arrive early if your orientation is at 2:00 p.m. Early arrival is not an option; however, local parks may be used for a picnic lunch.

ESTIMATE ATTENDANCE COSTS
The fee per person varies according to the length of the field study. See the Rate Schedules section of our website for current rate information. Attendance fees are charged to every youth and every adult in attendance including teachers, parents and chaperones.

CONTACT WAHSEGA’S PROGRAM COORDINATOR
You can reach our Program Coordinator, Adam Rolwes, at 706-864-2050 or through email at amr639@uga.edu.

MAKE RESERVATIONS IN ADVANCE
We make reservations as much as 20 months in advance on a first-come, first-served basis. You may book for the next year before attending programs this year. See Important Dates for when books will open for Spring seasons.

You can book your field study by:

  • Filling out our online form; or
  • Emailing our Program Coordinator, Adam Rolwes, at amr639@uga.edu; or
  • Calling our office at 706-864-2050.

 

Make transportation arrangements

Both school buses and tour buses can handle the gravel road leading to Wahsega. Make sure that your bus driver does not use a GPS device, Google Maps or any other electronic or online system to find us because you will most likely get lost. Please use our maps and directions instead.

 

Publicize and host a parent meeting and recruit chaperones

Use this meeting to generate interest in the trip and to recruit chaperones. We highly recommend using this PowerPoint presentation to give parents a better understanding of the unique experience a Wahsega field study offers. The photos will generate support for the experience and motivate adults to volunteer as chaperones.

 

Collect permission slips, paperwork and money

We do not require a copy of your students’ permission slips or any other paperwork that your school requires.

 

Get a check cut for the deposit

We ask for a deposit of $300 or $1 per person expected to attend your field study, whichever is greater.

 

Complete the Class Selection Worksheet

Well before your field study, our Program Coordinator will contact you to set up a schedule. You must choose the classes for your students. Please complete the appropriate Class Selection form for the program in which you are interested and submit it online.

When more than one school is on center, we often have the same class being taught at several locations. Because the number of locations to teach certain classes is limited, the first group to contact us with their class selections will receive priority over other groups asking for the same classes. Due to scheduling conflicts with other schools, we reserve the right to refuse last minute schedule changes.

 

Read, sign and return the contract and deposit

We will send out a contract by U.S. mail after you call to make reservations. To secure the dates you want, within 90 days of receiving the contract, return to our office a signed copy of the contract and a non-refundable deposit.
Note: Reservations are not secured until the signed contract and deposit are received in our office.

CANCELLATION POLICY
No fee will be assessed for the first 10% drop from your original numbers or for cancellations when you notify us 120 days (4 months) or more before the field study. Notification of cancellations of 10% or more of your original numbers, including a complete cancellation of the trip, between 120 and 60 days before the scheduled trip will result in a $10 charge per person; less than 60 days is a $25 per person charge.

 

Make plans for classes taught by teachers or chaperones from your school

While we make the facilities available, our staff does not teach every class. Adults from the school teach one day class during each of the 6 rotations and the two evening class rotations on the second night of your visit, during a typical 3-day/2-night session. See the class descriptions for more information.

You may either choose to create lesson plans and lead a class of your own design during these times or use the Wahsega curriculum. Feel free to request the curricula for the classes you want to teach. The Program Coordinator can assist you in making the class selections best suited for your grade level.

 

Assign students to cabins, learning groups, KP, and cleanup duties

MAKE CABIN ASSIGNMENTS
Divide the students among the cabins provided for your group. Children and adults should be segregated by gender regardless of the age of the children. Be sure to put at least one chaperone in each cabin. We will assign actual cabin numbers to your group and communicate these to you before your visit.
Note: Cabins 1-14 have fourteen beds and cabins 15 and 16 have thirteen beds (this is a change from the past). Reserve at least one bed in each cabin for a chaperone. Cabins do not have bathrooms, heat or a/c. Space heaters are not allowed as they pose a fire hazard.

MAKE LEARNING GROUP ASSIGNMENTS
We will let you know how many learning groups we have calculated that your school needs based on the estimated attendance numbers. We will assign learning group names such as squirrel, bear, and snakes.  Please use the names assigned to you. Other systems, such as colors, numbers or teachers’ names cause confusion.

Divide students among the learning groups as evenly as possible. Learning groups of significantly different sizes are not allowed as they tend to cause friction among the groups and detract from the experience.
Note: Please assign students to learning groups before arrival.

As many as 25 students may be assigned to a group. However, in order to provide the best possible experience, we attempt to keep the student/instructor ratio below 25 to 1.

MAKE KITCHEN PATROL (KP) ASSIGNMENTS
Some youth help set tables before a meal and clean up after the meal. This is called KP. Assign youth to KP duty before arrival. Typically, youth are assigned KP on a rotation basis so that most students only serve KP for one meal, if any. When the KP bell rings, it is important that students and chaperones report to the dining hall.

The lead teacher of the school assigns KP duties.

