Arizona State Parks is hosting a Family Campout Program at five state parks during March and April.
The program will introduce you to the great experiences you can share with your family and inspire you to continue to explore the great outdoors.
Participants can expect to spend the weekend with rangers and nine other families learning the basics of camping.
“What we’re targeting with the program is people who would like to get more involved with the outdoors but really don’t have any full-time experience,” Dutchman State Park program coordinator Nicole Armstrong-Best told the East Valley Tribune.
“We just want to give the families an idea that when you go to camp, you don’t just sit there and stare at the rocks.”
Best refers to this program Camping 101.
“(The goal is) that (participants) will be comfortable to go out and camp again, that they will understand what programming state parks offer. So even if they don’t go camping again, they might go in (to a park) for a program or a presentation, or go for a hike.”
Family Campout Program activities vary by park and will include demonstrations that detail how to pitch a tent and use a lantern and the right foods to pack.
There will also be recreational activities throughout the two days including a guided hike, mountain biking or fishing clinics, geocaching, archery, and presentations on geography, birding, geology, or astronomy.
Family Campout Program provides the tents, sleeping mats, camp chairs, lanterns, flashlights, GPS units, water bottles, first aid kits, and all activity equipment, plus water, lemonade, coffee, and all food including two lunches, one dinner, one breakfast, daily snacks, and campfire treats.
Families are required to provide their own sleeping bags or any available bedding, pillows, clothing, sturdy shoes, and personal items such as toothpaste, towels, and soap.
Arizona State Parks
Arizona State Parks protects and preserves 30 state parks and natural areas. The agency also includes the State Trails Program, outdoor-related Grants Program, the State Historic Preservation Office, as well as the Off-Highway Vehicle Program, and more.
Arizona State Parks provides over 1,400 camping and RV sites throughout the parks and manages eight of the top 25 most visited natural attractions in Arizona.
Arizona Family Campout Program
Catalina State Park, Tucson: April 20 & 21
Lost Dutchman State Park, Apache Junction: March 9 & 10; April 13 & 14
Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Cottonwood: March 16 & 17; March 23 & 24
Kartchner Caverns State Park, Benson: April 6 & 7; April 27 & 28
Patagonia Lake State Park, Patagonia: April 13 & 14; April 27 & 28
Visit Arizona State Parks information and registration page for program details including activities, specific dates at parks, along with a sample schedule, menu, and a list of program sponsors. Each weekend program is limited to 10 families. Registration is first come, first served.
When I walk in the desert the birds sing very beautifully
When I walk in the desert the trees wave their branches in the breeze
When I walk in the desert the tall saguaro wave their arms way up high
When I walk in the desert the animals stop to look at me as if they were saying
“Welcome to our home.”
—Jeanette Chico, in When It Rains