Roots Run Deep at Camp Kingfisher

By Debby Head, Camp Kingfisher Director


How much do you know about a tree?

There is so much more to a tree than what we see above ground. A tree’s root system keeps the tree fed as well as anchored to the ground. Did you know the roots of a tree spread one and a half to four times as far as its branches? The species of a t  ree will determine how far the roots spread. Dogwood trees have a root system of only about 16 feet, while our state tree, the Live Oak, has roots growing up to 90 feet long and four feet down into the earth.

A quick way to test how far the root system spreads on a tree is to find the drip line of the tree. The drip line refers to the outermost circumference of a tree’s limbs. On many trees, the active parts of the root system are those that are found on the outside of the drip line. Next time you are outside on a nice day see if you can figure out how far a system is likely to spread. You will be amazed.

Being a part of camp on this property for the past 29 summers, I think it’s fair to say that my roots at Camp Kingfisher and the Chattahoochee Nature Center run deep, possibly as deep as the Live Oak, 90 feet long and four feet deep. However, it didn’t take 29 years for my roots to be planted; after one summer I was hooked.

One of my favorite things to see at camp, summer after summer, is when campers, staff, and Leaders in Training (LIT)’s alike have that moment when their connection to camp is sealed and their roots are planted. As we enter our 25th season, there are many camp staff that have roots planted almost as deep as mine as they have made the transition from camper to staff. Join us this summer and plant your roots with Camp Kingfisher.

Our roots run deep and most are unseen. Water your roots, take care of what you care about and allow your soul to grow.” – Nadia Khalil Bradley


Debby Head is the Camp director for Camp Kingfisher at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. She started attending camp on this property in 1989 when what is now Camp Kingfisher was Camp Chattahoochee.


The Mission of the Chattahoochee Nature Center is to connect people with nature. Learn more at