Please communicate with the Program Coordinator to make sure that KP is assigned correctly. The number of students assigned to KP for a meal should equal about 10% of your total group numbers. For a 3-day program, there are usually 6 meals that have to be covered.

Adults are integral to KP.
At least two chaperones should accompany the youth to the dining hall when KP starts. We need adults to serve as role models who help the youth as well as keep them focused on the job. Our staff will provide direction and instructions, but they are not responsible for discipline.

MAKE BATHHOUSE CLEANUP DUTY ASSIGNMENTS
The visiting schools should keep the bathhouses tidy and clean. Encourage students to be considerate of other schools and remind them to take all of their personal belongings back to their cabins. We do not provide housekeeping services to clean the bathhouses during your visit.

On the day of departure, youth and chaperones assigned by the lead teacher will clean the bathhouses at 10:30. Before they may leave the bathhouses, an inspection will be performed by Wahsega’s staff. If the bathhouse is sufficiently clean, it will be locked. Public restrooms in the Canteen building will remain available.

Students from all schools will need to be assigned to bathhouse cleanup duty for eight students at each bathhouse. One adult from each school will need to accompany their students assigned to bathhouse cleanup.
Note: Adults from each school must be assigned to supervise cleanup. Wahsega staff members will be present to provide cleaning supplies and give direction to students assigned to clean the bathhouse.

MAKE CAMP CLEANUP DUTY ASSIGNMENTS
Please assign a small group of students and an adult (10-15 people) to camp cleanup duty. At 10:30 am on departure day, this group will meet at the basketball court to be directed by our staff in grounds cleanup.

 

Make nametags

Nametags are optional but they are very helpful to our staff, so we encourage you to use them.

 

Make requests for special services

Some groups need to customize their experience. Please talk to our Program Coordinator to set up times for religious services, special meal times, services for people with special needs and specific meeting places for events. See dietary restrictions.

Four blankets are provided in the cabins in case someone needs one. A few additional blankets are available in the Canteen Building in a cabinet in the First Aid Station. Please request linen service well in advance if you require blankets for all members of your group.

 

Designate an emergency Home Contact Person

See Emergencies and First Aid for more information about this concept.

 

Plan and host a chaperone orientation meeting

See Guidelines for Chaperones for more information.

 

Plan to have a check cut for the remainder of your fees

Please bring a check with you to cover the balance of your field study based on your most up-to-date count of participants. If an unforeseen absence causes you to overpay, you will receive a refund for the difference within 60 days of your field study. If an unforeseen addition causes your payment to be short we will print an invoice for you for the amount due.

 

Notify Wahsega of any dietary restrictions

Our Food Service Manager, Amanda Smallwood, is an experienced food service provider and can accommodate any special dietary needs your group has. We cook special meals for vegetarians, persons with food allergies or those who observe religious dietary restrictions. Please complete and submit the dietary restrictions form online detailing your group’s specific needs.
Note: We need to be notified as early as possible about special diets and not less than 2 weeks in advance of your visit.

 

Contact us if attendance numbers change

BRINGING MORE STUDENTS OR ADULTS
Additions to your reservation numbers may be possible. Call us to see if we can accommodate any students who are on your waiting list.
Note: Due to fire safety regulations, we cannot overfill cabins. Do not plan to lodge more individuals per cabin than specified above in ‘Assign Students to Cabin…’ section.

CABIN ASSIGNMENTS MAY CHANGE
We may reduce the number of cabins assigned if attendance is lower than originally estimated.

 

Please do not arrive earlier than scheduled or depart later than scheduled

With several groups and programs onsite, this can pose a significant problem. Look for information under ‘Important Notes for Teachers’ on the use of Dahlonega’s parks for a picnic lunch before your arrival time.

 

Please have a completed Attendance Registration Form and your payment ready upon arrival

Please provide us with attendance numbers using the Attendance Registration Form. Present the form along with a check in our office upon arrival.

Emergencies and First Aid

First Aid Station

24-HOUR SERVICE
Wahsega does not provide a nurse on center. Minor incidents can be treated in our First Aid Station 24 hours a day. It is at the end of the hall in the Canteen building.

SUPPLIES
We are only allowed to stock Ace bandages, band-aids, water, soap and ice packs. We are not authorized to stock or dispense other supplies or medications.

INCIDENT REPORT FORM
If you provide first aid, please complete our Incident Report Form located on a clipboard in the First Aid Station.

MEDICATION
Medication should be left in the care of an adult. Refrigerators are available in our First Aid Station and Pavilion 4 for medication that needs to be refrigerated.

 

On-center Emergencies

HOSPITAL VISITS 
We will help you obtain emergency medical treatment for students if necessary at the hospital in Dahlonega.

PERMISSION SLIPS 
Be sure to bring the proper paperwork with you to Wahsega when you come. Our office does not collect permission slips for each child.

INSURANCE
Wahsega is not responsible for your group’s medical insurance. Inexpensive insurance is available through your local Cooperative Extension office if desired.

