This post was updated May 5, 2015.
Centered around one night, the last Saturday in June, the Great American Backyard Campout can happen anywhere – your own backyard, a neighborhood park or in one of Virginia’s 36 State Parks.
Why camp? Virginia State Parks offers, “Camping is an affordable family vacation or weekend getaway experience – a family of four can go camping for less than the cost of a movie.” The National Wildlife Federation suggests, “The nature of childhood has changed. There’s not much nature in it.” Put down the electronics and let’s vacation on the cheap while introducing our kids to amazing outdoors they may have never previously experienced.
For families who are new to camping, a special group camping experience is offered at the following Virginia State Parks:
- Belle Isle – Lancaster
- Claytor Lake – Dublin
- Grayson Highlands – Mouth of Wilson
- Holliday Lake – Appomattox
- Hungry Mother – Marion
- James River – Gladstone
- Leesylvania – Woodbridge
- Natural Tunnel – Duffield
- Powhatan – Powhatan
- Sky Meadows – Delaplane
- Wilderness Road – Ewing
Each parks is participating in the Great American Backyard Campout, and each one has something unique to offer for the weekend. Here are a few:
- Camping 101 at Sky Meadows (Delaplane)
- Backpacking 101 at New River Trail (Foster Falls)
- Fishing 101 at Staunton River (Scottsburg)
- Geocaching 101 at Powhatan (Powhatan)
- Survival Bracelet 101 at Douthat (Millboro)
- Beginner level archery at Bear Creek Lake (Cumberland)
- Fishing knots and s’more-making at Kiptopeke (Cape Charles)
- Get an intro to geocaching at Occoneechee (Clarksville).
- Fire starting at Smith Mountain Lake (Huddleston)
- Camp cooking and ice cream making at Westmoreland (Montross)
- Children’s Fishing Tournament and Fossil Walk at Chippokes (Surry)
The Great American Backyard Campout is an event sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation to encourage families to unplug, spend a night in the outdoors, get active and “Be Out There.”