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Great American Backyard Campout

On June 24, 2017 all across the country families will be camping out in their backyards as part of the Great American Backyard Campout. Explore the wonderful world of camping with young children either as a family, in your classroom, or as part of summer day camp!

For families:
Join the Great American Backyard Campout on June 24 and pitch a tent in your backyard. Play games, stargaze, and connect with each other and with nature. First time camping? Your backyard is a perfect place to start. It is familiar and close to bathrooms (and beds if needed!). Experienced campers? The backyard is still fun! Children love when the ordinary becomes extraordinary! Pitch a tent, build a campfire, and watch their eyes shine.

For the classroom or summer day camp:
Can’t take your class camping on June 24? That’s okay! You can go pretend “camping” in your schoolyard! Pitch a tent or tents, gather camping supplies and go camping for the day. If you can, have a campfire and roast marshmallows, make s’mores or hobo packs, sit around and tell stories. If you can’t have a real fire, build a pretend one to sit around and share stories. Ask kids to share if they have ever gone camping. What did they do? Where did they sleep? What did they eat? Talk about what camping is. Provide backpacks, binoculars, fishing poles (no hooks), and other camping gear and activities. Let their imaginations take them on a wonderful adventure!

Backyard camping ideas (backyard and schoolyard!):

  • Go on a scavenger hunt
  • Sing campfire songs
  • Watch for wildlife (what lives in your backyard? Schoolyard?)
  • Gaze at the stars
  • Watch the clouds
  • Catch fireflies
  • Make explorer walking sticks (cover stick with doubled-sided tape, so children can stick objects they find to it)

Helpful Links: