Program expands to bring together returning campers as mentors for new families

Campers enjoy a canoe ride during Camp Charlie in 2022. Photo by Samantha Pressley

COVINGTON — Georgia Wildlife Federation’s Camp Charlie is returning to the Okefenokee February 23-25. The program targets families who would like to experience the outdoors but may lack the knowledge, skill, equipment, and self-confidence to do it on their own. Campers are provided equipment and paired with experienced mentors to guide them through the weekend and assist with setting up camp, preparing meals, and experiencing activities such as canoeing, fishing, and hiking.

The previous camp, held in November of 2022, hosted nine first-time camping families from Folkston. GWF and organizers Joy Campbell and Antwon Nixon are thrilled that representatives from seven of those nine families are returning to give back to the program as mentors and volunteers.

“This is exactly what we want to see happening through Camp Charlie,” says Campbell with the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge. “There is a growing community of Folkston residents who not only value the Swamp, but also enjoy being out in it. And they want to share their new experiences and hobbies with friends and neighbors.”

Georgia Wildlife Federation, Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge, Okefenokee Swamp Park & Adventures, and Sowing Seeds Outside the Walls are working to identify additional campers, mentors, and volunteers from the Folkston area, and pull together activities for the weekend.

“My family participated in Camp Charlie for the first time in 2022,” says Nixon of Sowing Seeds. “I had reservations, especially about canoeing. But getting outside my comfort zone was a great experience. I encourage you to apply and give camping a try.”

If your family is interested in camping February 23-25, visit to learn more and apply.

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About Georgia Wildlife Federation

Georgia Wildlife Federation was founded as a sportsman’s organization in 1936 and is Georgia’s oldest conservation organization. Today, members include hunters, anglers, bird watchers, hikers, educators, and all Georgians who are interested in preserving our natural resources and outdoor heritage.

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