Great American Backyard Campout set for June 25

The Great American Backyard Campout is on Saturday, June 25, 2011 and the perfect opportunity to expose your family to the joys of camping. Whether it’s your first time camping out or 500th, backyard or backcountry, be sure to get outside with your tent!


Studies show that children who spend more time outdoors have better vision, are at a lower risk for obesity and have more active imaginations. Introducing kids to camping at an early age can start a lifelong love for the outdoors.


Everyone remembers taking their kiddie tent out into the backyard and “camping out” for the first time. The old joke from the parents is “you won’t last the night”. I was in the first grade when my best friend and I decided to take one of our weekend sleepover parties outside. With her Siberian Husky tagging along for company, we set up camp 50 yards away from the deck. The sprawling backyard provided enough room to feel far away.


Between playing tag with flashlights, telling ghost stories and learning new card games, it was an experience I won’t soon forget. With every subtle sound, we speculated whether it was Dracula or a Werewolf creeping outside of our tent. The sounds of birds and bugs made our imaginations runs wild. We poked our heads out to look up at the sky and guess the names of the countless stars in the great blue yonder. With my trusty flashlight that played “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, we found adventure in our backyard.


15 years later I’ve upgraded gear and had the privilege of camping across North America, spending evenings out in some of the most amazing wilderness. Although the sleeping bag may no longer be emblazoned with My Little Ponies, the thrill of camping never goes away.


Looking for camping ideas? Visit the Great American Backyard Campout site for camping recipes, stories, songs, games and more!