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Column: Where’s Waldo? We found him at Camp Soul City

I spent part of my Saturday earning badges at Camp Soul City and searching for Waldo in downtown Augusta.

Both events are designed to bring people downtown on a hot summer’s day.

Matte mosaic boards were the activity at Art on Broad. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

I was a Girl Scout every year of school except third or fourth grade, and I loved both badges and summer camp, so the combination of those memories drew me out on a scorching summer’s day. One of my favorite activities at summer camp involved arts and crafts, so Broad Street was the right place to be.

My eldest daughter, Jessica, tagged along. She called herself my emotional support, but we had a fun mother-daughter outing. I can’t remember the last time I took one of my children along on an assignment. They’re all grown and on their own now. When they were kids, I frequently dragged them to events I was covering.

We knew we couldn’t hit all 12 businesses, so we started at the Book Tavern, headquarters for Where’s Waldo? where we picked up our Waldo passport as well as our Camp Soul City activity sheet.

The activity at the Book Tavern was blackout poetry.

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I’ve written short stories, novels, magazine and newspaper articles plus some term papers while in high school and college. Poems have never been my thing. We skipped the poems, but we did search for Waldo in the shelves.

According to David Hutchison, Book Tavern owner, we were looking for a shorter cutout of Waldo, not the large one in his window, which was easy to spot. We searched upstairs and downstairs, but we missed Waldo.

At Art on Broad, we stopped to make matte board mosaics. They had several designs to choose from on different sizes of board or you could choose a blank piece for your own design. Then, there were multiple plastic containers filled with colored paper pieces — some self-stick and others that needed glue — to finish off the design.

I picked a heart; while Jessica decided to freehand it and created her first initial.

Next door, at Freshwater Design, water skeeball was a fun way to cool off, and there were  bottles of water and popsicles thrown in for good measure. Similar to the arcade skeeball concept of rolling a ball and hoping it drops into a slot worth lots of points, water skeeball featured three buckets of water in a filled kiddie pool. The object was to toss water toys into the buckets, which had different point values. Participants had three chances to score, and winners received merchandise such as keychains and koozies.

At both Art on Broad and Freshwater, we scored Waldo sightings for our passport.

Next on our list was the Augusta Candle Co.

I’d shopped there before, but I’d never made a candle.

Mixing oils for our citronella candles during Camp Soul City. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

The featured candle was a citronella one. It was summer camp after all, and we need to keep the mosquitos away. All I can say is that I understand why mosquitos don’t like the scent.

 We picked a tin and a few extra scents to blend with the citronella, and it was time to create.

 The Augusta Candle Co. has plenty of scents to offer from florals such as gardenias and magnolias to woodsy smells to obscure scents such as rain and summer grass and everything in between. It was pretty crowded Saturday, so I didn’t spend too much time perusing the shelves. Besides, I was trying to think of what might go with citronella.

 I picked an ethereal scent called morning dew. It was light and subtle. It definitely smelled fresh. I paired it with bamboo while Jessica picked leather and sandlewood.

We took a spot at the bar and told them our choices. We were handed the containers with the oils. A light squeeze of all three bottles would allow the aromas to meld together.

Jessica and I took whiffs of the oils we’d selected, and the bamboo and sandlewood seemed to work better with the citronella than what we’d chosen separately.

We mixed our oils and then added it to the wax.

I’d always said I wanted to be the person who named things like lipstick or nail polish colors. In the end, I could think of nothing clever, so “Girls Night” was what stuck.

My button collection from the Augusta Poster Show and Camp Soul City. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

After we finished our candles, we headed to the Augusta Poster Show which was much calmer than it was on Friday. I got to see all the posters and really look at them. Such beautiful pieces of art. Multiple posters were sold out.

 Under the tent outside, there was a yarn ornament craft.

 We didn’t make it to all 12 camp locations, but I’m grateful for my souvenirs from the day and my time with Jessica. I’ll have to take another trip downtown to find Waldo. The Book Tavern is the headquarters for the Waldo event. There are 25 businesses where to find Waldo. People who find him in 10 places will receive a temporary tattoo and a $1 coupon off a Waldo Book. People finding 20 or more will be placed into a drawing for a set of Where’s Waldo books and other prizes.

The grand celebration and prize drawing will be July 31 with the party beginning at 6 and the prize drawing at 7 p.m. The winner must be present to receive the prizes.

Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter here.

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