TRANSPORTATION
We strongly recommend that an adult drive a vehicle to Wahsega that can be used in an emergency.

RESPONDING TO WEATHER OR OTHER EMERGENCIES 
If we need to evacuate the 4-H center, or respond in some other way to an emergency, officials from the 911 Center will advise us. Lumpkin County Emergency Services has a County Emergency Operations Plan to provide services to residents, tourists and residential education facilities like Wahsega.

 

Home Contact Person

It may be wise to designate someone not on the trip as a Home Contact person. Leave emergency contact information with this person. Let the school know who they are and distribute their phone number in a letter sent to parents. In an emergency, your Home Contact Person can call Wahsega’s office number during office hours. After office hours, the contact person can call the Lumpkin County 911 Center. Either the 911 dispatcher will attempt to contact us from a list of contact numbers we have on file or they will dispatch a sheriff’s deputy to drive to Wahsega to find us and deliver the message.

  • Wahsega 4-H Center Office – 706-864-2050
  • Lumpkin County 911 Center – 706-864-3633

When necessary, a Home Contact person can also relay messages from you while you are here to the proper individuals at home if you are having trouble contacting them. In addition, if the school office is closed, bus breakdowns or other problems can be communicated through a Home Contact person.

Typical Schedules

3-Day/2-Night Program 2-Day/1-Night Program 1-Day Program
Day 1
Day 1
1:00 Arrival 9:30 Arrival 9:30 Arrival
2:00 Orientation 10:00 Orientation 10:00 Orientation
3:15 Day Class No. 1 10:30 Day Class No. 1 10:30 Day Class No. 1
4:45 Break & journals 12:00 Lunch KP reports 12:00 Lunch KP reports
4:45 Dinner KP reports 12:30 Lunch 12:30 Lunch
5:15 Dinner 1:00 KP cleanup 1:00 KP cleanup
6:00 KP cleanup 1:30 Day Class No. 2 1:30 Day Class No. 2
6:30 Canteen opens 3:00 Break & journals 3:00 Break & journals
7:00 Evening Class No. 1 3:15 Day Class No. 3 3:15 Day Class No. 3
8:00 Evening Class No. 2 4:45 Dinner KP reports 4:45 Load buses
5:15 Dinner 5:00 Depart
Day 2
6:00 KP cleanup
7:00 Wakeup bell 6:30 Canteen opens
7:30 Breakfast KP begins 7:00 Evening Class No. 1
8:00 Breakfast 8:00 Evening Class No. 2
8:30 KP cleanup 9:00 Class ends
8:45 Day Class No. 2 11:00 Lights out
10:15 Break & journals
10:30 Day Class No. 3
Day 2
12:00 Lunch KP begins 6:30 Wakeup bell
12:30 Lunch 7:15 Start cabin cleanup
1:00 KP cleanup 7:30 Breakfast KP reports
1:30 Day Class No. 4 8:00 Breakfast
3:00 Break & journals 8:30 KP cleanup
3:15 Day Class No. 5 9:00 Day Class No. 4
4:45 Break & journals 10:30 Lunch KP reports
5:00 Dinner KP begins 11:00 Lunch
5:30 Dinner 11:30 KP cleanup
6:00 KP cleanup 12:00 Load buses
6:30 Canteen opens 12:30 Depart
7:00 Evening Class No. 3
8:00 Evening Class No. 4
Day 3
6:30 Wakeup bell
7:15 Cabin check
7:30 Breakfast KP begins
8:00 Breakfast
8:30 KP cleanup
9:00 Day Class No. 6
10:30 Lunch KP begins
11:00 Lunch
11:30 KP cleanup
12:00 Load buses
12:30 Depart

Class Listing and Descriptions

Day Class Descriptions

Day Classes Led by Wahsega’s Staff

1. ARCHERY

Age minimum:  5th grade
Goals: To introduce students to the basic components of a bow and how to properly use a bow.
Methods: Students will be introduced to some basic archery skills (safety, history, and shooting techniques). Students will then use what they have learned to shoot targets on the archery range using compound bows.
Skills: Patience, Listening & Following directions, Processing, Comprehension, Application, Observation
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

2. ASTRONOMY
Goals: To increase the student’s knowledge of astronomy concepts and locations of common stars and constellations.
Methods: Students are exposed to asterisms, constellations, stories related to the constellations, significant stars, and planets using our inflatable star lab.  Students also discuss the solar system we all call home.  They will also learn why and how our very own moon behaves the way it does.
Skills: Observation, Literary Awareness, Creativity and Identification
What to wear: Shoes with heel straps. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

3. TEAM INITIATIVES
Goals: To help students increase personal confidence, build mutual support within a peer group, and aid in understanding the importance of planning and cooperation.
Methods: Students will go through a series of activities designed to give students clearly defined mental and physical problems to solve. The challenges offer students the opportunity to stretch beyond their boundaries in a safe environment, allowing growth in self-awareness and self-confidence. The challenge course elements are designed to force students to plan and work together as a team to solve the specific problems presented.
Skills: Leadership, Cooperation, Coordination, Mutual respect, Discipline, Patience, Listening, Processing, Oral communication, Following directions
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

