Get Ready for the Great American Backyard Campout!

BonBon Break

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Get Ready for the Great American Backyard Campout!

This Saturday (June 28th), families across the nation will be pitching their tents, rolling out their sleeping bags (or blow up mattresses), lighting a fire and joining thousands of people in the 10th annual Great American Backyard Campout.

Great American Backyard Campout® is a part of National Wildlife Federation’s efforts to help inspire Americans to protect wildlife, including a three-year campaign to get 10 million kids to spend regular outdoor time in nature.”

Since I am a strong advocate of getting kids and families outside in any way possible, I happily spread the word about this event every year.  Not able to camp Saturday night? No worries and no excuses to not partake.  You can still camp another night, just be sure to head on over and sign the pledge before the 28th so you are counted for this year’s tally. Just by pledging and camping, you can help earn $2 (for each person, up to $400,000) to support NWF’s wildlife conservation work.

Camp in your yard, help make a difference for wildlife.

The “rules” for the GABC are really very loose.  You can literally camp out in your own yard, in your friend’s yard or join other families meeting together for a public event in your state.  You can find a local event in your state here.

If you have never camped before (or secretly loathe the idea of camping), this is your chance to get out there and make some memories with your children.  Here’s some quick tips to make the night go a little more smoothly:

  1. Make your sleeping area as comfortable or primitive as you need.  Be creative! Use hammocks, trampolines, or tents.  Sleep on the ground, on a blow-up mattress, on a futon, or haul your bed outside.  Prepare for the possibility of bugs, colder night temperatures, and the dark.
  2. Talk it up.  Big time.  As long as you are excited, they will be too.  Make it more fun by inviting another family to join your backyard campsite.
  3. Hang up some white lights on a string, hand out glow sticks and be sure everyone has their own flashlight.
  4. Be ok with a later bedtime.  Falling asleep while camping when it is still light out is tough – especially for little ones.
  5. Barring any city regulations, build a campfire and roast some treats.
  6. Don’t plan anything for the next morning.
  7. Check out our “Best Tips for Family Camping” post with tons of links to great camping tidbits – the recipe section may help you plan dinner!

We hope you’ll throw inhibitions aside and join us tonight.  Let’s get kids outside and experiencing nature regularly together!



AmeliaTopHdABOUT AMELIA: Tales of a Mountain Mama (Family) aims to help inspire families to get outdoors and adventure, even with young children. We share our stories from out on the trails and in the mountains, provide tips and tricks, and welcome feedback from our readers!

We also happen to be big believers in the fact that sometimes an investment in great gear is a worthwhile step in helping getting the entire family out. Watch for a diverse make-up of honest gear reviews and giveaways.

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