TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Ever wanted to go camping with the family but weren't sure where to start? The Arizona Family Camp out Program is a one-weekend adventure designed for families who have little or no experience camping. The program will provide tents, sleeping mats and shared meals and introduce families to the new adventure of camping at an Arizona State Park.
Throughout the weekend families will work with a Camp Coordinator and other families to learn how to set-up their tent and how to prepare a dinner, breakfast, and lunch outdoors. In addition there will be activities, including (depending on the park): mountain biking, hiking, fishing, archery, geocaching, animal demos, campfire stories, birding, and more. Families will also get to work on a service project.
Previous participants have praised the program. A parent from a spring session remarked, "Just got home from our family Camp out with Arizona State Parks staff and we had an absolute blast. My kids were thoroughly entertained, educated, and fed incredible meals the entire time. We will surely be talking about it for years to come."
Participating state parks and weekend dates for fall 2014:
Patagonia Lake SP, Patagonia: October 18 & 19
Kartchner Caverns SP, Benson (Session B): October 25 & 26
While the program provides some of the essentials, participants should bring the following: sleeping bags or any bedding, pillows, camping chairs, flashlights, clothing, sturdy shoes and personal items including toothpaste, towels, soap, etc.
The program will provide tents, sleeping mats, lanterns, GPS units, and all activity equipment. Beverages provided include water, coffee, tea, and Gatorade. Meals provided include one dinner, one breakfast, one lunch, and all snacks. Families are responsible for bringing a cold lunch for Saturday's arrival meal.
Registration is now open for these remaining fall sessions at
. Program fee is $85 for up to family of 4, plus additional family members are $5 each. Sorry, children 5 years and younger or pets cannot attend this program. Registration is limited and is first-come, first-served.
The Arizona Family Camp out Program is made possible by an AmeriCorps grant through the Arizona Governor's Commission on Service and Volunteerism. AmeriCorps is a National Service initiative, promoted and supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
For information about all 27 Arizona State Parks, the Trails and Off-Highway Vehicle Programs and State Historic Preservation Office call (602) 542-4174 or visit
. Campsite reservations can be made online at
or by calling the Reservation Call Center at (520) 586-2283. Open 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST. Follow AZStateParks on Twitter and Facebook.