4. ENTOMOLOGY
Goals: To discover how diverse the insect kingdom is, become aware of the traits that enable insects to survive in their habitats and understand the role of insects in relation to other living things.
Methods: Students learn the characteristics and body parts of insects.  Students participate in a lubber grasshopper dissection.  Also, students explore different habitat areas around Wahsega observing, collecting and gathering information about insects.
Skills: Observation, Identification, Classification, Comparing Similarities and Differences, Matching, Processing Skills, and Problem Solving Skills
What to wear: Shoes with heel straps. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

5. FOREST ECOLOGY
Goals: To help students understand and appreciate the relationships and inter-dependency that characterizes a forest ecosystem.
Methods: Students will participate in a group discussion exploring the implications of community. While hiking on a trail, students will participate in activities that illustrate the life cycles that exist in the forest and search for signs of the members of that community.
Skills: Observation, Identification, Classification, Comparing & Contrasting, Analyzing, Processing Skills, Problem Solving Skills, Comprehension, and Sensory Awareness Skills
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

6. GEOLOGY & SOILS
Goals: To help students understand the internal structure of our planet and identify the major forces which alter Earth’s surface. Also, to encourage students to identify ways in which humans are affected by the geology of an area as well as ways that humans depend on healthy soils.
Methods: Students will use maps and models to identify landforms and demonstrate the tectonic plate movements that produce such features. Students will observe rock types and weathering forces at work in natural surroundings and take part in activities that re-create weathering patterns. While visiting Wahsega’s soil window, students will have an opportunity to identify soil horizons and soil type.
Skills: Modeling, Data Collection, Observation, Identification, Classification, Comprehension, Sensory Perception
What to wear: Shoes with heel straps. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

7. HERPETOLOGY
Goals: To introduce students to characteristics, differences, and roles of reptiles and amphibians.
Methods: After participating in a group discussion to identify characteristics of reptiles and amphibians students will have the opportunity to handle live specimens.
Skills: Observation, Application, Classification, Description, Comparing Similarities & Differences, Reading, animal Handling
What to wear: Shoes with heel straps. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

8. HIGH-ROPES
Goals: To use the high-ropes challenge course to help students in 5th grade or higher identify and then overcome self-imposed limitations.
Methods: The lead teacher will select one high-ropes element from the two available (Zip Line and Climbing Wall). Students will then be instructed in appropriate safety methods and equipment usage before beginning. With the support of their peers and Wahsega staff members, students will be encouraged to accept the challenge presented by the element and then accomplish the goal of the element as set out by Wahsega staff members.
Skills: Identification, Analyzing, Problem Solving, and Comprehension
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.
Note: There are limited slots for Zip Line and Climbing Wall.  Teachers must speak with the program coordinator to check availability before selecting this class.

9. ORIENTEERING
Goals:
 To introduce students to the proper use of the compass and the proper pacing technique.
Methods: Students will listen to a mini-lecture describing compass parts, how to take a bearing, and proper pacing techniques, then participate in activities practicing these skills.
Skills: Application, Estimation, Computation, Listening & Following Directions, Measurement, Psychomotor Development
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

10. PIONEER LIFE (Not scheduled with gold panning)
Goals: Through observation and participation students explore the life of the Pioneers of North Georgia.
Methods: Students will participate in a group discussion about the effects of Europeans in Georgia on Native Americans. In addition they will use tools of the early settlers to explore the nature of daily life during this time period, pan for gold, make candles, and end class with a discussion on technological advances and how their life might be different if they were alive during the time of the Georgia gold rush.
Skills: Coordination, Discipline & Patience, Listening, and Following Directions
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

11. STREAM ECOLOGY
Goals: To aid students in their understanding and appreciation of the importance of the water cycle; recognize differences in the life stages of aquatic animals as they grow and discover the diversity of animals that live in a stream. Students also learn to distinguish the difference between healthy streams and unhealthy streams.
Methods: The students will participate in activities that enhance their understanding of the water cycle and aquatic ecosystems; students also capture, identify, and observe stream animals.
Skills: Observation, Inference, Identification, Collecting, Classifying & Categorizing, Comparing Similarities & Differences, Matching, Recognition, and Critter Catching
What to wear: Clothes and shoes that can get wet are strongly suggested. Students have the option of getting into the stream.

