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Great American Backyard Campout

Published Date: Jun 25, 2014

Let’s go camping in the backyard! Saturday, June 28th is the “Great American Backyard Campout”. “Camping”, “glamping” or “roughing it” are just a few names referring to spending time outside and sleeping in a tent. What a better way to enjoy some camping but still staying close to home than by setting up a tent in the backyard and unplugging with your family! The National Wildlife Federation is asking people to participate in the Great American Backyard Campout by doing just that on Saturday, June 28th and along the way raise money to support their wildlife conservation effort. The NWF hopes to surpass last year’s participation by getting 200,000 participants to register on the website and pledge to camp out on June 28th. (See the registration link at the bottom of this blog post.) So pull out your tent, sleeping bag or bedrolls, a backpack and a flashlight this is a great opportunity to spend time with your kids outdoors. The NWF believes that camping is especially important while children are young. Spending time outside among nature helps them become healthier, relieves tension and helps them focus on everyday tasks. Backyard camping is a great family bonding experience that combines the fun of the outdoors with some of the comforts from home. Here are a few tips to help you have a great camping experience. • Make sure kids pack everything they need for the outdoor patio camping trip. Have them pack like they were going to a sleepover pajamas, change of clothes, a few toys, a camera, and a favorite book. • Have them include a canteen with water, a compass (so you don’t get lost), binoculars, drinks, snacks and food to cook over the camp fire (or on your grill). • Before you settle into your backyard campground, take a “hike” around the neighborhood. Use that compass and binoculars. Take a look at the birds and trees. Pull out the camera and take a few photos of your camping adventure. • Set up the campsite together. Make sure you have everything you need for a cozy night under the stars. • Create a scavenger hunt to entertain the kids before night fall. Have them find items like leaves or flowers or hide items that you have brought along on your campout for them to find. Games are always a good time and a way to wear your campers out before bed time. • Kids love s’mores so make sure you have all the fixings and use the grill or fire to roast your marshmallows. You can also make great popcorn over the fire, you just need to remember to “pack” a pan, oil and popcorn in your backpack. • Settle in for the night and look at the stars. Check out a few website with constellations listed for kids and print out a few “maps” to find the Big Dipper. • Enjoy the night’s sounds and make memories. Don’t forget to take a few pictures of your “Great American Backyard Campout!” From the National Wildlife Federations’ site - “This year, we've set a goal of getting more than 200,000 people across the country to camp out. AND, just in time for the 10th anniversary of the Great American Backyard Campout, National Wildlife Federations’ Board of Directors and other friends have offered to donate $2 in support of NWF’s wildlife conservation work for every person that participates in this year’s Campout – up to $400,000!?” Click here to register.

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