12. SURVIVAL
Goals: To teach skills and techniques which help prevent students from getting lost in the woods and what to do if they become lost. Students will learn to set up a survival camp and will demonstrate understanding of basic survival needs and how to fulfill these needs in the wilderness.
Methods: Activities are incorporated into discussion about how not to get lost and the five basic survival needs. Students decide what items and methods should be utilized. Students are challenged to construct a survival shelter.
Skills: Problem Solving, Inference, Observation, Psychomotor Development, and Cooperation
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

13. WILDLIFE
Goals: To help students understand some of the natural processes that affect the wildlife of the Chattahoochee National Forest, their habitat and how human activity affects wildlife.
Methods: Students will participate in activities that enhance their understanding of the essential components of habitats, the importance of good habitat for animals, what limiting factors affect animals and the importance of predator/prey relationships.
Skills: Generalization, Psychomotor Development, Graphing, Application, Comparing Similarities & Differences
What to wear: Shoes with heel straps. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

 

Day Classes – Teacher-Led Options

14. DISCOVERY HIKE – ONLY TEACHERS FROM THE SCHOOL TEACH THIS CLASS
Goals: Students will explore characteristics of organisms found in the forest around Wahsega and consider their interactions with each other and the environment.
Methods: A hike along a trail in the national forest is marked by several stopping points, each presenting students with a question or challenge.
Materials: Hiking guide for group leader, worksheets, pencils
Skills: Observation, Compare/contrast, Analyzing, Identification and Comprehension
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

15. GOLD PANNING (Not scheduled with pioneer life) – ONLY TEACHERS FROM THE SCHOOL TEACH THIS CLASS
Goals: To introduce students to the early history of Georgia and the role of gold in the relations between Native Americans and colonists.
Methods: After a brief discussion about Georgia’s pioneer and gold rush history, students have the opportunity to pan for gold.
Skills: Observation, Compare/contrast, Analyzing, and Comprehension
What to wear: Shoes with heel straps. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

16. WILDERNESS ART – ONLY TEACHERS FROM THE SCHOOL TEACH THIS CLASS
Select an educational and artistic project for your students to complete in this 1 ½ hour class time. You will need to provide instructions and materials. Work with the Program Coordinator to determine if your project is a good fit for the schedule and facilities.
Wahsega can provide the supplies for Nature Sketching:
Goals: Students use various mediums to explore environmental education concepts.
Methods: Hike out into the woods and choose a natural scene to capture. Using pastels and crayons students will sketch nature scenes.
Materials: crayons, pastels, paper.
Skills: Problem Solving, Hypotheses Formulating and Testing, Aesthetic Sensitivity, and Dexterity
What to wear: Shoes with heel straps. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

 

Evening Class Descriptions

Evening classes led by Wahsega’s staff

1. SNAKE APPRECIATION
Goals:
 To introduce students to this often misunderstood crawling reptile as well as explain physical characteristics.
Methods: Students will participate in a discussion discerning fact from fiction.  Students will also get a chance to touch or hold a live snake during the class.
Skills:  Listening, Observation, Comparing Similarities and Differences, and Following Directions
What to wear: Shoes with heel straps. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

2. NIGHT WILDLIFE
Goals: To help students understand and distinguish between nocturnal and diurnal animal traits.
Methods: Students participate in activities and games that aid in their discovery of nocturnal animal traits.
Skills: Observation, Problem Solving, Classification, Inference, Investigation, and Processing
What to wear: Shoes with heel straps. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

3. SENSORY AWARENESS
Goals: To increase the student’s awareness of their various senses and illustrate how dependent humans are on the sense of sight.
Methods: Students participate in multi-sensory exercises illustrating the limitations of human sensory organs at night.
Skills: Listening, Observation, Classification, Coordination and Independence
What to wear: Shoes with heel straps. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

 

Evening classes – teacher-led options

1. CAMPFIRE SONGS, SKITS & STORIES – USUALLY TEACHERS FROM THE SCHOOL TEACH THIS CLASS, WAHSEGA’S STAFF CAN LEAD THIS AS WELL.
Goals: To provide students with the opportunity to interact socially in an educational and entertaining setting.
Methods: Students participate in songs, skits and stories at a campfire.
Skills: Oral Communication, Cooperation, Observation, Listening, Acting and Public Speaking
What to wear: Shoes with heel straps. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

2. DANCE PARTY – ONLY TEACHERS FROM THE SCHOOL TEACH THIS
Teachers who wish to have a dance in the Rec. Hall for their students may do so. Please communicate with Wahsega’s Program Coordinator when making these plans.
What to wear: Shoes with heel straps. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

3. MOVIE IN THE REC HALL – ONLY TEACHERS FROM THE SCHOOL LEAD THIS.
Teachers who wish to show a movie in the Rec. hall may do so. Please communicate with Wahsega’s Program Coordinator when making these plans. You will need to bring your own movie. Snacks are not allowed in the Rec. hall.
What to wear: Shoes with heel straps. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

4. NATIVE AMERICAN GAMES – USUALLY TEACHERS FROM THE SCHOOL TEACH THIS CLASS, WAHSEGA’S STAFF CAN LEAD THIS AS WELL.
Goals: To allow students to experience non-traditional physical activities, introduce them to other cultures, and show students how other cultures used games to teach lessons or make decisions.
Methods: Students participate in a series of active games similar to those played by Native American people.
Skills: Discipline, Agility, Communication, Processing Skills, Patience, Listening, Observation and Psychomotor Development
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

5. NEW GAMES – USUALLY TEACHERS FROM THE SCHOOL TEACH THIS CLASS, WAHSEGA’S STAFF CAN LEAD THIS AS WELL.
Goals: To enable students to increase their agility, trust and cooperation within a group using non-traditional physical activities.
Methods: Students participate in a series of active physical activities designed to build group cooperation and trust.
Skills: Problem Solving, Processing, Discipline, Psychomotor Development, and Oral Communication
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

6. ULTIMATE FRISBEE – USUALLY TEACHERS FROM THE SCHOOL LEAD THIS, WAHSEGA’S STAFF CAN LEAD THIS AS WELL.
Goals: To encourage students to use teamwork to reach a common goal, to encourage physical activity while having fun and to demonstrate to students that they can enjoy themselves while staying within the structure set forth by the rules of the game.
Methods: Students participate in a short orientation where they learn the basics of throwing a Frisbee and the rules of Ultimate Frisbee. Then the students participate in a game of Ultimate Frisbee.
Skills: Discipline, Agility, Verbal and non-verbal communication, Patience, Cooperation, Team skills, Leadership, Hand-eye coordination and Athletic ability
What to wear: Closed-toed shoes are required. Otherwise, comfortable clothing.

Bus Driver Information Form

Bus Driver Information Form

This form may be used to provide bus drivers with essential information.

Forms for the Lead Teacher

Class Selection Forms

Well before your field study, our Program Coordinator, Adam Rolwes, will contact you to set up a schedule. You must choose the classes for your students. Please select the appropriate link below, fill out the form, and submit it online. Class selection forms should only be filled out after reservations have been made.

1-Day Field Study Class Selection Form

2-Day Field Study Class Selections Form

3-Day Field Study Class Selections Form

Custom Field Study Class Selection Form

Dietary Restrictions

Please fill out the dietary restrictions and submit it online.

ES-237 Attendance Registration Data

Complete the Attendance Registration and ES-237 Data form before arrival and present it along with your payment at the office when you register. This form must be completed in order to pay attendance fees and register your group. Unlike the above forms, this form is to be printed off, not submitted online.

Bus Driver Information Form

This form may be used to provide bus drivers with essential information.

Important Notes for Teachers

Chaperones

Each learning group needs at least one chaperone. Our staff will not teach a group that does not have a chaperone present. Cabins will need to be chaperoned by members of your group as well. Wahsega does not provide cabin counselors.

Phones

Phones for adults to use are in Pavilion 4 and the First Aid Station. A phone is not available for students. Cell phones will not work at Wahsega due to our extremely remote location. Plan to use a calling card to call long-distance. We sell calling cards at our cost for $6 (60 minutes). Please don’t request to use an office phone except in an emergency.

Computers

Access to our office computers is not available. Wireless access over WiFi is available near the office building for iPhones, iPods and lap top computers.

Nametags

Most school groups choose to give their students nametags to wear. Wahsega does not provide nametags and does not require them.

Rules

Please enforce the rules for students listed on page 20. Lights out is 11:00 p.m. You may want to impose a few other rules or remind students of your school’s rules.

Carpooling

Parking is limited, so please encourage carpooling if your group is not using buses.

Damage Fees

A schedule of damage fees is posted in each cabin. The fees for damages, if any, will be assessed on the last day of your visit and billed to the school.

Use of the parks in Dahlonega

ABOUT THE PARKS

Because schools may not arrive early, some teachers like to go to a park in Dahlonega for a picnic lunch before arrival.

  • The DAHLONEGA CITY PARK is suitable for a small group. It has a small restroom, four or five covered picnic tables and playground equipment. There is adequate parking for a bus or two but not extensive parking. Reservations are required but usage is free. You must call ahead to reserve the Dahlonega City Park for your group. Call the Dahlonega City Hall at 706-864-6133.
  • YAHOOLA CREEK PARK is also available. It is a large park with pavilions, trails, picnic tables and plenty of parking. It is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. every day. No reservations are required but the pavilions are provided on a first come first served basis unless a $15.00 fee is paid to reserve the pavilion. Call the Lumpkin County Parks and Recreation Department at 706-864-3622 to make reservations for the Yahoola Creek Park.

DIRECTIONS TO THE PARKS
Going north on Georgia 400, turn left where 400 ends, this is GA 60 North. It goes directly to Dahlonega. Near Dahlonega, there is a Shell station on the right at the top of a hill. Chestatee Regional Hospital and McDonalds are on the left down the hill from the Shell station.

  • To DAHLONEGA CITY PARK: At the stoplight at the bottom of the hill, turn right onto U.S. 19 & GA 60. Go less than a mile. Turn right onto Riley Rd. The ball field is on the left. Follow Riley road around and behind the field. City Hall is directly ahead and the Park and Recreation building will be on the left. Proceed to City Hall. The public park area is on the right as you face City Hall.
  • To YAHOOLA CREEK PARK: At the stoplight at the bottom of the hill, turn right onto U.S. 19 & GA 60. Go less than a mile. Pass Riley Road and take the next left onto Mechanicsville Road. The park is about a mile down and the road dead ends at the park, so you can’t miss it.
Accessibility

If anyone in the group has special needs, we recommend that the group leader visit Wahsega ahead of time to determine if we can meet their needs.

Custom field study schedules

We can provide more or fewer meals or classes in your schedule to fit your students’ needs more closely. There is no premium fee for this service. Call us for a quote.

Exclusive use option

Exclusive use of the center during a 4-H Environmental Education field study is available. A premium conference fee is assessed for groups that request this service. Call for an exact quote.

Religious services

We will work with you to schedule times and provide facilities to accommodate religious practice or events. To avoid scheduling conflicts with other groups, mention these needs to the Program Coordinator when you make class selections.

Guidelines for Chaperones

Guidelines for Chaperones

At least one chaperone stays with each learning group and is present in classes at all times.
Our staff will not teach a class without a chaperone present. If there are several chaperones assigned to a learning group, please keep conversations at the back of class to a minimum.

At least one chaperone is required per cabin.

Enforce our rules and any rules the school has in place.
See Wahsega’s rules.

Assist children with first aid and emergencies.
The First Aid Station is located in the Canteen building. A nurse is not on duty. We ask that chaperones help children with first aid needs. Feel free to use our supplies. Please log treatment provided on the clipboard on the counter in the First Aid Station. In an emergency, dial 9-911.

Supervise the students during free time.

Assist with KP, bathhouse cleanup and camp cleanup.
Wahsega staff will direct these duties, but chaperones are required to be present and assist.

Make sure that students clean their cabins and pass inspection before checkout.
Cabin cleanup takes place on the morning of your departure. Cabins should be clean and empty. They will be locked up before breakfast that morning by our staff that comes by to inspect. There is a list of cleanup tasks in each cabin. It is helpful to have the students pack up the night before.

Be positive.
Students will adopt your attitude.

Cell phones won’t work at Wahsega.
Cell phone service is unavailable at Wahsega because we are in an extremely remote location. We offer the use of two landlines, which you have access to 24 hours a day. These phones are located in the First Aid Station and in the Pavilion 4 kitchen area. Dial 9 to get an outside line. We are not in the Atlanta Metro local calling area, so you’ll need to call collect or use a calling card for most calls. We sell calling cards from either our office or the Canteen store. WiFi enabled cell phones are able to get internet access in an area near the office.

Coffee is available at all times.
At the dining hall entrance, there is a coffeemaker that chaperones may use at any time to brew coffee. Directions and supplies are provided. Be eco-friendly by bringing along your own travel coffee mug. Students are not allowed to have coffee.

Please carpool.
If your group is traveling in personal vehicles rather than buses, please make plans to travel in fewer cars if possible. There is limited parking at Wahsega.

Information for Students and Parents

What to pack
  • Sleeping bag or twin sheets & pillow (No linens or pillows provided)
  • Towels & washcloths
  • Toiletries (shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)
  • Bag or basket to carry supplies from the cabin to the bathhouse
  • Daily change of clothing (Some days you may need two)
  • Old shirts & jeans (for ropes courses)
  • Jacket or sweatshirt (for cool mornings and nights)
  • Rain gear (classes continue regardless of the weather)
  • Shoes (Some to keep dry and some that can get wet):
    Note: Wearing wet socks, shoes or sandals all day causes blisters.
  • Sun block
  • Plastic garbage bags marked with the owner’s name (for wet clothes)
  • Water bottle
    Note: Label clothing and personal items.
What not to pack
  • Chewing gum
  • Flip-flops or any sandals without a heel strap (except for showering)
  • New or nice clothing
  • Electronics, cell phones, iPods, etc.
  • Skate boards, roller blades, bicycles, etc.
  • Other items of high value
    Note: Wahsega 4-H Center is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
No housekeeping service

CLEANLINESS IS THE STUDENTS’ RESPONSIBILITY
There is no cleaning service for the bathhouses or cabins. It is the responsibility of the students to keep bathhouses and cabins clean.

KEEP UP WITH YOUR OWN BELONGINGS
You will share the bathhouses with other schools. Please be considerate of them and keep the bathhouses clean. Each time you leave the bathhouse, carry your own dirty or wet clothes and towels as well as soap, shampoo and other toiletries with you.

Bring old clothes & shoes

Bring old clothes and shoes that can get dirty and old shoes that can get wet while in Stream Ecology class.

Do not plan to wear sandals without a heel strap

Sandals without heel straps are not allowed. To prevent injury, you must wear shoes that will stay on your feet.

Bring a pillow & sleeping bag or twin size sheets & covers

Pillows, sheets and blankets are not provided for guests. Bring a pillow and sleeping bag or twin sheets and adequate covers for the bunk beds. Cabins are not heated.

Remember toiletries

Towels, washcloths, soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant and other toiletries are not provided. Some of these products may be available for purchase in the Canteen.

Money for souvenirs from the Canteen store

We sell a selection of souvenirs, clothing and snacks in the Canteen. Soft drinks are available in vending machines on the outside of the Canteen building.

About our First Aid Station

Wahsega’s First Aid Station is on the right at the end of the hall in the Canteen Building. It has Ace bandages, band-aids, water and soap. Also, some pain and allergy medications are available. A nurse is not on duty. We will help teachers get emergency medical treatment at the hospital in Dahlonega if necessary.

Medication

If a child is taking any medication, the medication must be left with a teacher who will oversee its use. Refrigerated medication may be kept in a refrigerator in our First Aid Station or in the Pavilion 4 kitchen.

Rules

We have one rule at Wahsega:
RESPECT your T.O.E.S.

Teachers

  • The teachers and chaperones
  • The EE instructors
  • All Adults

Others

  • Friends and classmates as well as students and adults from other schools or adults on Wahsega’s staff
  • Turtles living in Turtle-topia, water snakes living alongside the creek, other living creatures

Environment

  • Youth are responsible for cleaning up after themselves
  • No food in cabins
  • Throw away trash and recycle bottles
  • Stay out of the stream and pond
  • No throwing rocks
  • No chewing gum
  • Personal belongings need to be taken with you when you leave the bathhouse

Self

  • Wear good shoes around camp – no flip flops.
  • Wash your hands before a meal in the bathhouse or Canteen restroom.
  • Adult supervision is needed on hiking trails, at the waterfall deck, or when going off center.

Maps

STOP: Use Our Directions

GPS, smartphone map apps and online maps provide directions that are not accessible to buses. These navigation options select the route with the shortest distance to camp. The shortest route into Wahsega travels down rough winding forest service dirt road. Use the driving directions that we provide here on our website. The best routes to Wahsega 4-H Center will always include traveling the entire length of Camp Wahsega Road. Please communicate this to your bus company or school bus drivers and individuals driving their personal vehicles to camp.

Maps

 

Our General Location

Wahsega 4-H Center is 12 miles north of Dahlonega on Forest Service Rd. 28, one mile from the end of Camp Wahsega Road and the entrance to the Army Ranger Training Facility. We are in the Ward Creek valley on property owned by the University of Georgia in the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Directions from the Atlanta area
  • You will need to travel north on GA 400 out of Atlanta.
  • GA 400 ends near Dahlonega at GA HWY 60 where the highway becomes a 2-lane road.
  • Go to the end of GA 400, which is 53 miles from the exit off I-85.
  • Take a LEFT onto Highway 60 toward Dahlonega at the end of GA 400. If you pass the Home Depot on your left and the road becomes 2 lanes, you have missed the left turn.
  • Skip to Step #1 in the Directions Continued section below.
Directions from the Athens area
  • You will need to travel north.
  • Take US 129/Jefferson Hwy/Pierce Avenue north out of Athens.
  • In Gainesville, cross Jesse Jewel Pkwy and stay on GA 60.
  • Go 15.5 miles from Jesse Jewel Pkwy to where GA 60 crosses the end of GA 400.
  • Skip to Step #1 in the Directions Continued section below.
Directions from other areas
  • Use GPS, online maps, or a Georgia map to go to the intersection of East Main Street (GA 60/GA 52/U.S. 19) and Morrison Moore Parkway (GA 60/GA 52/GA 9/U.S. 19) in Dahlonega.
  • If you use GPS or online maps to find it, the address of a Rite Aid at this intersection is 566 East Main Street.
  • Skip to Step #4 in the Directions Continued section below.
Directions Continued
  1. Go north toward Dahlonega for 5.4 miles from the end of GA 400 to the first traffic light.
  2. Turn RIGHT at the traffic light onto Morrison Moore Parkway (GA 60/GA 52/GA 9/U.S. 19).
  3. Continue through the 1st traffic light to the 2nd traffic light. Prepare to turn LEFT on East Main St.
  4. Turn onto East Main St. toward downtown Dahlonega. Rite Aid is on the corner at this intersection across from the entrance to the Walmart shopping center and Consolidated Gold Mine.
  5. Go to the traffic light and turn RIGHT on North Grove Street. Pueblo’s Restaurant is on the corner.
  6. Go 2.2 miles on N. Grove St. Watch for signs to Camp Frank D. Merrill and Wahsega 4-H Center.
  7. Turn LEFT onto Camp Wahsega Rd. and go 8.5 miles to Frank D. Merrill Army Ranger Camp.
  8. Curve around the barricades and pull up to the stop sign across from the military check point.
  9. Turn LEFT on Forest Rd. 28-1. After 100 feet of pavement, this road is gravel. Continue 1 mile.
  10. Turn LEFT into Wahsega 4-H Center. The driveway is named Cloverleaf Trail.

Check out this great video that details our facilities and preparing for your trip here: